J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “monument”

In Your Face, Northam!

This is such exciting news that I just had to share. Last week, I wrote about the reinternment of General Forrest and his wife to the new National Confederate Museum in Elm Springs, Tennessee. Now the Sons of Confederate Veterans are raising funds to recreate what was destroyed a few weeks ago by Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam. This is the guy who, by the way, posed in black face in his college yearbook photo. Anyway, Northam, along with Richmond’s Mayor Levar Stoney, have taken it upon themselves to utterly destroy Richmond’s beautiful Monument Avenue. The last monument to go was that of General Robert E. Lee. But it seems the South, or at least the Confederacy, shall rise again.

It looks like, no matter how hard they try, Memphis and Richmond politicians just can’t get rid of reminders of their past, and they never will. Here’s a lesson to all the folks out there who are trying to erase our history: you can’t and you won’t! You never will.

This was taken from a Facebook post by the Gordonsville Grays SCV Camp #2301.

“After dropping some hints in the last few weeks, we’re excited to announce that we’re commissioning a new Lee equestrian monument. Location has yet to be determined. We have open offers in our area but if a position in a more prominent location became available we’d consider it.

***Now accepting donations via PayPal to GordonsvilleGrays@gmail.com.”

Such a Sad State of Affairs

It seems that nothing is sacred. Statues that were once renowned as cherished artifacts from the past aren’t even safe in cemeteries anymore. It makes me sick that people have no respect for the dead, or for others’ ancestors. Here’s one example.

Atlanta Council members passed a resolution a week ago Monday night declaring that the city should remove the Lion of the Confederacy statue, which has been vandalized, and place it in temporary storage.


The 127-year-old Lion of the Confederacy statue, built by T.M. Brady and dedicated on Confederate Memorial Day in 1894, was erected to honor the 3,000 unknown Confederate soldiers buried at the cemetery. The lion overlooks the graves. Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 70,000 residents, including famous Atlantans, mayors and governors, and is also home to a 65-foot Confederate obelisk, built in 1870.


Georgia law includes a statute that can make it difficult for local governments to remove a Confederate monument, because it is considered unlawful to damage, relocate or remove a monument dedicated to the United States or the Confederacy. However, the Georgia General Assembly adopted updates to the law last year that allows for “appropriate measures for the preservation, protection and interpretation of such [a] monument or memorial.”


Local governments throughout metro Atlanta have also simply started ignoring the law over the last two years.
Council approved a $33,000 contract with Superior Rigging and Erecting Co. to remove the lion statue. The City has not said where it will be located long-term, and did not say when the statue removal would take place.

(Article courtesy of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter, August 26, 2021 ed.)

Bet They Didn’t See This Coming

It looks like the city of Richmond is in a sticky situation, and Mayor Stoney’s plans have been foiled…at least for the time being. I guess Stoney never got the memo stating that if you take down your monuments, you erase your history, and then history is bound to repeat itself.

JUST TWO LITTLE THINGS


The City of Richmond apparently never has owned one of the Confederate monuments it is trying to get rid of. That’s the statue of Gen. A.P. Hill that has stood since 1892 at what is now the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road.


Seeking to match Monument Avenue with its statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, cigarette magnate Lewis Ginter arranged with the Hill family for Gen. Hill’s body to be moved from Hollywood Cemetery and reinterred at the current site, and then commissioned the statue as an oversized grave marker.


Apparently, the City never required Mr. Ginter to give the property or the statue to the city. The City Attorney’s Office conducted an extensive search of property records after receiving a query from city resident Michael Sarahan and, according to Mr. Sarahan, “found no record of a deed or other document conveying property rights to the City.” Mr. Sarahan said that James Nolan, press secretary to Mayor Levar M. Stoney, confirmed that the city has found nothing in the way of a record of a legal transfer.


Mr. Sarahan, a former assistant city attorney, said that finding indicates the statue is not an improper encroachment.
For the city, the fact it has no evident ownership means it will need to do one of the following: undertake condemnation proceedings to acquire the property, force the sale for delinquent property taxes and buy it at auction, or find the heirs of the last known owner and have them agree to relinquish their rights.


The Stoney administration had indicated that there is a deal with the family, which has agreed to relocate the statue, pedestal and grave (issue #2). Whether the family will voluntarily proceed with removal now that the City does not own the property (issue #1) is unknown.

(Article courtesy of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 23, 2021 ed.)

Charlottesville Destroys More History

Last Monday night, the Charlottesville City Council unanamously voted to remove two Confederate statues from the city’s public parks. Now citizens have thirty days to come up with new plans for the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. “According to city documents, Charlottesville is requesting proposals  for any museum, historical society, government or military battlefield interested in acquiring the Statues, or either of them, for relocation and placement.”

https://localnews8.com/news/2021/06/08/charlottesvilles-confederate-statues-coming-down-nearly-four-years-after-violent-rally/

PUSH TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE  STATUES IN CHARLOTTESVILLE BEFORE FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF  DEADLY RALLY 

By: Jessie Cohen 

Jun 22, 2021 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — Advocates in  Charlottesville, Virginia are working to remove the  city’s Confederate statues before the four-year  anniversary of the deadly rally later this summer.  This comes after the City Council unanimously voted  to remove the statues. 

Zyahna Bryant, a young activist and change  maker, has been trying to make this happen for the  last five years. She authored the original petition to  take down the Robert E. Lee Statue in 2016. 

“These statues are a part of a physical landscape  that reinforces some of these underlying notions of  slavery, bondage and what it means to be deserving  of humanity,” Bryant said. “When I see those  statues, it reminds me of an incomplete history.” 

Kristin Szakos, a former City Council member says this time, the vote is even more important. 

”We’ve been here before. When I was on council, we also voted to remove the statues. Having been  here before, I’ll celebrate when the statues are  down,” Szakos said. “In Charlottesville, at this  moment, it’s particularly important because we  have had violence around these statues. We’ve had  hundreds of white supremacists and Nazis come  into town to defend those statues.” 

This year, both a Virginia Supreme Court ruling  and a law passed in the legislature cleared the way  for the city of Charlottesville to remove the  Confederate statues. 

“Folks in Charlottesville worked really hard with  folks from all over the commonwealth to change that  law,” Szakos said. 

Bryant is one of those people. 

“The August 11th and 12th rallies happened and I  recognize that a lot of people were trying to protect  this image of Charlottesville that did not exist,”  Bryant said. “People are starting to see why they  need to come down and it’s sad, in my opinion, that  it took a rally where someone lost their life for  people to come to that realization.” 

Szakos says she first brought the statues up in  council in 2012 and says even then, it was long  overdue. 

“It’s actually been 100 years because there were  people when the Jackson statue first went up in  1921 who said it shouldn’t be there,” Szakos said. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center started tracking  how many symbols of the Confederacy were located  in public spaces following the Charleston shooting in  2015. That’s when a white man killed nine Black  people during a church bible study. After the  Charlottesville rally, they started gathering input  from the community. 

“We have over 2,000 now, so we started at 1,500  but community member have uncovered even  more,” said Lecia Brooks, the SPLC Chief of Staff. 

Brooks says in 2020, 94 of the 168 symbols that  were removed were confederate monuments; 71 were in Virginia, 24 in North Carolina, and 12 each  in Texas and Alabama. 

“So, as we make great strides in removing some  of these symbols from public space, we’re finding  that there are more and more,” Brooks said. But Lecia does recognize the change seen in states  rooted in the confederacy. 

“Virginia has done, I mean, a complete 360 post the unite the right rally,” Brooks said. 

Bryant doesn’t want this momentum to stop at the  statues. 

“I don’t think that it should stop once the statues  are down because again the statues are only the tip  of the iceberg,” Bryant said. “We also have the  opportunity to rewrite the textbooks. We have the  opportunity to create new resources for people to  learn from.” 

From housing to healthcare to education and  more, she says there is so much to tackle. “I feel very confident that this is the turn to a new  Charlottesville and to a new central Virginia and to  a new country overall, but I think that there will be  no real progress and no real healing reconciliation  until there is the redistribution of resources an until  there is true equity,” Bryant said. 

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/push-to-remove-confederate-statues-in-charlottesville-before-fourth-anniversary-of-deadly-rally

More Horrendous Desecration of Our American Veterans

It goes beyond words how despicable this is. I really wish the destruction of our history would end, but unfortunately, I don’t see any end in sight.

Ghoulish Virginia Democrats  Planning to Dig Up Confederate  General’s Grave Without Relocation  Plan 

By Cassandra Fairbanks 

In one of the most disturbing tales to come from  Richmond, Virginia’s moves to erase history, they  are now planning to dig up the grave of Confederate  General Ambrose Powell Hill, according to a new  report. 

To make the matter even more ghoulish, the city  has not actually come up with a plan yet on what to  do with his remains that have been in the location  since 1892. 

General Hill had requested he be buried under the  memorial in his will, ABC 8 reports. 

“He had left in his will that he wanted to be buried in Richmond. I’m not sure why Richmond because he wasn’t from Richmond and didn’t have any  particularly strong Richmond roots that I’m aware  of,” Bob Balster, president of the Hermitage Road  Historic District Association told 8News. 

To ensure his wishes were carried out,  Confederate veterans who served under Hill raised  money for the monument and the land was donated  by Lewis Ginter. 

The National File reports that an effort “led by  Mayor Levar Stoney and backed by Governor Ralph  Northam, anti-history Democrats in Richmond,  Virginia are finalizing plans to dig up the remains of  Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill, who lies  beneath a towering statue dedicated in his honor  and now marked for removal amidst efforts to erase  all traces of the Confederacy from its former  capital.” 

Though the city removed nearly all of their  Confederate statues during the terroristic Black  Lives Matter riots last year, the general’s statue and  grave had remained. 

To circumvent laws against desecrating graves,  the Democrats are reportedly designating the grave  a threat to traffic safety, giving them the power to  remove it. 

According to the National File, under the removal  plans, “workers will remove the bronze statue of the General before destroying its stone pedestal and  removing the sarcophagus containing his remains.  Details of what the city plans to do with Hill’s  remains are unclear, and the project is estimated to  carry a taxpayer-funded price tag of over $33,000.” 

(Article courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, President Jefferson Davis Chapter, Volume 45, Issue No. 6, June 2021 ed.)

  

What is Really Under Attack?

I was under the illusion that Confederate monuments were essentially the only statues under attack in the country right now. However, this article gives more insight about which monuments are really being targeted.

At least 183 monuments, memorials, statues, and major historical markers have been defaced or pulled down since protests began in May. While Confederate monuments have received the lion’s share of media coverage, they actually form a minority of the statues targeted.


By far the most popular target was Christopher Columbus, with 33 statues in total having been defaced and pulled down.


The next most popular targets were Robert E. Lee (9), Serra (8), and Thomas Jefferson (4).


The vast majority of the vandals were never charged, with 177 out of 183 instances having no arrests.


Most monuments torn down were not by protesters, but by city officials after pressure or threats from protesters.


By far the most common route for monuments being destroyed was for protesters to damage it, then the city quickly removing it as a “public safety” hazard, not to be returned.


For a majority of the statues removed, the fate of the artwork is currently unknown, while a minority have been moved to cemeteries and museums.
Here is the list as best as we can assemble it:


Monument to Marcus Daly, Butte, MT
Cemetery Monument to Confederate Soldiers, Savannah, GA
Memorial to Fallen Kansas City Police Officers, Kansas City, MO
Monument to Christopher Columbus, Chicago, IL
Statue of Jesus Christ, Miami, FL
Statue of Robert E. Lee, Antietam, MD
Union Veterans Monument, Saratoga, NY
Alexander Andreyevich Baranov Statue, Sitka, AK
Monument to Confederate Soldiers, Amarillo, TX
Confederate Statue, Oxford, MS
Numerous Religious Statues, Punta Gorda, FL
Statue of Ronald Reagan, Dixon, CA
Statue of Hiawatha, LaCrosse, WI
Statue of Thomas Ruffin, Raleigh, NC
Sampson County Confederate Monument, Clinton, NC
Statue of the Virgin Mary, Boston, MA
9-11 Memorial, Washingtonville, NY 
Statue of Sophie B. Wright, New Orleans, LA
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Buffalo, NY
John McDonough Bust, New Orleans, LA
Bust of Colonel Charles Didier Dreux, New Orleans, LA
Joseph Bryan Statue, Richmond, VA
Fitzhugh Lee Cross, Richmond, VA
Historical Marker of David Dodd’s Execution, Little Rock, AR
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Statue, Richmond, VA
Courthouse Confederate Statue, Wadesboro, NC
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Trenton, NJ
Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella, Sacramento, CA
Statue of JEB Stuart, Richmond VA
Statue of Andrew Jackson, Jackson, MS
Henry County Confederate Monument, 
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Bridgeport, CT
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus, WI
Statue of John Mason, Windsor, CT
Statue of Frederick Douglass, Rochester, NY
Monument to Judah Benjamin, Sarasota, FL
Confederate Mass Grave Monument, Greensboro, NC
Three Mississippi Confederate Monuments, MS
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Waterbury, CT
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Baltimore, MA
San Junipero Serra Statue, Sacramento, CA
Statue of the Virgin Mary, Gary, IN
Statue of Private Benjamin Welch Owens, Hampden, PA
Jenkins Monument, Hampden, PA
United Confederate Veterans Memorial, Seattle, WA
Civil War Historical Markers and Statues, McConnellsburg, PA
Mt. Zion Methodist Confederate Statue, Charlotte, NC
Matthew Fountain Maury Monument, Richmond, VA
Christopher Columbus Statue, Philadelphia, PA
Statue of George Whitefield, Philadelphia, PA
Elk (wildlife statue), Portland, OR
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Austin, TX
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus, OH
Robert E. Lee Memorial, Roanoke, VA
Stonewall Jackson Monument, Richmond, VA
Emancipation Memorial, Boston, MA
San Junipero Serra Statue, San Gabriel, CA
Confederate Cemetery Memorial, Fayetteville, NC
Confederate Monument, Orangeburg, SC
Rockdale County Confederate Monument, Conyers, GA
Nash County Confederate Monument, Rocky Mount, NC
3 Cemetery Statues, Frederick, MD
Lee Square Confederate Monument, Pensacola, Florida
Our Confederate Soldiers, Beaumont, TX
Statue of Columbus, Hartford, CT
Kanawha Riflemen Memorial, Charleston, WV
To Our Confederate Dead, Louisburg, NC
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Atlantic City, NJ
Monument to Fallen Confederate Soldiers, Fayetteville, AR
Ten Commandments (several locations)
Statue of Christopher Columbus
Loudoun County Confederate Monument, Leesburg, VA
Soldiers Monument (Union), Santa Fe, NM
Pioneer Fountain, Denver, CO
Denton Confederate Soldier Monument, TX
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Norwalk, CT
Monument to Confederate Veterans and Statue of George Wallace, Wilmington, NC
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Providence, RI
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Newark, NJ
Civil War Monument (Union), Denver, CO
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Philadelphia, PA
Statue of Christopher Columbus, New Haven, CT
Confederate War Memorial, Dallas, TX
Statue of Thomas Jefferson, Long Island, NY
Bust of Washington, Washington DC
‘Forward’ Statue (feminism monument), Madison, WI
John C. Calhoun Monument, Charleston, SC
American Receiving the Gift of Nations, Camden, NJ
“Obscured” at the Rutgers College 
Statue of Juan Junipero Serra, Carmel, CA
Statue of Juan Junipero Serra, San Louis Opiso Missionary, CA
‘To Our Confederate Dead’ Monument, Louisburg NC
Confederate Memorial Obelisk, St. Augustine, FL
Pitt County Confederate Soldiers Monument, Greenville, NC
Statue of Henry Lawson Wyatt, Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy, Raleigh NC
Statue of Juan Junipero Serra, Los Angeles, CA
Pine Bluff Confederate Monument, Pine Bluff, AR
Gloria Victis, Salisbury, NC
North Carolina State Confederate Monument, Raleigh, NC
Statue of Albert Pike, Washington DC
Statue of Francis Scott Key, San Francisco, CA
Bust of Ulysses S. Grant, San Francisco, CA
Statue of Juan Junipero Serra, San Francisco, CA
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Houston, TX
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus OH
Statue of George Preston Marshall (National Football League), Washington, DC
Statue of Juan Junipero Serra, Ventura, CA
Memorial to Company A, Capital Guards, Little Rock, AR
Statue of George Washington, Portland, OR
DeKalb County Confederate Monument, Decatur, GA
Kit Carson Obelisk, Santa Fe, NM
Captain William Clark Monument, Portland, OR
Statue of Diego de Vargas, Santa Fe, NM
Gravestone of Unknown Confederate Soldiers, Silver Spring, MD
Spirit of the Confederacy, Houston, TX
Jefferson Davis Memorial, Brownsville, TX
Vance Monument, Asheville, NC
Norfolk Confederate Monument, Norfolk, VA
Statue of University of Nevada at Las Vegas mascot, 
Statue of Juan de Onate, Albuquerque, NM
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus, OH
Statue of Christopher Columbus, St. Louis, MS
Statue of Josephus Daniels, Raleigh, NC
Statue of John Sutter, Sacramento, NC
Confederate Mass Grave Marker, Clarksville, TN
Equestrian Statue of Juan de Onate, Alcade, NM
Bust of Christopher Columbus, Detroit, MI
Statue of Thomas Jefferson, Portland, OR
The Pioneer, Eugene, OR
The Pioneer Mother, Eugene, OR
Bust of John McDonough, New Orleans, LA
Christopher Columbus Monument, West Orange, NJ
Stand Waitie Monument, Tahlequah, OK
Stand Waitie Fountain, Tahlequah, OK
Delaware Law Enforcement Memorial, Dover, DE
Equestrian Statue of Caesar Rodney, Wilmington, DE
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbia, SC
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Wilmington, 
Statue of Phillip Schuyler, Albany, NY
Richmond Police Memorial, Richmond, VA
Statue of Christopher Columbus, New London, CT
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Camden, NJ
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Boston, MA
Gadsden Confederate Memorial
Statue of Jerry Richardson (National Football League), Charlotte NC
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Minneapolis, MN
Statue of Jefferson Davis, Richmond, VA
Confederate Monument, Jacksonville, FL
Monument to the Women of the Southland, Jacksonville, FL
Cemetery Grandstand for Confederate Soldiers, Eight Historical Markers, 23 Informational Signs, and 53 Tree Signs, Jacksonville, FL
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Richmond, VA
Confederate Monument, Portsmouth, VA
Statue of Sam Davis, Nashville, TN
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Indianapolis, IN
Statue of John Breckinridge Castleman, Louisville, KY
Frank Rizzo Mural, Philadelphia, PA
University of Kentucky Mural, Lexington, KY
Statue of Orville Hubbard, Dearborn, MI
Robert E. Lee Memorial, Roanake, VA
Statue of Raphael Semmes, Mobile, AL
Sacred Heart Statue, Wasco, CA
Statues of Jesus Christ (numerous Catholic Ccurches), 
Texas Ranger, Dallas, TX
Athens Confederate Monument, Athens, GA
Statue of Thomas Jefferson, Birmingham, AL
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Birmingham, AL
Robert E. Lee Bust, Fort Myers, FL
Statue of Robert E .Lee, Montgomery, AL
Bentonville Confederate Monument, Bentonville, AR
Statue of Charles Linn, Birmingham, AL
Statue of Edward Carmack, Nashville, TN

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 31, 2020 ed.)

The Irony of It All

CHATHAMSTATUE3-NE-071515-HL.JPG
If these two articles are any indication, most Americans are against removing monuments and historical artifacts. And yet, it still keeps happening against the majority’s wishes. Why is this happening? Nikki Haley recently remarked how the Confederate monuments and the Southern Cross were symbols of heritage and history until some nimrod, who will remain un-named as to not give him the notoriety he so desperately craves, came along and committed an unfathomable atrocity.
NORTH CAROLINA DESTROYS ANOTHER MONUMENT
A large crowd gathered Wednesday to watch as the 27-foot-high 112-year-old Confederate statue outside the historic Chatham County courthouse was taken down and dismantles by workers despite a State law protecting it.
The pieces were then taken away with the help of a crane. The cost to the taxpayers was at least $44,000.
A RECENT POLL SHOWS
A strong majority of North Carolina residents say Confederate statues and monuments should remain in place, according to a statewide survey released Wednesday morning.
The Elon University Poll found that 65% of respondents think Confederate monuments should remain on public, government-owned property, while only 35% think they should be removed.
A quarter of those surveyed said removing monuments helps race relations in the state, 36% said it hurts race relations and 40% said the removal doesn’t make a difference
(Articles courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, November. 22, 2019 ed.)

Artistic Plagiarism?

I’m really not sure what to make of this. Please share your views. Do you think this is okay, or is it an infringement on existing artwork? It is understandable how the artist is making a statement against a longstanding monument in Richmond, but is it really appropriate?

rumor

ONLY IN NEW YORK
Perpetually crowded Times Square has a new statue for pedestrians to navigate – but it’s unlike any other.
Artist Kehinde Wiley unveiled his biggest work ever … a massive bronze statue of a young African American man in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse.
Called “Rumors of War,” it flips the script on traditional statutes commemorating white generals. Wiley described his bold work as a call to arms for inclusivity.
He told The Associated Press afterward that he hoped young people would see it and “see a sense of radical possibility – this, too, is America.”
The project was born when Wiley saw Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s monument in Richmond, Virginia.
jeb
The unveiling was bookended by performances from the marching band from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, New Jersey and an unveiling speech by Confederate monument opponent and Richmond, Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 4, 2019 ed.)

And It’s Offensive Because Why?

I’m having difficulty grasping what is happening in this country, specifically in the South. I just read how some group was protesting the annual UCD convention and requesting that the venue deny their gathering. Unbelievable! Thankfully, the venue ignored their request. But what’s to happen next year? I shudder to think. Here is more bizarre news about the destruction of our history because it is supposedly, suddenly, inexplicably “offensive.”

CHATHAMSTATUE3-NE-071515-HL.JPG

TWO RALLYS – NO BLOODSHED
Supporters and opponents of Confederate monuments gathered in downtown Pittsboro, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon to hold opposing rallies.

Police closely monitored both rallies.
As we reported last month, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to move the Confederate monument in front of the courthouse, which has been in place since 1907. This gives until October 1st for the local chapter of the UDC to come up with a plan for the statue.
The reality is the United Daughters of the Confederacy gifted the statue — which would make it public property and as a public monument the 2015 law which limits removal and alteration of monuments on public grounds would apply. That is why the city, over a hundred years later has “repudiated” the gift. If the courts allow this repudiation, which we suspect they will, it will set a dangerous precedent erasing the monument protection laws in most states.
ALSO IN NORTH CAROLINA
Silent_Sam
A student is climing to have found the remains of the Silent Sam monument. While the Charlotte Observer has reported the discovery they have not confirmed it. So far, The University of North Carolina will not comment on the matter.
images
(Articles courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Sept. 20, 2019 ed.)

Great Honor Ends in Sadness

CA
Beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first, the Confederate Memorial Association in California established more than a dozen monuments and place-names to the Confederacy. They dedicated highways to Jefferson Davis, named schools for Robert E. Lee, and erected large memorials to the common Confederate soldier.

While one would not ordinarily associate California, far removed from the major military theaters of The War, with anything Confederate when The War erupted between North and South in 1861, a wave of secessionist scares swept across the West. Los Angeles County was the epicenter of California disunionism. Hundreds of Southern-sympathizing Angelenos fled east to join Confederate armies, while an even larger number remained to menace federal control over the region. They openly bullied and brawled with Union soldiers, joined secessionist secret societies, hurrahed Jefferson Davis and his generals, and voted into office the avowed enemies of the Lincoln administration. The threat became so dire that Union authorities constructed a large military garrison outside Los Angeles, and arrested a number of local secessionists, to prevent the region from joining the Confederacy.

The War was lost in 1865, but California’s leaders continued to nurture a nostalgia for the Old South. The editor of the leading Democratic newspaper in the state unapologetically lamented the South’s loss. California refused to ratify the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, California was the only “free” state to reject both amendments during the Reconstruction era. In a belated, token gesture, the state “ratified” them in 1959 and 1962, respectively.

Attracted by California’s climate and its reactionary political orientation, thousands of Southerners migrated west in the decades after The War. There, they continued to honor the memory of their ancestors. Through hereditary organizations, reunions, and eventually the landscape itself, some hoped that the Old South would rise again in California.

Some of the most active memorial associations could be found in Los Angeles County. In 1925, the UDC erected the first major monument in the West, a six-foot stone tribute in what is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The monument saluted the wartime service of some 30 Confederate veterans, who migrated to Southern California after The War and took their final rest in the surrounding cemetery plot.

Hollywood

Many of those veterans had passed their last days in Dixie Manor, a Confederate rest home in San Gabriel, just outside L.A. Five hundred people gathered for the dedication of the home in April 1929. Until 1936, when the last of the residents died, the caretakers of Dixie Manor housed and fed these veterans, hosted reunions, and bestowed new medals for old service. It was the only such facility beyond the former Confederacy itself.

The UDC followed its Hollywood memorial with several smaller monuments to Jefferson Davis scattered across the state. Those tributes marked portions of the Jefferson Davis Highway, a transcontinental road system named for the former chieftain, stretching from Virginia to the Pacific coast. The Daughters erected the first of the tributes in San Diego in 1926. They even placed a large obelisk to Davis directly opposite the Ulysses S. Grant Hotel. Although opposition from Union army veterans resulted in the removal of the monument that same year, a plaque to Davis was restored to the San Diego plaza in 1956.

Several place-names literally put the Confederacy on the map in California. The town of Confederate Corners (née Springtown) was christened by a group of Southerners who settled in the area after The War. In San Diego and Long Beach, the name of Robert E. Lee graced two schools, while a school in East Los Angeles was named for filmmaker D.W. Griffith. Although not a Confederate veteran himself, Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation did more than any other production to rekindle the Confederate fire among a new generation of Americans.

Several giant sequoias were named for Robert E. Lee, including the fifth-largest tree in the world, located in Kings Canyon National Park. Jefferson Davis and Confederate general George E. Pickett each had a peak named in their honor in Alpine County.

Most of these memorialization efforts took place when The War was still a living memory. But California chapters of the UDC and Sons of Confederate Veterans remain active today. A recent register of the UDC listed 18 chapters in California-more than five times as many as could be found in any other “free state,” and even more than some former Southern states, including Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans were erecting major memorials in California as recently as 2004. That’s when the newly-removed Orange County pillar went up, amid much fanfare from its patrons and supporters, proudly clad in Confederate attire for the occasion. Inscribed on the pedestal: “to honor the sacred memory of the pioneers who built Orange County after their valiant effort to defend the Cause of Southern Independence.”

Earlier this month, that monument, the last one standing in California, was taken down.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, August 30, 2019 ed.)

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