On the Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Kojo Nnamdi ShowI thoroughly enjoyed my appearance on the April 3 edition of The Kojo Nnamdi Show. An excerpt from the transcript:

CODDINGTON
Well, Kojo, as you referenced earlier, the work that I do begins with finding the photographs. I spent more than two years searching for images of identified wartime soldiers. And I was looking for both Northern and Southern soldiers. And during that time, I was not able to find one image of a black Confederate enlisted man.

NNAMDI
Well, I’m looking at Silas Chandler. He has a knife in his right hand. He seems to have what looks like a musket on his left hand.

CODDINGTON
He has—yes. He has all the trappings of a soldier. He has the uniform coat, as you can see, and the white soldier sitting next to him is dressed in a very similar fashion. And there was quite a bit of discussion around his story, particularly on the Internet. I came—became aware of the story about the same time I learned about the photograph. And I contacted the state of Mississippi, their archives, because the white soldier served in the 44th Mississippi Infantry.

NNAMDI
The white soldier who is sitting next to him.

CODDINGTON
Exactly. Also holding a gun, also looking ready for action, and I was surprised to find that the state had pension files for not only the white soldier but also Silas Chandler. So I paid my fee. The forms came in the mail. And I knew instantly that Silas was not a black soldier. The forms told me all I needed to know.

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