This week has been a very interesting one for the city of New Orleans, as well as for everyone who has been observing what has been taking place. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his city council decided to attack historical monuments in the city, primarily those erected in honor of Confederate heroes. Under the cover of night, city workers dismantled the Liberty Place monument. Landrieu vows to remove three others of Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and General P.G.T. Beauregard. This is insane to me, because President Davis died in New Orleans, and General Beauregard lived there after the war. Landrieu’s reasons for removing the monuments seem to be generic at best.
“The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance. This is not about politics, blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile…and most importantly……choose a better future.”
I don’t see how this displays diversity if the mayor offends historians and descendants of Confederate soldiers. On the contrary.
Landrieu has been vague about how the city received funding to remove the four statues. “We have enough funding to take down all four monuments,” is all the mayor says as an explanation. He also hasn’t said when the other three monuments will be taken down, so several pro-monument groups have been holding vigil. Apparently, the public has been restricted from giving input into this decision of eradication. The situation is very disconcerting, because it could lead to more destruction of American history in the future.
Meanwhile, in Biloxi, the mayor has decided not to fly the Mississippi state flag because he’s afraid it could offend tourists. I find this utterly ridiculous and offensive. If someone is offended by the state flag, they will avoid the state all together. However, I don’t see anyone avoiding the state because of the flag. Apparently, Mayor Gilich even offended some of the city council members with his idea. You can contact city council members to voice your opinion.
George Lawrence, Ward 1
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 228-547-5811 Fax: 228-435-9715
Felix Gines, Ward 2
268 Ebony Lane, Biloxi, MS 39530
Email: email@example.com Cell: 228-547-5815
Dixie Newman, Ward 3
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: councilwomandixienewmanward3.com Cell: 228-547-5851
Robert L. Deming III, Ward 4
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: email@example.com Cell: 228-547-1611
Paul A. Tisdale, Ward 5
2561 Brighton Circle, Biloxi, MS 39531
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: tisdaleforbiloxi.com, Cell: 228-297-6800
Kenny Glavan, Ward 6
827 Eagle Eyrie Drive, Biloxi, MS 39532
Email: email@example.com Phone: 228-396-1080 Cell: 228-860-6886
David Fayard, Ward 7
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 228-392-9046 Cell: 228-547-5816
City Council Office
Email: email@example.com Phone: (228) 435-6257 Fax: (228) 435-6187
Office of the Mayor
Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Voice: (228) 435-6254 Fax: (228) 435-6129
Today marks the start of Confederate Heritage Month. April was originally chosen because Confederate Memorial Day is usually celebrated during the month. Seven Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia) historically designated the month as a time to honor their Confederate ancestors, but due to recent racial climates, some states have rescinded from acknowledging this designation. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant recently signed a declaration proclaiming April as Confederate Heritage Month.
This designation has been in place for years, but this year, it has become even more controversial, due to the murderous rampage of one lunatic who shot innocent black church goers and had the audacity to wave the Confederate flag beforehand. Since then, the media circus has decided to blame the Confederate battle flag for this atrocity. The hysteria has spread to attacking monuments and other artifacts honoring Confederate veterans and heroes, some of which have been in existence for over a century. Is it a scapegoat, or a sign of the times of how dumbed down this society has become?
Let me set the record straight. Confederate soldiers did not fight to preserve slavery. Most could have cared less. They were fighting to save their homes. The war became an issue of slavery only after President Lincoln knew the North was losing the war and decided to make it about a moral issue. In other words, it was about politics. Those statues you see of General Lee, Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest are there to honor the men who tried in vain to preserve the Confederacy. Forrest’s ex-slaves so adored him that they fought under his leadership. Lee set his inherited slaves free prior to the war. And Davis never wanted to become president of the Confederacy because he had the foresight to see the bloodbath that was about to happen. They all fought in honor of the South.
In lieu of the assaults now taking place on Confederate flags, memorials, and monuments, I would like to stress that these items do not belong in dusty museums, hidden away from the modern world. They also do not belong to random citizens who think they have the right to vandalize them. These are memorials to America’s war veterans. Sorry if some don’t agree with what they perceive was the reason for the war. I don’t agree with every reason this country has ever gotten involved in a war or conflict, but you don’t see me spray painting the Vietnam Wall or the Korean War Memorial (BTW, my father was a veteran of that war). Compassion, understanding and knowledge are what is needed to accept why soldiers fought for the Confederacy. Times have changed. We must take that into account in order to comprehend what they believed in and realize how honorable they truly were.
A tall memorial that honors Confederate soldiers has stood in front of the Rapides Parish Courthouse for more than 100 years, but an organization of black attorneys believes it is offensive and should be removed.
Malcolm Larvadain, an attorney who is president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, asked Rapides Parish police jurors to remove the memorial, which features a statue of a Confederate soldier on top. The society is made up of area African-American attorneys.
“I don’t go by and salute it. I don’t agree with everything that’s been done. … I think it needs to stay where it is because of history,” Billings said.
The Confederate memorial was erected in 1914 by the Thomas Overton Moore chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, according to information on the base of the statue.
Most jurors did not seem that familiar with the Senate bill and noted the statue-removal request was new. The Senate bill, if it becomes law, might make it harder to remove a statue or memorial.
It does note that a public entity may petition the commission for a waiver if it seeks to remove a memorial.
“The statue should never have been put up, and it should come down,” Fountaine said.
Perry said Larvadain’s request caught him by surprise, and he noted he never paid much attention to the memorial.
Jury President Craig Smith also said the jury wants to see the outcome of the Senate bill.
“If we have to, we’ll address it again,” Smith said of the request to have the memorial removed.
Overton said the memorial is “distasteful” to him and others, and he would like to see it removed.
A federal judge ruled last week that four monuments related to the Confederacy will be removed in New Orleans. The mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said he was “pleased” with the ruling. No time frame was given as to when the monuments would be removed, but Landrieu said they would be stored in a city-owned facility until they find a permanent home: most likely a privately-owned park. The monuments targeted are of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, and Liberty Place. The mayor refused to send the monuments to Beauvoir, the post-Civil War home of Jefferson Davis, in Biloxi, Mississippi.
US District Judge Carl Barbier denied to issue an injunction that would have prevented the mayor from removing the monuments. After the New Orleans City Council vote, with only one council member voting to keep the monuments in place, the city received a federal lawsuit from several preservationist groups: the Monumental Task Committee (MTC), Louisiana Landmarks Society, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and Beauregard Camp No. 130. These four groups all cited that because the MTC has kept up the monument spaces for decades with no charge to taxpayers, they should have a say in the monuments’ fate.
Landrieu has been the biggest instigator in removing the monuments after receiving funds from an anonymous donor. Last year, he worked to insure that the monuments would be removed no matter what, and the reason given was because, all of a sudden, they have become a “public nuisance.”
Walter Isaacson, Wynton Marsalis, Flozell Daniels and Carol Bebelle have all be vocal about their support for removing monuments in the city and have all been appointed to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.
Now that this has happened, I have to wonder how much longer other landmarks in NOLA will be safe. How long before they destroy General Beauregard’s home? Or the house where Jefferson Davis died? Or the Confederate Museum? I suppose they’ll re-name them all, along with Confederacy-related street names, just to avoid offending someone. What about the scores of people offended by their actions? Doesn’t that count for anything? You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but trying to eradicate history is nothing less than shameful.
(Special thanks to Jim Huffman.)
I wish this wasn’t true. Last week, an anonymous donor offered to pay the city of New Orleans $125,000 to remove four Confederate monuments, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top aide. This seems like the most loathsome and disrespectful act someone could make as a political statement. I guess that’s why the donor is remaining nameless.
A one-page report from the mayor’s chief administrative officer, Andy Kopplin, was sent to the City Council last week. Several similar letters were sent from other city department heads as well, and all the reports recommended that the City Council should vote to remove the monuments.
“It is true that these landmarks have served for decades as geographic compass points on the city’s grid, but how can this geographic compass compare to a great city’s moral compass?” Kopplin wrote in his letter.
The four monuments in question are the Robert E. Lee statue in Circle on St. Charles Avenue, the Jefferson Davis monument on Jefferson Davis Parkway (they’ll probably change the name of the street later on), the P.G.T. Beauregard statue at the entrance to City Park, and the monument to the battle of Liberty Place on Iberville Street. The Liberty Place monument was originally placed on Canal Street. In 1993, an ordinance was drawn up to have this monument removed, and this is the final step in the process. The monument signifies an uprising by the White League against Louisiana’s Reconstruction-era government in 1874, when 34 people were killed.
Beginning earlier this summer, Mayor Landrieu made several public calls to remove the monuments, leaping on the momentum of the recent politically correct bandwagon, so the findings by various city departments comes as no surprise. The City Council has not scheduled a vote.
What’s next? I wouldn’t be surprised if these racists target Confederate soldiers’ graves and start digging them up. Removing these four monuments would take away part of New Orleans’s rich history, and that would truly be a shame.
I was recently alerted to a dismaying situation that I find daunting, to say the least. Apparently, the group Black Lives Matter has threatened the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s annual convention. I am a proud member of the UDC, and I find it a national calamity that violence and intimidation of this nature is being tolerated. To single out any group and attack them is unacceptable. Because they are targeting the UDC, it only shows their ignorance toward the organization and what it has done for this country, particularly the South. Not only does the UDC honor our current veterans, but we show honor toward those who fought for the South during the Civil War. To attack this organization is insane, and it’s extremely sad that this is being allowed to happen.
According to the UDC’s website, “the UDC was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on July 18, 1919. As stated in the Articles of Incorporation, the Objectives of the society are Historical, Benevolent, Educational, Memorial and Patriotic.”
Below is a letter written by my friend, Mark Vogl:
For the first time in my life, I am now experiencing what so many human beings, in so many third world nations experience.The United Daughters of the Confederacy annual convention in Louisiana is being targeted by a violent, out of control group which has caused the host hotel to block all vendors from selling items at the convention. Therefore, I was called today by the president of the La. UDC and told that I could not be a vendor…at an event planned for more six months… product ordered a year ago, made overseas, shipped into the US …not allowed to be sold because of the threats of violence and vandalism at the host hotel!The women are experiencing threats of violence.Business interests now must fold to the threat of violence.Investments, travel plans, etc.The police in Baton Rouge appear unable to provide security for the event.This is the result of the Obama Presidency, the Supreme Court, and the McConnell – Boehner leadership in Congress. America…petrified.Where is the FBI? Where is Homeland Defense when this kind of domestic terrorism occurs?Folks, if you think this is limited to Southern heritage organizations you are forgetting 1968, and you are forgetting Ferguson and every other race based riot.It would appear that President Barack Obama has either lost control of “community” or is encouraging a state violence in order to declare martial law… something America has never done, not even during the Civil War!Thank you to all those in public office, or have been in public office who have allowed this situation in the United States of America. This is the result of rejecting Christ, rejecting American heritage and culture, and the election of race oriented, anti-American socialist into the White House. If you say that is not true, please show me President Obama’s reaction to the ongoing violence in this nation?! Please show me his Executive Orders directing the FBI and other agencies to crack down on Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panthers and other Hate groups!Remember the Jews in Germany? That’s how I as a Southerner feel now..but there is one difference…and I will use it to defend my life, my home, my family and my faith. And I stand ready to follow that leader who will react to this direct attack on the American Way.God Bless the South, and I pray for His Protection and Providence.Mark Vogl
What a difference one letter makes! Recently, writer, historian, and radio personality Larry Weatherford, from Danville, Illinois, made an astounding discovery when he learned that a Confederate soldier wasn’t who everyone thought he was. For years, locals were told of the lone Rebel soldier who was buried among Union dead. But recent developments have changed all that.
After curiosity compelled him, Weatherford delved deeper into the mystery concerning John C. Durbin, a Virginia native who moved to Linn County, Iowa, and was believed to have fought for a Louisiana regiment during the Civil War. After the war ended, it was thought that Durbin returned north, and later died at the National Soldiers and Sailors Home in Danville, Illinois, nearly 110 years ago. Weatherford learned that a simple “typo” gave the misconception about Durbin’s loyalty. On his headstone, the letters “LA” instead of “IA” were carved. Whoever screwed up assumed that Durbin fought for the Confederacy, so he carved “Confederate States Army” underneath.
Weatherford investigated military records to learn that there was no John C. Durbin who fought with the 24th Louisiana. However, the name appeared in documents listing members of the 24th Iowa Infantry, Company H. Weatherford also turned up pension records, census reports, and rosters to verify his findings. As a result, John C. Durbin’s headstone was corrected last month.
One of the most phenomenal places in the Big Easy is Confederate Memorial Hall. Located in the Warehouse District, across the street from the enormous WWII museum, Memorial Hall is the oldest operating museum in the state of Louisiana. It was built as a repository for Civil War artifacts, reports, records, and memorabilia. On January 8, 1891, the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans (1815), the building was presented to the Louisiana Historical Association.
At the front of the building sits an eight-inch Columbiad cannon. In 1899, survivors of the 5th Company Washington Artillery, Slocomb’s Battery, placed the monument at its present location to commemorate thirteen members of their company who were killed or wounded around the gun during the siege of Mobile, Alabama.
Many of the artifacts within were donated by Louisiana residents and by Varina Howell Davis, President Jefferson Davis’ wife. In 1893, the museum saw its biggest turnout, with 60,000 paying their respects to to the remains of Jefferson Davis, who died in New Orleans, and was buried there until 1893, when Mrs. Davis moved his remains to the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. One of the most fascinating artifacts in the museum is a lock of Robert E. Lee’s hair, which is encased in small a glass container, and exhibited in a display case alongside his personal items.