I’m sorry that I haven’t done a blog entry in a couple of weeks – I hope that this will get you to think.
I normally don’t get into current events on this blog, but with the events in Charleston last week and the current debate about the Confederate Battle Flag and Confederate monuments and its place in public spaces I thought I would weigh in on the debate.
Charlotte, along with many other Southern cities has their monuments to the war in many places. If you remember my Memorial Day entry I showed the one at Elmwood Cemetery:
There are some small ones in the Center City – one talks about where Jefferson Davis was when he heard about the assassination of President Lincoln and another one designates the location of where the Confederate Cabinet had their last meeting before Appomattox. Both of these are on private property on South Tryon Street. The ones that are raising a stink here are located on City and County property.
This monument located on the grounds of the old City Hall was placed there in 1977:
This one is located near Central Piedmont Community College and was erected in honor of the 1929 veterans reunion, please note the bottom part of the inscription:
All of these monuments are on either city owned or county owned property which is owned by the public and paid for with tax dollars. Now the current debate is whether or not they need to stay on public property or not. While I feel that they do not need to be in places such as the Old City Hall and Central Piedmont Community College, they don’t need to removed all together.
In my opinion, the perfect place for these monuments is Elmwood Cemetery which is owned by the city, but has an established Confederate Memorial at the graves of those who fought in the war and was buried there. This way, it is out of sight of those who really don’t need to be reminded of slavery and the war and has easy access for those who feel the need to honor a time where brother fought brother. And if you really think about it, those that voted for succession were really traitors to the United States and because of the war and its aftermath, an entire region was decimated both politically and economically and an entire generation of men were killed or wounded.
If you want to read more about why the monuments were built and placed, please check out:
Still Fighting the Civil War and America Aflame by Dr. David Goldfield. Both of these can be ordered on-line via Amazon or locally at Park Road Books.
Monuments to the Lost Cause – Women, Art and the Landscapes of Southern Memory by Cynthia Mills.
Ghosts of the Confederacy – Defeat, the Lost Cause and the Emergence of the New South by Gaines F. Foster.
Now, back to your regular programming…