Is all or any part of this statement from the Virginia textbook accurate in your view?
"Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson."
Do you believe "Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks,"? In your most recent post you speak of African-Americans "who supported the CSA (e.g. slave labor to build forts), voluntarily or under duress". Do you believe a slave laboring "under duress" on a Confederate fort was a "Confederate soldier"?
Alan and I are not arguing the point that "thousands" of African-Americans worked "voluntarily or under duress" and "supported the CSA" by their actions". It is the definition of a "soldier" or what is meant by the term "Confederate ranks" and other terms stating directly or implying that these people were full-fledged soldiers that is the problem.
If you are saying that you believe thousands of African-Americans were in the Southern camps, cooking meals, driving wagons, digging latrines, etc., then we are in complete agreement. If the title "soldier" is given to these people that is where we differ.
I presume if a "camp follower" was carrying a weapon and under extreme circumstances discharged it at an oncoming threat to her life or health, we should consider her a soldier, as well. That's a joke and is not meant to demean those engaging in more moral endeavors, but it is meant to prove the point that many were in the Confederate camps for a whole host of reasons and were NOT soldiers.