h._k._edgerton_web.jpgRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The state Department of Education is alerting Virginia superintendents and history teachers about a passage in a state-approved textbook that falsely claims that thousands of black troops fought for the Confederacy.

The agency issued the memo after a parent of a Williamsburg fourth-grader, who also is a College of William and Mary history professor, found the passage in the Civil War chapter of “Our Virginia: Past and Present.'' The parent, Carol Sheriff, is a 19th-century historian.

The book claims that black troops fought under Stonewall Jackson, an assertion historians overwhelmingly say is unproven.

Author Joy Masoff didn't immediately return a telephone message left Thursday at her office.

Education officials say “Our Virginia'' is one of three approved Virginia history textbooks. The agency doesn't track how many divisions are using it.