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:

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.

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.

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.

The white soldier who is sitting next to him.

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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