information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

Author / Blogger Kevin Levin is popular among the circles of academia , probably because he never fails to promulgate the history that was written in “blue ink”.
The big lie is and has always been that the South started the War Between the States and that they did it to protect slavery… because they hated African-Americans.

In his book “Remembering the Battle of the Crader: War as Murder” Levin fails to disappoint the politically-correct.

Writes Levin:

“The Battle of the Crater is known as one of the Civil War’s bloodiest struggles—a Union loss with combined casualties of 5,000, many of whom were members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) under Union Brigadier General Edward Ferrero. The battle was a violent clash of forces as Confederate soldiers fought for the first time against African American soldiers. After the Union lost the battle, these black soldiers were captured and subject both to extensive abuse and the threat of being returned to slavery in the South. Yet, despite their heroism and sacrifice, these men are often overlooked in public memory of the war.”

In his book, Levin, glorifies the heroics of the U.S. Colored Troops while vilifying the cause and character of the Confederate soldier.

As one person posted on Facebook in response to Levin’s accusations:
” They {the Confederates} were defending their homes from invasion and the only color they were shooting at was blue”

Perhaps some captured U.S. Colored Troops were treated badly when captured, perhaps some were returned to plantations but if the “Crader” was murder as Levin suggests in his book title the mere fact that the Confederates took U.S. Colored Troops as prisoners at all dispels the accusations of murder that he has leveled against them.

The question on my mind is; Since Levin is so obsessed about the treatment of former slaves in Virginia by Confederate authorities why does he ignore the treatment of former slaves in Mississippi by Union authorities?
WJTV recently reported on this very subject:

“Concentration camps.

People mostly associate the term with Nazi Germany but historians say – it’s true – they also existed in America.

During the Civil War authorities in Natchez, Mississippi forced tens of thousands of freed slaves into camps built in what’s known as “The Devil’s Punchbowl”, local historians said.“

Those authorities, in case you were wondering were UNION authorities…
“Untouched fruit falls to the ground near the banks of the Mississippi River around a bend in Adams County, researcher Paula Westbrook said.

“They talk about there’s the most beautiful wild peach groves down in the punch bowls,” Westbrook said.

And like a peach, the area known as “The Devil’s Punchbowl” has a pit: a mass grave from the 1860′s, Westbrook, who co-founded Delta Paranormal Research, said.

Historians estimate that in one year following Union troops’ arrivals in Natchez, up to 20,000 freed slaves died in “contraband camps” below steep bluffs.

“When the slaves were released from the plantations during the occupation they overran Natchez. And the population went from about 10,000 to 120,000 overnight,” Westbrook said. Her research included searching through Adams County Sheriff’s reports from the time.

“So they decided to build an encampment for ‘em at Devil’s Punchbowl which they walled off and wouldn’t let ‘em out,” Don Estes, former director of the Natchez City Cemetery, said.

Estes said that history research is his life. During his studies he said he learned that Union troops ordered re-captured black men to perform hard labor. Women and children were all but left to die in the three “punchbowls”.

“Disease broke out among ‘em, smallpox being the main one. And thousands and thousand died. They were begging to get out. ‘Turn me loose and I’ll go home back to the plantation! Anywhere but there’,” Estes said.

“But they wouldn’t let ‘em out,” Estes said.

Westbrook adds that, “The union army did not allow them to remove the bodies from the camp. They just gave ‘em shovels and said bury ‘em where they drop.”

You can read the rest of this story by clicking on this link.

For the record, the locals in Natchez still won’t eat the wild peaches that grow in “The Devils Punchbowl” because they know what was used to fertilize them.- Editor


About aldermanlacy

I am just an average blue collar American who works hard and tries to be a good dad. I have a passion for history, music and freedom.


  1. Mystery of the “Non Engaging” Corey Meyer | The Opossum Creek Courier - July 15, 2014

    […] On July 14 I received an email asking me to approve a recent comment submitted by… Corey Meyer in response to an article I had published entitled “The Difference Between Craders and Punchbowls” […]

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