Now, Jim I made no such comment. And no you are not a traitor for having your opinion, just the same as we who hold an different opinion are not super-patriots for having ours.
I understand your position that because there does not appear to be any "official record" of large numbers of slaves serving in armed service, that it did not exist. But please understand ours. You seem to agree that some did serve, the question is how many and in what capacity? 50 or 500,000?
Who says that the records we have today are sacrosank and complete? I know that you do not think that they are. I have written many "official reports" in my lifetime and more than a few were classified never to be seen again. Or I was told to rewrite them because they did not "pass muster" if you want to say that. Or if they did "pass Muster" they somehow reappeared as something other than how they were originally written. Anybody who has worked for anything classified as important in Governmental work has run into this type of "sanitations" of records. Even in the army you are aware that there are missions which are never talked about.
Why are John F. Kennedy's and Martin Luther Kings "official records" from the F.B.I. ordered sealed for 50 years. Could it be that those men may not be such great heros if the truth were known about their activities. Do you think those records will emerge unsanitized? Even if they do and truth does emerge from those records, when they are finally opened in a few years, do you think anyone will believe those records after 50 years of Myth building about their lives?
Lincoln's government and that of Johnson's and Grant's that followed were not above this in order to preserve the myth of Lincoln and the rightness of their abolishionist cause and the destruction of the South first by war and then by reconstruction to accomplish that purpose. If blacks were possibly a part of the armed defence of the South that would be destructive to that aim now wouldn't it?
Understand that we are as sceptical of the low numbers as you are of the higher numbers because of the nature of the political structure and idealogy of the governments of both sides (Union and Confederate) involved.
Our "hindsight" after 150 years is not 20/20 as is commonly said. That is also a myth. We look through a glass darkly and see only fragments of a puzzle which we try to assemble into a mozaic that makes some sort of sence. Records have been lost, burned in Richmond warehouses during the evacuation, or expunged to fit any number of purposes. You know that the muster rolls of entire regiments in the Confederate army have been lost and others have periods of extended gaps in their records.
In Bruce Catton's book "Stillness at Appomattox, the army of the Potomac" Catton recites just one incident after the defeat of Early's army by Sheridan in 1864 were the Confederate records were captured. That there was no effort to preserve those records and in fact were used as a point of humiliation to the Confederate POW's and destroyed. On a recent episode of the TV history channel program "Pawn Stars" a person tryed to sell his Great grandfathers field desk secretary complete with all his Company records including the War records and muster rolls of the company of Indiana Infantry he commanded. Records which had been locked up in that secretary since the end of the war in the families home.
Because something does not appear in records in a forthright manner does not mean that it does not exist. This slavery issue was a supercharged issue after the war. Once Lincoln Issued the Emancipation Proclaimation, nothing could be allowed which would contridict that freeing the slaves was the moralistic aim of the Northern War effort. The rewrite of history started well before Gen'l Lee ever got close to Appomattox.