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Va. textbook based on questionable Web research

Our Virginia: Past & Present (Five Ponds Press)

Internet research run amok?

Today's award for questionable online behavior goes to Joy Masoff, the author of "Our Virginia: Past and Present," an elementary school book.

The book has a passage many historians find inaccurate: Thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War -- a claim often made by groups seeking to play down slavery's role as a cause of the conflict.

The author said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The Post's Kevin Sieff takes a look inside the Virginia school history book and examines how the historically questionable statement made its way there.

By Melissa Bell  | October 20, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
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