1. Byron Thomas isn’t offering much in the way of factual data, so here is some that might inform the situation.

    Benjamin Thomas applied for a South Carolina Confederate pension in Aiken County in the spring of 1923 (PDF here, claiming to have served as a cook for Co. I, 2nd South Carolina Cavalry, under Captain M. C. Butler. Thomas claimed to be in service from May 1861 to April 1865. Thomas’ application was attested by H. E. Mealing. On the reverse of the application is a handwritten note from a Jon. W. Glover, as follows:

    As Mr. Mealing is the only one of the company left I could not get anyone else to sign. But as I know that Ben Thomas belonged to my Father M. O. Glover who was in the same Co I hope he will be able to get the Pension as he is a very deserving old negro [sic.].

    The wording of the younger Glover’s note makes it sound as if he was the one coordinating Thomas’ pension application. It looks like the pension was approved by the local board, but I’m not certain whether the pension was actually awarded by the state.

    There is no CSR record for Benjamin Thomas that I see. Mitchell O. Glover was a Private in Co. I of the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry. He enlisted in June 1861 at Edgefield in Captain Butler’s company. He was captured at Brandy Station in early August 1863 and initially held at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. He was later transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland, and exchanged on February 8, 1865.

    This is a conventional example of a “black Confederate” as evidenced by a pension application. All the routine caveats apply, regarding pension applications, role of cooks, enslaved persons, etc.

    What’s really interesting is Byron Thomas’ assertion that, even though he apparently has no direct evidence that they’re related, “I’m already gonna probably claim him, because of our last names, but it would be awesome to 100% verify that we are related.” That’s a perfect encapsulation of the entire “black Confederate” phenomenon – it’s based as much (or more) on speculation and wishful thinking as it is on actual evidence.

    Heritage, not history.

      • He put up a Confederate flag in his dorm room window a year or so ago and the ensuing dispute with school administrators generated all sorts of publicity. He’s something of a celebrity in the Confederate heritage movement these days. He’s made a lot of similar videos.

        • I remember that “controversy.” And I’ve seen a few of his videos. One of the recent ones being about students and teachers not standing for the pledge of allegiance.

    • Let’s check how the State of South Carolina worded that application form-

      “The undersigned applies for enrollment under the Act of 1923. I *served* the State of South Carolina in the War between the States, as _____ …. I went in the *service* ____, 18__, and *served* continuously until ________, 18__”

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