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Virginia History Textbook Said To Contain Big Lie

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wusa9: It's well known, thanks to the movie Glory, that black soldiers fought for the Union. In the Confederate Army, historians say thousands of slaves worked as laborers, not as soldiers, but a new fourth grade textbook, "Our Virginia: Past and Present," has a different take.

Our Virginia: Past and Present

"The people in Richmond who approved this book should be fired," said Jeremy Mayer, George Mason University Public Policy Associate Professor. "What do you have a credentialling board for textbooks for if not to catch howling errors?"

He and many historians are outraged about this line in the book, "Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson."

"It's astoundingly stupid. One of the great fears of the Confederacy was of a slave revolt. And you're trying to convince that they gave rifles to organized regimens of black people? No way is that true," said Mayer.

Carol Sheriff is the historian who caught the error in her daughter's textbook. She says it was illegal in the Confederacy to use blacks as soldiers, until at the very end of the war, long after Stonewall Jackson was dead.

Mayer calls the offending sentence more than just an error.

"It is the equivalent of Holocaust denial being taught in public schools. But worse, it's like saying the Jews helped the holocaust." Mayer says the book should be "pulped" and that Virginia can afford to buy new textbooks that contain accurate information.

Author Joy Masoff has written several other text books, but she is not a historian. And she's reportedly said she got the information about blacks fighting in the Confederacy online.

For complete story, go to: wusa9

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