Are all Confederate Monuments and Memorials Offensive?

Yes, a monument to the dead, placed in a graveyard etc, is very reasonable.

Yeah, serve or be executed. That’s not a choice. :roll_eyes:

It may come as a surprise but I wouldn’t be upset over statues of Stalin, etc. I think overly emotional responses to statues is counterproductive.

If only the dockers clad tiki torch bearers in Charlottesville agreed with that.

There should be exactly as many memorials for Confederate soldiers in this country as there are SS memorials in Poland.

The OP’s not talking about statues, AIUI, but about a general memorial to all the war dead of the county.

I wonder, if humans built memorials to the people on the other side(s) who we killed in wars, would we have fewer of them?

Again, not heroic statues – but lists of the names, in remembrance that however necessary we found it to kill them, they were humans too.

For some of them, the other choice was to be shot.

That is, certainly, a choice. Human history indicates that not a lot of people take it – even when they’re being marched off to their deaths not very much later.

How about overly emotional responses to taking them down?

– I don’t think the county should put up or keep up statues to Confederates, except in explicitly educational contexts not including the sort of public place where they get seen while people go about their other business. However, if what they’ve got is as described a general war dead memorial that includes multiple wars, includes the county’s Union soldiers, and just lists the names/dates/ranks, I’d give that a pass. Phrase it and/or publicize it as costs of war, not as glory of war – but I think they should do that with war memorials in general.

If you ask me, the “overly emotional” aspect of this is racists clutching their pearls and wailing “wah wah cancel culture is erasing muh heritage” because they’re emotionally attached to these inanimate objects like some sort of redneck security blanket.

Or, if you want a more charitable reading, controversial issues are controversial because there are strong emotions on both sides, therefore it’s stupid to pretend it’s only coming from one corner.

It should be noted that the vast majority of Civil War memorials and statues (and in particular statues of Confederate Generals) were not erected in the years after the war to memorialize the fallen; they were erected in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries with the rise of the “Lost Cause” movement which was essentially a bunch of whinging about how unfair it was that the Confederate was outmatched and outgunned by the Union Army and how the war wasn’t really over, and directly engendered the resentment that led to the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

The most famous Confederate monument, the act of geological vandalism known as the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Carving, was carved by Gutzon Borglum, an enthusiast and possibly a member of the Klan at the behest of the Venable Brothers, who were principals of the early 20th Century revival of the Klan, and Stone Mountain Park was officially opened on 14 April 1965, the centenary of the assassination of President Lincoln. I don’t know how much further you can go with demonstrating support for an explicitly racist, pro-slavery cause without actually rounding up a few black people and lynching them.

All Confederate monuments and memorials are support for the delusion that the South should have prevailed and an embrace of racist ideology that resulted in a horrific civil war over an issue that the rest of the developed world had already long settled in favor of a general agreement that human slavery is a moral wrong. That we even need to have this discussion about whether this is something that should be celebrated or memorialized is a stain on the collective national conscience.


If they joined the army at least they might have gotten something to eat. The pay (Confederate paper money) was next to nothing and probably just about worthless as well.

I think it’s OK to leave up the statue of Jubilation T. Cornpone in the Dogpatch Town Square. After all, he did make our country great.

On a more serious note:

There’s a blog post (ten years old now) that has a lot of monuments to the soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, over 200,000 of whom served in the Civil War:

It also mentions Freedom Park in Helena, AR to remember some of the many slave refugee camps of the Civil War.

And if you really want a Southerner to commemorate, how about George H. Thomas, Virginian, West Pointer, and Major General, USV & USA?

They weren’t traitors, the atmosphere at Gettysburg was more like a regular group of tourists.

I have no problem with a memorial to local war dead including mention of fallen C.S.A. veterans, or with a simple memorial or plaque that just mentions C.S.A. dead - as long as it doesn’t contain a heroic statue of a Confederate soldier. You want that, move it from the public square to private land.

Statues memorializing Confederate leaders, military or civilian, should be retired to a private museum or such, preferably in storage.

On the subject of battlefield monuments, note that about a quarter of them at Gettysburg are Confederate. While statues honoring Union soldiers started going up not long after the battle, the Southern ones date from the early and mid 20th century in concert with increasing anti-civil rights sentiment, and include monuments glorifying Southern states.

“What are they taking from the Mississippi memorial’s praising its sons for fighting for their “righteous cause”? From the South Carolina memorial’s tribute to their “abiding faith in the sacredness of states rights”?”…

“The Louisiana memorial portrays a muscular, allegorical Spirit of the Confederacy in a balletic leap, sounding a trumpet and holding a flaming cannonball.”

The article notes that since some of these statues were placed by an act of Congress and are considered “historic”, it would take an act of Congress to remove them.

There would probably be general agreement to let the ones honoring Southern regiments stay. To hell with the “allegoric spirit of the Confederacy”.

The South instituted a draft during the Civil War before the North did. Those who were drafted didn’t have a choice.

You know what the Americans did with dead Germans? Buried them with as many honors as could be managed under the circumstance, because once they are dead, they are no longer the enemy. That is what decent humans do in War. The Germans did the same for Americans and British even.

They still had a choice: nobody said that the options were good ones, but they did have a choice.

That said, I fully acknowledge that such ‘choices’ are complex. They were raised to believe that their slave-based economy and culture was every bit as American as the mercantile and industrial North.

Your thoughts are similar to mine. As distasteful as the Confederacy was, I draw a distinction between the occasional memorial to soldiers who died in a civil war and the lionization of figures who led the insurrection against the U.S.

Also, context matters; the statues of Lee, Jackson, et al were erected 20 years after the war’s end and done so to express defiance to the terms of the CSA’s surrender. They represented white terrorism.

That I’m also aware of.

I don’t think that’s what the OP is describing in this particular case, though.

On my father’s side nobody was here yet when the Civil War happened. On my mother’s side there were two that I heard about when I enguired as a ten-year old during the centennial. One lived in the north and paid someone $300 to take his place when he was drafted. The other was in the south and had a hollow log to hide in whenever the press gangs came by, successfully as it turned out.

I’m not familiar with such a burial site. Do you have some identifying information about it so that I can learn more?

The Confederates declared war on the United States and killed American soldiers.

I don’t see that as a cause we should be putting up monuments to in the United States.

Ddi you read those cites?

You are from South Africa, yes? Has your family lived there for a long time? Did they rise up in armed rebellion against Apartheid? Did they rebel against the British Concentration camps of the Boer? And so forth? or did they just go along?