For quite some time, local camps of the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans have been pursuing a very special project. It seems that every state that participated in the Battle of Shiloh has a monument, except for Mississippi. I’m not sure why it has taken this long to get the funds together, but I’m guessing it is because, after the Civil War ended, Reconstruction took hold and the state was so poverty-stricken that it couldn’t afford to pay for a monument.
However, that is going to change in the very near future. The state has agreed to match funds contributed by Mississippi SCV camps for the project. The following is a letter from the Mississippi SCV Commander, Alan Palmer.
“The total cost is expected to exceed $425,000 and of course that could go higher and probably will, the good news is with the $250,000 from the state we will begin the project with a little over $420,000 once the money is deposited into the Archives account in July. We still need to keep up our fund raising efforts to offset any additional costs that will come up, because they will come up and we don’t want to have to scale back for lack of funds. Every penny raised for the Shiloh Monument will go for the Shiloh Monuments construction, placement, and upkeep.
“We have developed a close working relationship with Kimble Johnson that we must maintain in order to have an important part in seeing this project through to completion. I spent two hours on the phone with Kim Friday night and we are on the same page and he has given us a most important task in the design of the monument to make sure it is a historically accurate representation of Mississippi troops. He also agrees that while the monument will represent the 6th Mississippi with larger than life Bronze figures ,all Mississippi units must be listed on the monument that were at Shiloh.
“As you know we also were trying to get legislation through that would provide state monies to help us restore and preserve those sacred Battle Flags that we have worked so hard on. I am sorry to say the bill died in committee, however, the bill did not die because of the provision to provide money for flag restoration and so we plan to present it again in the next legislative session with high hopes of getting it through. I mentioned a few weeks ago that several of us met with Lt. Gov Tate Reeves and he is very much in favor of restoring the flags and will be an ally in our future efforts. Along those lines and in speaking with Greg Stewart last night I think we should formulate a new permanent legislative committee to work with legislators in pursuing our goals. My thoughts for making this a permanent committee is that you cannot change committee members every two years when a new commander takes over because it takes time to establish relationships with the powers that be and an entirely new committee every two years would be ineffective at best. That being said, the committee would answer to the commander and division as we all do and a member could resign or be voted off the committee if the need arose by the EC and a new member appointed. After seeing what can be accomplished I think this could be an extremely important committee in promoting and or defending our heritage as we move forward. Many of you have taken the lead on your own and achieved great success in the past but we need a concentrated full time effort in place and with that there is no telling what we could accomplish.
“God Bless the Mississippi Division and grant us continued success.”
This is exciting news, and well overdue. Best of luck in achieving your goal.