Descendant of Confederate soldier says statue sends wrong message

To the Editor:

My great-great-grandfather, a captain in the Confederate army, died at the Battle of Antietam. He was eventually buried in a grave in his home state of South Carolina. His church wrote movingly of his valor and integrity.

I have visited his gravestone and have learned much about his personal history. But I would be deeply troubled if a monument to my Confederate ancestor had been erected fifty years after the end of the Civil War.

He died in a losing battle on the wrong side of history. Not a slaveholder himself, he yielded to the pressure of his state and his neighbors to fight in fear that freed slaves would turn on their former masters and wreak havoc in the South.

The Confederate soldier statue in Bell County represents retaliation for that loss, a way of saying “We may have lost the battle, but you didn’t get rid of our sense of superiority.” The message this and other 20th-century CSA statues sends to people of color is that the mindset of those who fought to resist the freedom of their forebears has not budged. Hatred and ignorance still have a symbol out in public, taunting those whose ancestors were oppressed in a land that disingenuously proclaimed the equality of man.

Moving the statue to a museum where explanation would accompany the statue might actually help conversation around this most painful of American experiences. Do not simply say, “Oh, what difference does one little statue make? Leave it alone.” Because the wound will continue to fester.

David Howle

Temple

(4) comments

VetA42

IMHO the message You are sending (intentionally or unintentionally) is a lot like the message of Adam and Eve when asked the question "How do You know". Evil comes individuals. Honor comes from individuals. Truth comes from actual actions stated as accurately as possible. If We destroy everything that happened yesterday how are We going to understand and learn to be neighbors in peace rather than neighbors in fear?
I envy You in that You have been able to learn of Family Heritage so many of Us do not have that privilege. Can You actually state with certain confirmation how your Great Great Grandfather felt about living conditions during His lifetime? Was He living next to His neighbor in peace or was He living in fear?
It is so easy for one to decide how things used to be without having facts. It becomes easier to formulate idea into words building what was into something totally different and out of context today.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Copy: 'The Confederate soldier statue in Bell County represents retaliation for that loss, a way of saying “We may have lost the battle, but you didn’t get rid of our sense of superiority.” The message this and other 20th-century CSA statues sends to people of color is that the mindset of those who fought to resist the freedom of their forebears has not budged. Hatred and ignorance still have a symbol out in public, taunting those whose ancestors were oppressed in a land that disingenuously proclaimed the equality of man.' End of copy.

It is my opinion that 'you sir have a warped sense of the integrity of the Confederacy and of those who served for the South'.

I must remind you, again, that soldiers of the north and soldiers of the south met for a reunion, at least twice, for sending the message that 'what was done, was indeed done, and that lasting hatred was not to be tolerated. Those people of yesteryear did not harbor any resentful feelings of hatred over the building of a statue or the building of a monument to honor those who fought for the South, both soldier and general alike. It is only 150 years hence that people of color are in denial saying 'those statues are a disgrace and should be removed'. WHY.... What does a statue or a monument do or stand for that such people, over 150 years ago, can say, 'now that statue that was once accepted is now appalling'????

Can you sir, see a parallel in past history that tries to 'burn books', and to destroy monuments and edifices such as the destruction of the cliffs in the east that have stood for hundreds of years but were just recently blown up by people of the Muslim faith.
It must be pointed out that the North had the population greater than the South, had greater manufacturing than the South, and had a greater Navy whose blockade starved the Confederacy into submission. And do you realize that, when speaking of General Robert Lee, who resigned his commission from the Union Army in order to accept his position in the Confederacy, who for all intents and purpose, fought superior forces inflicting greater destruction over many of the Northern forces. Do you realize that the surrender of the Confederacy by General Lee, that surrender ceremony was conducted in a farm house and General Grant of the Northern forces, when offered said that he would not accept his gesture. Why???? Because the Union military forces sought the 'return to normalcy of two opposing forces to become one again.

People of that day and age, over 50 years hence, gave credence to 'what military prowess the Generals possessed. So it would be normal to accept that prowess. But now it is felt that 'these statues and monuments be torn down, to give credence to some people say is the 'destruction of these statues would be the undoing of all of the Southern heritage. Do you see the parallel here???? You can't 'erase' what is in one's mind eye, that by destroying these statues you can change history and for whatever reason you will create once again the diversionary aspects that you are committed to distinguish.

Sir, you are following the path to destruction, one that was 'laid to rest'., but you are self igniting all over again.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Bubba1

It's our history and our heritage. Locking it away in a museum doesn't serve the purpose of reminding all of who we are. I would have thought that a descendant of the confederacy would understand that.

Dr Strangelove

HOOAH! [thumbup]

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