Restricted Confederate Monuments = Low Hanging Fruit

Cycom

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
There are plenty of Medal of Honor recipients who faithfully served our nation and paid the ultimate price. They should be recognized. Times have changed.
Is the MoH not enough? I believe that’s the greatest form of recognition given to service members.

Yes, times have changed. In some ways for the better and in some ways for the worse.
 

CavRTO

Private
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
How about national recognition? How many KIA MOH recipients can you name off the top of your head? Probably not very many. Naming an installation guarantees national recognition. Personally, I don't think Bragg, Hood, Picket, Lee, Benning, Gordon, Rucker, Polk, Maxey, and Pendleton are on the same plane of a MOH recipient and deserve continued national recognition.
 

danny

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Hattiesburg
From another board, but quite pertinent for the under informed.

Most of the comments I read or hear to justify the removal of Confederate monuments & sculptures portray their existence as monuments to slavery, racism, hatred, white supremacy, and any number of foul, contemptible epithets that describe the motivations of the people who supported their creation.

On a whim I checked out the Smithsonian American Art Museum's database of American Civil War related sculptures ( SIRIS ) and found 2664 records. Of these, 2291 could be identified as a memorial or monument with some form of inscription or title which identified the reason for which the sculpture was made. The inscriptions and titles were created by the people who commissioned these things back in the late 1800s and early 1900s; I assume the intention and meaning of their efforts is made clear in the text that they composed.

I was able to dump these records into a couple of spreadsheets and do some string searches on specific keywords or short phrases within the inscriptions that might characterize the purpose and intent of the sculpture. I then counted the number 'hits' found for a particular word or phrase. This is certainly not any type of scientific method here but the 'hit' counts give context to why people were building these things.

For 1557 records of monuments which were built and installed in Union states, the highest hit counts were for :
"Memory" (as in 'In Memory of'): 485 = 31%
"Union" (as in 'Preserve he Union') : 322 = 21%
"Memorial" : 91 = 6%
"Liberty" : 77 = 5%
The word, "Slave" or "Slavery" (as in 'defeat slavery' or 'free the slaves') appeared 16 times (1%)

The South only had 734 records but, similar to the Union numbers, its highest hit count was for
"Memory" : 179 = 24%
"Memorial" : 50 = 7%
"Cause" : 25 (however, there was only 1 hit for the phrase 'Lost Cause') = 3%
"Liberty" : 13 = 2%

By and large, most monument inscriptions - North & South - were written to honor regiments and individuals of the local area (county or city) where they were installed. Their inscriptions do not mention the reasons why they fought, only that many were lost and are honored for their sacrifice - very often there was a roster of the lost.

Both sides lost hundreds of thousands of family members and friends; when the War was over, all that remained was the memory of the lost. Monuments were a way to provide some substance to those memories.

I always find it interesting how so many disregard anything at all, other than slavery as a motivation for Confederate Soldiers. I often ponder what men on both sides of the war would think of the power the Federal branch has evolved into. I'm sure Lincoln would be smiling.

On that same note, I wonder how folks today would react to war coming to their front yard. How righteous, & virtuous would they be...? Having a gun pointed at you, or hearing a bullet go by, is a very unique experience that many people are not capable of comprehending. It's nothing like the fiction on television. There are only two primary reactions. Fight or flight. The majority of people honestly have no idea how they would react until put in that position.

This was the situation many Confederates found themselves in. Troops in their communities. In their yards. The average Southerner in those days, weren't very worldly. Many folks never left the county they were born in. Plenty had lived their whole lives, & never heard a Boston accent. Yankee troops were foreigners to them. Foreigners that were attacking, & pillaging their homes.

Take some of the nonsense we saw last year. How would you react to those mobs coming to your home...? Even in today's world of information...? Regardless of whether or not you agreed with their ideology, most folks would defend their homes, & families. Might sound ridiculous to some folks but, it's reality for a lot of people.

While I can only speak for myself, I can assure you, regardless of your ideology, regardless of your motivations, come to my property with bad intentions, & it's not gonna end well for one of us. EVEN IF, I agree with what you are trying to accomplish in the big picture. A great example of this in my opinion is, Jack Hinson.

My overall point is, I believe it is unfair to paint all Confederates with the modern moral judgement of fighting for slavery. It's much more complicated than that. I hope my point is never proven but, I'm sure that the overwhelming majority of people, faced with similar situations, would choose differently for their own families, than the moral high ground they claim while pointing their virtuous fingers at my ancestors.
 

CavRTO

Private
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
From another board, but quite pertinent for the under informed.

Most of the comments I read or hear to justify the removal of Confederate monuments & sculptures portray their existence as monuments to slavery, racism, hatred, white supremacy, and any number of foul, contemptible epithets that describe the motivations of the people who supported their creation.

On a whim I checked out the Smithsonian American Art Museum's database of American Civil War related sculptures ( SIRIS ) and found 2664 records. Of these, 2291 could be identified as a memorial or monument with some form of inscription or title which identified the reason for which the sculpture was made. The inscriptions and titles were created by the people who commissioned these things back in the late 1800s and early 1900s; I assume the intention and meaning of their efforts is made clear in the text that they composed.

I was able to dump these records into a couple of spreadsheets and do some string searches on specific keywords or short phrases within the inscriptions that might characterize the purpose and intent of the sculpture. I then counted the number 'hits' found for a particular word or phrase. This is certainly not any type of scientific method here but the 'hit' counts give context to why people were building these things.

For 1557 records of monuments which were built and installed in Union states, the highest hit counts were for :
"Memory" (as in 'In Memory of'): 485 = 31%
"Union" (as in 'Preserve he Union') : 322 = 21%
"Memorial" : 91 = 6%
"Liberty" : 77 = 5%
The word, "Slave" or "Slavery" (as in 'defeat slavery' or 'free the slaves') appeared 16 times (1%)

The South only had 734 records but, similar to the Union numbers, its highest hit count was for
"Memory" : 179 = 24%
"Memorial" : 50 = 7%
"Cause" : 25 (however, there was only 1 hit for the phrase 'Lost Cause') = 3%
"Liberty" : 13 = 2%

By and large, most monument inscriptions - North & South - were written to honor regiments and individuals of the local area (county or city) where they were installed. Their inscriptions do not mention the reasons why they fought, only that many were lost and are honored for their sacrifice - very often there was a roster of the lost.

Both sides lost hundreds of thousands of family members and friends; when the War was over, all that remained was the memory of the lost. Monuments were a way to provide some substance to those memories.


I always find it interesting how so many disregard anything at all, other than slavery as a motivation for Confederate Soldiers. I often ponder what men on both sides of the war would think of the power the Federal branch has evolved into. I'm sure Lincoln would be smiling.

On that same note, I wonder how folks today would react to war coming to their front yard. How righteous, & virtuous would they be...? Having a gun pointed at you, or hearing a bullet go by, is a very unique experience that many people are not capable of comprehending. It's nothing like the fiction on television. There are only two primary reactions. Fight or flight. The majority of people honestly have no idea how they would react until put in that position.

This was the situation many Confederates found themselves in. Troops in their communities. In their yards. The average Southerner in those days, weren't very worldly. Many folks never left the county they were born in. Plenty had lived their whole lives, & never heard a Boston accent. Yankee troops were foreigners to them. Foreigners that were attacking, & pillaging their homes.

Take some of the nonsense we saw last year. How would you react to those mobs coming to your home...? Even in today's world of information...? Regardless of whether or not you agreed with their ideology, most folks would defend their homes, & families. Might sound ridiculous to some folks but, it's reality for a lot of people.

While I can only speak for myself, I can assure you, regardless of your ideology, regardless of your motivations, come to my property with bad intentions, & it's not gonna end well for one of us. EVEN IF, I agree with what you are trying to accomplish in the big picture. A great example of this in my opinion is, Jack Hinson.

My overall point is, I believe it is unfair to paint all Confederates with the modern moral judgement of fighting for slavery. It's much more complicated than that. I hope my point is never proven but, I'm sure that the overwhelming majority of people, faced with similar situations, would choose differently for their own families, than the moral high ground they claim while pointing their virtuous fingers at my ancestors.
I understand what your point is concerning monuments, but if you're including federal installations in your response then I think you've reached too far.
 

1950lemans

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
Location
Connecticut
I'll say one thing and that is the Confederate monument situation has caused localities and states to take a closer look at statues and monuments, the names of streets, of schools, of parks and plaques. In my state you wouldn't believe what was found. Down right scary. There's talk about what to do with these places and names. Just saying it's happening everywhere.
Trivia! Here in the USA we just removed a bust of Stalin. But don't worry. Lenin is still looking over us from the West Coast.
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Both terms are rather generic, though.

What kind of “leadership” and what kind of “victories?”
Start with military leaders who won a war in service of the United States, were never enemies of the United States, and go from there.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
To once and for all come to terms with the past and the truth.
Whose truth? The native tribes, the Mexican Americans of the southwest formerly northern Mexico. The American loyalist truth in the war of independence from Britain and so on.
I understand what your saying UB but I don't know if it is possible. The gov't has the right to re name bases and it has been done before, but is it just a futile effort?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
Fact is if one wishes to be offended, far more American figures to be offended by then Confederate.

More slavery existed far longer under US. As well as racism.

More native mistreatment existed far longer under US.

More Hispanic and Asian mistreatment existed under US.

As well as more racism against European ethnicities.

Personally not offended by our history as it's simply what was, and certainly contributed to us being where we are today........
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Whose truth? The native tribes, the Mexican Americans of the southwest formerly northern Mexico. The American loyalist truth in the war of independence from Britain and so on.
I understand what your saying UB but I don't know if it is possible. The gov't has the right to re name bases and it has been done before, but is it just a futile effort?
All of it, truth about every last wart and scar, which I believe is finally struggling to center stage in American history.

And it had better be possible, as it is so important for all of us to truly learn from our past instead of wishing what we would like it to be.
 

CavRTO

Private
Joined
Oct 16, 2021
Strange how those who actually fought the "Rebels" had far more grace and dignity regarding their former enemies than those living 150+ years after the conflict.

Seems almost like they want to re-ignite sectional strife.
They played "the poor victim" card very well.
 

Cycom

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
Start with military leaders who won a war in service of the United States, were never enemies of the United States, and go from there.
See, I don’t think this criteria is valid in this current social climate.

Rename Fort Bragg to Fort Sherman, for example, and watch heads explode. You’ll get a military installation named after a victorious non-traitor, yes, but also one named after a butcher of Native Americans. You’ll have to reconcile that. If not, good lunch finding an individual with no skeletons in the closet.
 
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