Textbooks used in some Virginia public schools are rife with errors including getting the number of states in the Confederacy wrong and grossly understating the number of casualties at the two battles of Bull Run, The Washington Post reports. The textbooks also get wrong the date for the United States’ entry into World War I and identify New Orleans as part of the United States when it was still a Spanish colony.
Ronald Heinemann, a former Hampden-Sydney College professor, was one five historians called on by the state to examine the textbook, “Our Virginia: Past and Present,” and others published by Five Ponds Press. Heinemann told the paper, “I absolutely could not believe the number of mistakes – wrong dates and wrong facts everywhere. How in the world did these books get approved?” Heinemann called for the books’ immediate withdrawal from classrooms.
According to the Post, textbooks by the Connecticut company state the Confederacy, whose capital was in Virginia, had 12 member states when it had 11 and dates the U.S. entry into WWI to 1916 instead of 1917. The book also put the casualty figure for the two battles of Bull Run at 6,000 when the figure was more than 22,000.
The state undertook the examination after The Washington Post reported in October that the “Our Virginia: Past and Present” book claimed that thousands of black soldiers fought for the Confederacy, a claim advocated by Confederate heritage groups. Joy Masoff, the author of the book, told The Post she found the information, which is rejected by mainstream historians, on the Internet.
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