On this date in 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood launched an attack on the Federals outside Atlanta, Georgia. The Yankees were well-entrenched, and Hood’s troops, who ran headlong into their opponents, were predictably slaughtered. The outcome of the Battle of Ezra Church was 3,000 Confederates lost versus 700 Union soldiers. Hood’s assault, like those that had previously taken place at Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta, was a dismal failure. And like those two battles, the Battle of Ezra Church is only remembered by a few markers.
This is yet another example of what can happen to hallowed ground if it is not protected. Battlefields around Atlanta have been swallowed up by commercial and residential development. Some markers designating the area of the Battle of Ezra Church have been vandalized.
Right now, an assault is being waged against other monuments as well. After the city of New Orleans announced they were postponing a decision about removing five Confederate monuments, vandals expressed their anger by seeking revenge and spray painting graffiti on the monument of General Robert E. Lee. And the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, located in what was previously known as Forrest Park in downtown Memphis (near Sun Studios, where Elvis recorded his first hit record), was also spray painted.
These places and monuments should be upheld with honor to those who served and died for a cause they believed in. Unfortunately, the true story of the Civil War is hardly taught in schools today, so those too ignorant to seek the truth believe the South fought to preserve slavery. This is completely wrong. Instead of destroying our nation’s history or trying to erase it by changing names, we should be enlightening people with the truth about why the war was fought and why the repercussions following the Civil War happened the way they did. If we don’t, we are only hurting ourselves.