Skip to comments.Rebel Re-enactor with a Cause
Posted on 07/01/2002 2:49:16 PM PDT by TexConfederate1861
Spotsylvania resident Willie Levi Casey Jr. is an African-American member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and proud to be Southern.
By LAURA MOYER The Free Lance-Star Date published: Sun, 06/30/2002
ROCKVILLE--In the Hanover County woods where men in blue and men in gray are shooting at each other, it's all noise and smoke and stink.
Across a field there's cannon fire so loud it resets your heartbeat for you. Horses whicker, and men shout. Fog-thick gunpowder smoke gives off a rotten-egg reek.
For Confederate Pvt. Casey of the 6th North Carolina State Troop, a Civil War re-enactment unit, the conflict is all external.
In real life, the Rebel private is Maj. Willie Levi Casey Jr. of the U.S. Army--a tasty bit of irony if you're looking for it.
But Casey sees no irony at all in re-enacting as a 19th-century soldier in gray and being a 21st-century African-American.
Casey, a 40-year-old resident of Spotsylvania County's Chancellor area, is a Southerner by birth and proud of it by choice.
He's been re-enacting since 1997 and was welcomed as a full member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Matthew Fontaine Maury Camp No. 1722 two years ago.
It all makes sense, he said, if you view the Civil War not as a textbook struggle between good and evil, but as the nuanced conflict it truly was.
"Look at the mentality of a black person in the South" at the time of the Civil War, Casey said. That person's ancestors might have been living in the South for 150 years before the war.
In such a case, he said, "You may be a Southerner by force, but you are a Southerner."
Historians have long held that black Southerners, free or slave, did not serve the Confederacy as soldiers, but worked instead as teamsters, laborers, cooks and personal servants.
If those black men took up weapons in battle, this official version of history goes, it was because of circumstances and self-defense, not because they believed in the Southern cause.
But recent scholarly works--many by African-American academics--have alleged a historical understatement and even a cover-up of blacks' real participation.
Casey, who earned a degree in history from Presbyterian College in South Carolina, said his reading over the past few years leads him to believe that tens of thousands of blacks, slave and free, fought for the Confederacy.
Their motivation, he believes, was not to support slavery but to support what they saw as their country--the South--and to improve their own lot in life.
"You would fight to gain status. Because you know that even if you lose, you're still one of the brothers in arms," Casey said. "You're fighting to make your life better."
Casey's persona as a re-enactor is a free black cabinetmaker from eastern Tennessee, able to read and write, with a wife and a child at home.
But he has a real-life link to the Confederacy as well--one he always vaguely knew about but pinned down only in recent years.
Casey grew up in Cross Anchor, S.C., in the 1960s and '70s. It was an area full of Caseys, black and white.
He and his siblings knew they had a white great-grandfather, a man who had never married their American Indian/African-American great-grandmother even though they had six children together.
A family photo of the couple's son Barney Casey shows a bulky man in overalls with lank gray hair and white skin. He's Willie Casey's grandfather.
Willie Casey was well into adulthood when he decided to research the white side of his family.
In the course of his genealogical effort he came across the Civil War record of one Pvt. Martin Luther Casey, a South Carolina soldier killed in 1862. That man was the older brother of Casey's great-grandfather.
Being a collateral relative of a Civil War soldier qualified Casey for membership in the SCV. He's twice been elected aide-de-camp of the local group.
His acceptance into the organization doesn't surprise him. "Most people will welcome you according to how you treat them," he said.
The SCV denounces racism and has vehemently fought the usurpation of the Confederate battle flag by the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups.
"These are guys who are trying to remember their ancestors in a positive manner," he said. And that's what he wants to do, too.
Still, Casey is often asked to explain himself--not to his fellow re-enactors or SCV members, but to people who just can't understand where he's coming from.
"People say to me, 'Do you support slavery?'" he said.
"I say, 'No. I support preserving Southern history and telling it the way it is.'"
1 - Walt
2 - Walt
3 - Walt
4 - Walt
5 - Walt
6 - Walt
7 - Walt
8 - Walt
9 - Walt
10 - Walt
11 - Walt
12 - Walt
13 - Walt
14 - Walt
Bonus - Walt
Answer #'s correspond to the quotations in post 9. Bonus corresponds to the quotation in post 14. Each quotation is identified by it's actual pro-yankee author and the source where it came from.
ANSWERS TO QUIZ:
1. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/703308/posts?page=2#2
2. Karl Marx, Address of the International Working Men's Association to President Johnson, 1865
3. Karl Marx, On the North American Civil War, October 20, 1861
4. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/700651/posts?page=88#88
5. Karl Marx, On the North American Civil War, October 20, 1861
6. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/688238/posts?page=62#62
7. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/688238/posts?page=42#42
8. Karl Marx, On the North American Civil War, October 20, 1861
9. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/688238/posts?page=42#42
10. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/662922/posts?page=85#85
11. Karl Marx, On the North American Civil War, October 20, 1861
12. Karl Marx, On the North American Civil War, October 20, 1861
13. Karl Marx, letter to Abraham Lincoln congratulating him on reelection as President of the United States, January 28, 1865
14. Walt, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/664750/posts?page=51#51
Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf Volume 2, 1926
In other words Walt, who would no doubt agree with practically every one of those quotes that was not his own, echoes the pro-yankee sentiments expressed by two of the most notorious totalitarian nutcases in all of history.
Charles Francis Adams, United States Ambassador to Britain, to Karl Marx of the International Workingmen's Association (my emphasis added in bold)
Legation of the United States
London, 28th January, 1865
I am directed to inform you that the address of the Central Council of your Association, which was duly transmitted through this Legation to the President of the United States, has been received by him.
So far as the sentiments expressed by it are personal, they are accepted by him with a sincere and anxious desire that he may be able to prove himself not unworthy of the confidence which has been recently extended to him by his fellow citizens and by so many of the friends of humanity and progress throughout the world.
The Government of the United States has a clear consciousness that its policy neither is nor could be reactionary, but at the same time it adheres to the course which it adopted at the beginning, of abstaining everywhere from propagandism and unlawful intervention. It strives to do equal and exact justice to all states and to all men and it relies upon the beneficial results of that effort for support at home and for respect and good will throughout the world.
Nations do not exist for themselves alone, but to promote the welfare and happiness of mankind by benevolent intercourse and example. It is in this relation that the United States regard their cause in the present conflict with slavery, maintaining insurgence as the cause of human nature, and they derive new encouragements to persevere from the testimony of the workingmen of Europe that the national attitude is favored with their enlightened approval and earnest sympathies.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Charles Francis Adams
ROTFL!! GOP, you sir have made my night. Tex, great article posted as usual and thanks for posting the truth
Marx isn't the only totalitarian nutcase to espouse Walt's position.
I can't believe I missed that many :o(
I missed as many as you did! LOL!
I thought GOPcapitalist was giving us a "gimme".
We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.
From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor or the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?
When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, "slavery" on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding "the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution", and maintained slavery to be "a beneficent institution", indeed, the old solution of the great problem of "the relation of capital to labor", and cynically proclaimed property in man "the cornerstone of the new edifice" -- then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders' rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters -- and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.
While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.
The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world. 
Signed on behalf of the International Workingmen's Association, the Central Council:
Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osbourne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L.Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci;
George Odger, President of the Council; P.V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G.P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J.E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland; H.F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary.
18 Greek Street, Soho.
Marx actually lays it out pretty well. The war was brought on by the slave power for the most heinous and immoral of reasons.
The record amply indicates that no more than a handful of blacks fought for the CSA.
Bump for dixie. There you have it, everybody! After being accurately compared along side Marx in his pro-yankee arguments, there's Walt in his own words endorsing Karl Marx!!!
Oh, and thanks, Walt, for confirming what we've suspected all along. And to the other south-bashers out there, how's it feel to be the direct political heirs of Karl Marx?