I would like to share an excerpt that was printed in the June 1906 edition of the Confederate Veteran. I found it to be an interesting take on Confederate monuments, and I hope you will too. Thank you, Teresa Roane, for this excerpt.
From General Stephen D. Lee’s speech April 1906
There are three things peculiarly left for our concern. One of these is the erection of public monuments to our Confederate dead; not only to our leaders, but, above all, to those private soldiers who made our leaders immortal. We must not overtask posterity by expecting those who come after us to build monuments to heroes whom their own generation were unwilling to commemorate. The South has reached a position of material prosperity which justifies both State and private beneficence to honor the faithful dead.
In all human lot there has nothing better been found for man than to die for his country. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, this fate is to be preferred above all others. We feel it is well with those who have thus fulfilled the highest of all trusts, the duty of a citizen to his native land; and whatever may have been their private faults, their public service on the field of battle has rightly given them a place with the immortals. Theirs was the martyr’s devotion without the martyr’s hope. Their generation and their country imposed upon them this high service. They fulfilled it without flinching. They felt that the issue of the battle was with God; the issue of their duty was with themselves….
I urge monuments to the Confederate soldier first for the sake of the dead, but most for the sake of the living, that in this busy industrial age these stones to the Confederate soldier may stand like great interrogation marks to the soul of each beholder.
“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevents their history or denies them their symbols, has sown the seeds of their own destruction.”
Sir William Wallace, 1281 A.D.
There has been an assault going on for quite some time on Confederate monuments and markers. The most alarming is what’s taking place in Virginia. Governor Ralph Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney have taken it upon themselves to aggressively go after and do away with any reminder of the Confederacy, even though Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America for nearly all of the Civil War. I find this alarming because, even though the political climate has changed over the past century and a half, history should never be erased. It stands as a reminder to what happened in the past, and whether interpreted as good or bad, it is still a valuable part of American history. Germany intentionally has left what remains of old stalags as reminders of the terrible history it experienced under Nazism. I think America should do the same.
This brings to mind the recent desecration of Monument Avenue in Richmond. What used to be a beautiful area in the heart of the city, with its magnificent monuments, has utterly been destroyed. I visited Richmond when I attended the UDC Convention back in (I believe) 2011, and I thought the avenue was absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, last year, Black Lives Matter was given free rein to desecrate the monuments, as well as buildings around them, by any and all means possible. They covered the monument bases with graffiti and were even allowed to chisel away at some of them. As far as I know, no arrests were ever made. What an atrocity, and shameful for the city of Richmond. I, for one, will never visit Richmond again.
It’s my understanding that Monument Avenue was on the National Historic Sites Register, and because of that, it should have been protected. But apparently not, since all of the magnificent statues have been taken down. The last one to be removed was that of General Robert E. Lee. The statue was even cut in half. They are considering giving the Robert E. Lee monument to the Black History Museum, which has said that they will melt the statue down and make it into something else. I can only imagine what that might be.
The Richmond City Council recently allocated $1.3 million to build a national slavery museum.
“The response can’t be to build back up Monument Avenue,” Hones said. “It must be to build back the antithesis of what was torn down. And the best thing to do is to become serious as a council and administration to tell the true story … of what’s in place in Virginia.”
The city of Richmond has received numerous offers for the monuments, which are being stored in a sewage facility. The matter will be decided on January 18, 2022.
The following is a list of groups who wish to obtain the monuments: 1. Liberty Hall Fife & Drums 2. Ratcliffe Foundation/Ellenbrook 3. Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation 4. VA Division – Sons of Confederate Veterans 5. Valentine Museum 6. United States of America Naval History & Heritage Command 7. Fontaine/Maury Society 8. JEB Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust 9. CSA II: The New Confederate States of America Inc. – Monument Establishment & Preservation Fund 10. Belmead on the James 11. Shannon Pritchard/Hickory Hill/Wickham Family 12. Sumter County SC Sons of Confederate Veterans 13. LAXArt Museum 14. Spotsylvania Historical Association 15. DARNstudio 16 Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation 17. Preserve America’s Battlefields 18. Private individual 1 – David Hinton 19. Private individual 2 – Michael Boccicchio 20. Private individual 3 – Olivia Tautkus 21. Private individual 4 – James Cochrane, Jr. 22. Private individual 5 – Austin Wylam 23. Liberty Hall Plantation
There is no submission from the Black History Museum, but it seems that they will receive legal ownership of most of the monuments and their bases. It also seems that the Valentine Museum will “partner” with the Black History Museum in gaining ownership of the monuments. However, the Valentine Museum has only submitted a request for the Valentine sculptured statue of Jefferson Davis.
I subscribe to Civil War Talk, and wanted to share some entries.
From Viper 21:
“City and state officials have reached an agreement to transfer ownership of the statue and pedestal of Gen. Robert E. Lee to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, which has also agreed to take possession of all the other Confederate memorials removed from Richmond since last year.
“Under this arrangement, Richmond’s Black History Museum would work in partnership with the Valentine museum — which has chronicled the city’s history for more than a century — and local community members to determine the fates of the stone and bronze symbols of the Confederacy.
“The deal requires approval by Richmond’s City Council. Mayor Levar Stoney — who hammered out some of the details with Gov. Ralph Northam (D) — said in a written statement that the arrangement enables the community to take a deliberate approach in reckoning with such divisive symbols.
“‘Entrusting the future of these monuments and pedestals to two of our most respected institutions is the right thing to do,’ Stoney said in the statement, obtained by The Washington Post … ‘They will take the time that is necessary to properly engage the public and ensure the thoughtful disposition of these artifacts.’”
Sgt. Cycom from L.A. summed it up: “The people that are loudest in calling for ‘unity’ and ‘inclusion’ are almost always projecting their own intolerance and inability to compromise. I hope these monuments remain so that I can take my family to see them in a few years. I pray history is preserved and not destroyed. Giving these monuments to people who will continue to desecrate them is disgusting, infuriating and despicable.”
As a side note, the majority of Richmond residents voted for the monuments to remain intact on Monument Avenue.
ON CAPITOL HILL For the second time in as many years, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw has joined with Democrats to support removing the statues of Confederate leaders from the U.S. Capitol.Crenshaw, of Houston, was among 67 House Republicans, including five from Texas, who voted in favor of a bill that would “remove all statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in the United States Capitol, and for other purposes.” All Democrats in Congress voted for the bill, which passed 285 to 120. Statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and other Confederate leaders such as Vice President John C. Calhoun, Arkansas Governor James Paul Clarke would be among those removed if the U.S. Senate follows the House’s action.
FULL LIST OF HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED TO KEEP MONUMENTS
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.”
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.
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.)
But who does it benefit, really? I mean, seriously, eradicating Confederate statues that have been in place for over 100 years is suddenly the “in” thing to do. I feel bad for all the descendants who see their ancestors’ monuments being taken down because the statues suddenly offend a few. And yet, the stupid keep taking them down, regardless of taking into consideration what has happened in other countries when they did this same exact thing. Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.
PROBABLY NEVER COMING BACK
Now that the Tennessee Supreme Court has avoided its Constitutional duty, the nonprofit that “owns” the Confederate monuments removed from Memphis’ parks, Memphis Greenspace, will be able to act with impunity.
While they’re not sure, we suspect they are trying to sell the statues … Whoever they sell to, will no doubt have to promise that they will never be returned to Shelby County.
“Whomever takes the monuments, our restriction would be that the monuments can never cross Shelby County lines ever again and come back into this community, and this restriction would have to travel with the monuments,” Van Turner with Memphis Greenspace said.
Memphis Greenspace still has to finalize a lawsuit in local court with the surviving family of Forrest, whose remains are still at Health Sciences Park. “We will respect the wishes of the current family members,” Turner said. “All of that will have to be worked out in the local lawsuit pending in chancery court, and I think we’re up for it.”
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, November 5, 2019 ed.)
Bless Mississippi for standing true to her flag and protecting her Confederate statues. I only wish other Southern states would hold as true to their honorable history as the Magnolia State. The destruction/desecration of Confederate monuments is alarming. How weird would it be if, sometime in the future, only statues of Union soldiers existed? What about the other half of the story?
MISSISSIPPI STATE MONUMENT TO BE RE–DEDICATED FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL RESTORATION
Monument was originally dedicated in 1909
Date: October 16, 2019 Contact: Scott Babinowich, NPS, (601) 642-6881 Contact: Bess Averett, Director of Friends of Vicksburg NMP, (601) 831-6896
On November 11, 2019 at 2:30 p.m., Vicksburg National Military Park, the State of Mississippi, and the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign will re- dedicate the Mississippi State Monument within Vicksburg National Military Park.
Earlier this year, the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center completed an extensive restoration and repair project that included masonry repairs, testing of the monument’s lightning suppression system, and a thorough cleaning. Funds for the $75,000 project were donated by the State of Mississippi and championed by the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign.
A brief ceremony will take place at the Mississippi State Monument, along Confederate Avenue within Vicksburg National Military Park, and feature several speakers who were involved in the project. More details will be announced closer to the event.
The Mississippi State Monument was dedicated on November 12, 1909 and honors the sacrifice of Mississippi’s 32 infantry units, 17 artillery units, and 37 cavalry units which served in the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign of the Civil War. The monument was designed by R.H. Hunt of Chattanooga, TN and constructed at a of cost $32,000.
The event is free and open to the public.
(Article courtesy of The Jeff Davis Legion, Official Publication of the Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, October 2019 ed.)
I wanted to share this article, showing how disrespectful all the anti-Confederate sentiment has become. It’s nothing less than shameful, in my opinion, and I hope you agree. These are works of art erected to honor dead war vets. Reading more into them than that is just plain ludicrous.
Judges for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments … in the latest effort to counter the University of Texas’ removal of several Confederate statues.
We reported back in 2017 when UT President Gregory L. Fenves authorized the removal of statues of Confederate figures – Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and John Reagan – along with Gov. James Stephen Hogg from the UT South Mall. The statues of Lee, Johnston and Reagan were placed in storage; Hogg was later relocated to another spot on campus.
Days after the statues’ removal, members of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a lawsuit against Fenves. The organization’s named plaintiffs, David McMahon and Steven Littlefield, argued that the removal of the statues was an illegal restriction of political speech and a breach of agreement with the estate of Maj. George Washington Littlefield, who donated the statues in 1921. The lawsuit argued the university agreed at that time the statues would remain as promotion of a “Southern understanding of the Civil War” on UT’s campus.
“In removing the statues, Pres. Fenves has breached the University’s long-standing promotion of American history from the Southern perspective that it promised to its generous donor, Maj. George Washington Littlefield,” the lawsuit said.
Western District U.S. Court Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed the case in late June 2018, stating that the Sons of Confederate Veterans lacked standing, but he did not comment on whether the plaintiffs had a valid argument under the First Amendment.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans appealed Yeakel’s decision to the 5th Circuit, where they presented oral arguments for why the removal was a violation of federal free speech laws. The case was consolidated with a similar lawsuit that originated in San Antonio where two residents and the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued city leaders for making plans to remove a Confederate monument in Travis Park.
Kirk Lyons, the attorney representing the plaintiffs in both cases, told the American-Statesman on Tuesday he was arguing for standing, which lower courts had denied, saying the Sons of Confederate Veterans couldn’t prove any injury from the statues’ removal. He said his clients do have standing because the removal of Confederate monuments injures their rights to free speech. The effort is part of what Lyons believes is a national agenda to dishonor Confederate history and quiet conservatives.
“If you took every offensive monument out of Europe, their tourist industry would collapse,” Lyons said. “These people are mentally unstable.”
After Tuesday’s oral arguments, Texas Attorney General and closet liberal RINO scalywag Ken Paxton who fast-tracked the removal of other Confederate monuments issued a statement saying the court should dismiss the suit.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 11, 2019 ed.)
A few weeks ago, a judge in Nashville, Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, ruled that the removal of three Confederate statues from public parks in Memphis, Tennessee was legal and didn’t violate any state law. Although the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act limits changing or removing historical memorials on public property, Memphis found a loophole and sold two of its parks to a nonprofit for $1000 each. The nonprofit company quickly removed the three statues of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes. However, now the tide has turned.
TENNESSEE AMENDS LAW
Governor Bill Haslam has signed the newly amended Heritage Protection Act, which was proposed in response to the removal of Confederate monuments in Memphis.
The act now requires a waiver from the Tennessee Historical Commission before public property containing a statue is sold or transferred, or a statue, monument, or historical marker is removed.
The new legislation also bans any public entity that violates the law from receiving grants from the Historical Commission and the state Department of Economic and Community Development for five years.
The law also allows for anyone with “a real interest in a memorial” to seek an injunction if they believe the law has been violated.
The act went into effect immediately upon Haslam’s signature Monday, May 21.
(Courtesy of Southern Heritage News and Views, May 25, 2018 ed.)
Earlier this week, I wrote about how the city of Memphis has been working to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest from a city park (previously known as Forrest park until the city council changed the name a few years back). Last night, after the council voted, the statue was removed. Another statue of Jefferson Davis was also removed. I am heartsick that this has happened. The city council also wants to remove the remains of General Forrest and his wife, which are buried under the statue’s base. It is repulsive and deeply offensive that they would show such a blatant disrespect to the general’s descendants.
Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans issued a statement saying they would fight the actions taken by the Memphis city council and would go through litigation to reverse the removal of the statues. Memphis seems to think that they could remove the statues because they sold the two parks where the statues were located for a mere $1000 each, and now that the parks are now privately owned, the new owners can remove the statues. However, this goes against Tennessee law that all historical monuments, names, etc. should remain intact.
Memphis has previously lost every court case, hearing and appeal to remove the statues. So they contrived a back door way of removing the statues and snuck around in the dark to remove them. I find this appalling and disgusting, not to mention illegal. But after living outside of Memphis for years, I totally get it. When we first moved there from Colorado, I was shocked about the mafia-like politics that take place there. It seemed so 1930’s to me, and yet, they frequently got away with all kinds of crimes. Now they have taken the law into their own hands and gone against it for their own behalf. But what does it really accomplish?
When I told a friend last night that Memphis was taking down the statues, she responded by saying, “Are they really still doing that?” I knew what she meant. Is the south still destoying its history? Wasting money that would be better spent elsewhere? I’m glad I live in Colorado now and don’t have to see this desecration. I only hope Memphis learns its lesson the hard way.