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Confederate Memorials – Stay or go?

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:

The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.

The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.

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:

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Confederate Soldiers Monument on the grounds of the Old City Hall. Photo taken by Tom Vincent

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:

Confederate Veterans Marker at CPCC.  Photo taken by the author.

Confederate Veterans Marker at CPCC. Photo taken by the author.

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…

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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in History, People

 

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Memorial Day Musings

Today (May 25, 2015) is Memorial Day.  Today is when we celebrate those that made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country both at home and abroad.  If you want to see some more facts about this day, please check out “Rookie Notes”, which had an entry about how the day got started – it is really good reading.

Here in Charlotte we have memorials to most of the wars that Mecklenburg County has sent their sons and later their daughters to fight. Here are the ones that I found on a road trip across the county:

The American Revolution

I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the Battle of Charlotte memorial, I did find this one on Beatties Ford Road just north of Sunset Road.  This commemorates the Skirmish at McIntyre’s Farm, which I am not too familiar with but will explore for a future blog post:

Plaque commemorating the skirmish at McIntyre's Farm.  This was erected by the Mecklenburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1901.  Photo taken by the author.

Plaque commemorating the skirmish at McIntyre’s Farm. This was erected by the Mecklenburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1901. Photo taken by the author.

The Civil War

Of course we have to memorialize the Civil War, after all we are in the South.  Unlike a lot of towns our Civil War memorial is located in Elmwood Cemetery.  Maintained by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp # 1423, they have also included a plaque commemorating the Confederate Navy Yard that I thought was lost when they tore down the old convention center:

Plaque commemorating the Confederate Navy Yard.  Photo taken by the author.

Plaque commemorating the Confederate Navy Yard. Photo taken by the author.

At the entrance of the Confederate monument at Elmwood Cemetery.  Photo taken by the author.

At the entrance of the Confederate monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by the author.

The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.

The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.

World War I

As we come up on the centennial of America’s entry into the war in 1917 and the building of Camp Greene on the city’s westside it is interesting that the memorial to the “Doughboys” has been moved several times since its dedication in 1923.  First located near Central High School (now Central High Building at Central Piedmont Community College) it was moved to Cecil Street (now Kings Drive) near Memorial Stadium and moved to its current location in the 1960’s. This is a monument to a war that a lot of people in the United States have forgotten but marked the beginning of the country’s exit from the isolationist stance that it held since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823:

World War I Memorial dedicated in 1923.  Photo taken by the author.

World War I Memorial dedicated in 1923. Photo taken by the author.

World War II

In the years between 1918 and 1941 Charlotte and the rest of the country enjoyed the roaring 20’s and endured the Great Depression after the Stock Market crash of November 1929.  After we entered the Second World War in December 1941 we again sent our sons and daughters this time to “Make the World Safe for Democracy”.  And again, some of our sons did not make it home.  This time the Gold Star Mothers came together in 1949 to create the World War II memorial that would be located in Evergreen Cemetery which at that time was on the eastern edge of the city:

Plaque to the World War II Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery.  Photo taken by the author.

Plaque to the World War II Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery. Photo taken by the author.

World War II Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery.  Photo taken by the author.

World War II Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery. Photo taken by the author.

Korean Conflict

The Korean Conflict, which was fought from 1951-53 is one of those wars (but was actually a “Police Action”) that we as a nation had forgot about.  But thanks to the veterans of the conflict,  Mecklenburg County has the only memorial in the State of North Carolina to those that fought and died in that conflict.  Located in the eastern part of Mint Hill, North Carolina on Fairview Road near I-485 it is a respectful place to reflect on the sacrifices made by our troops:

Wall at the Korean War Memorial showing the number of those KIA, MIA and the deadliest battles of the conflict.  Photo taken by the author.

Wall at the Korean War Memorial showing the number of those KIA, MIA and the deadliest battles of the conflict. Photo taken by the author.

My husband at the Korean War Memorial.  Photo taken by the author.

My husband at the Korean War Memorial. Photo taken by the author.

Vietnam War

At the time that the country was involved in the war, it was thought that we should not have gotten involved and those that went over and made it back home were reviled as “baby killers” and other foul names.  Over the years however, that view of those that fought in the war has changed.  A memorial dedicated to those from Mecklenburg County was built and dedicated in 1989.  Modeled on the memorial in Washington, DC it is located in Thompson Park in view of the John Belk Freeway and beside St. Mary’s Chapel.  It is a quiet, reflective place that honors those who served and died from Mecklenburg County:

Plaque at the Vietnam Memorial.  Photo taken by the author.

Plaque at the Vietnam Memorial. Photo taken by the author.

Vietnam Memorial Wall.  Photo taken by the author.

Vietnam Memorial Wall. Photo taken by the author.

I hope that everyone has had a chance to reflect on the sacrifices that were made to maintain our freedom on this day, for as someone told me “Freedom isn’t free”.

I got my information on the World War I statue from: http://doughboysearcher.weebly.com/charlotte-north-carolina.html

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2015 in History, Places

 

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Can anyone explain this?

Last year I was working with the After-School Enrichment Program at Myers Park Traditional (where I work this year as a Teacher Assistant). I had gotten off the bus at Queens University last April and saw this:

Taken in the common area at Queens University near the Student Union April 30, 2014 by the author

 

In the ending days of the Civil War, the Confederate Naval Yard was moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Charlotte.  Now while this may seem strange to have a naval yard so far inland, to the Confederates, it made sense as the Union Navy had effectively blockaded the entire Southern coastline since the beginning of the war.

Now here comes my question – the company that manufactured this manhole cover did not come into exsistance until the 1870’s and after the Naval Yard in Charlotte was dismantled. I hope that someone with knowledge of Charlotte history and the Civil War can answer some questions for me, like how did this end up at Queens University when the area was created in the 20th century?  Was this moved from somewhere in Center City Charlotte?

I hope that someone can help me with these questions.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in History, Places

 

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