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Upstate lawmakers want monument to black Confederate soldiers, newspaper says none existed

S.C. Statehouse, Gervais Street, Columbia, S.C. (Google Earth)

South Carolina records show the state never recognized armed African-American soldiers during the Civil War.

Two Upstate Republican lawmakers want to build a monument at the Statehouse to honor black Confederate veterans.

But The State newspaper reviewed pension records from 1923 that show three blacks claimed armed service in South Carolina units under the Confederacy. Two pensions were confirmed as cooks or servants, and none for armed service.

Historian Walter Edgar says any African-American in a Confederate unit was either working as a slave or an unpaid laborer against his will.

One of the monument supporters, Rep. Bill Chumley, says any black person who served in the Confederacy should be recognized.

Democratic lawmakers say the monument might work if it honored blacks who served in the Union too.

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