Restricted Is there a possibility that all Confederate Statues and Monuments will be removed from Gettysburg

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
I have been reading some recent articles that there are persons wanting all Confederate statues and memorials removed from Battlefield of Gettysburg. Do any of you who go there a lot know the truth on this? Also how do members of this forum feel if all statues and memorials to Confederates are removed from Gettysburg and other Federal Parks? I would think that even for the strongest advocates of removal in public places, and cities would not want this. What is the purpose of the Battlefield if these are removed? They will then be after the Union ones. They might as well close the parks for good. It seems they just want to erase the history of the Civil War.

It is just hard to believe that it has come to this. What will be left of America's history.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
I have been reading some recent articles that there are persons wanting all Confederate statues and memorials removed from Battlefield of Gettysburg. Do any of you who go there a lot know the truth on this? Also how do members of this forum feel if all statues and memorials to Confederates are removed from Gettysburg and other Federal Parks? I would think that even for the strongest advocates of removal in public places, and cities would not want this. What is the purpose of the Battlefield if these are removed? They will then be after the Union ones. They might as well close the parks for good. It seems they just want to erase the history of the Civil War.

It is just hard to believe that it has come to this. What will be left of America's history.
It could happen. Our National Park system is something all our citizens should cherish. I would be saddened if it happens even resentful if our political leaders were to do this. Slavery is evil our country is not.
 

Booklady

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New England
I don't think these discussions about concerns for monuments show up on the home page. (I could well be wrong.) Perhaps someone who follows this forum and also knows of members with ties and expertise about GNMP could tag them and ask for more information and insight. Maybe?
 

dlofting

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I've always said that all the monuments in cemeteries and battlefields should remain. Those in cemeteries mark graves or remind us of the deaths of soldiers whose remains were never recovered. Those on battlefields generally mark historic positions or remind us of the units who fought there, regardless of side.

They also serve as unofficial guides to the battlefield and often represent a moment in time, during the battle. They are very helpful for people like myself who don't visit the battlefields very often....in fact they are in their own way, "tourist attractions" that help to keep the National Parks and Monuments financially viable.
 

John Winn

Major
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Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
I really doubt such would happen for a number of reasons. The park is federal land and it would take an act of Congress to remove the monuments as they are protected under the Antiquities Act. Also, battlefield parks are, essentially, outdoor museums and, while I wouldn't be surprised if some of the radicals called for closing museums, I just don't think such could get passed in Congress (even if we have a regime change). I do think the overwhelming majority of the voting populace would draw the line on removal of monuments in a battlefield park. Also, for a place like Gettysburg, the park is the main source of income and I doubt very much that the governor or Pennsylvania - or it's senators and representatives - would sell out the town (and probably several counties) for some radical agenda proposed by people who likely don't even live in Pennsylvania and wouldn't visit Gettysburg.

Should I be wrong and a future Congress votes to amend the Antiquities Act so as to remove Confederate monuments in federal parks then we're really lost as a country and I could foresee actual armed resistance.
 

rebracer

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Jan 29, 2014
Location
Southern Louisiana
I consider this an issue that is completely non-negotiable, this were these men died and many others had their lives changed forever. Can nothing be left alone? If it was acceptable to the men on the union side (most of them anyway) who actually fought against the Confederate Soldiers (Confedreate soldiers who were pardoned by the Federal government) for their foes to have a few monuments in a sea of US memorials, then it should be more than ok with the modern day street "scholars" who can't even identify the years when the war took place or what Gettysburg even is.

I'm sure this will be somehow refuted by the posters who think we are waiting on their moral judgements on people 150 years ago to post something about "slavery".
 

huskerblitz

Major
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Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
From the web site https://www.nps.gov/gett/learn/historyculture/confederate-monuments.htm

Confederate Monuments

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects, and interprets one of the best marked battlefields in the world. Over 1,325 monuments, markers, and plaques, commemorate and memorialize the men who fought and died during the Battle of Gettysburg and continue to reflect how that battle has been remembered by different generations of Americans.

Many of these memorials honor southern states whose men served in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th century, are an important part of the cultural landscape.

Across the country, the National Park Service maintains and interprets monuments, markers, and plaques that commemorate and memorialize those who fought during the Civil War. These memorials represent an important, if controversial, chapter in our Nation’s history. The National Park Service is committed to preserving these memorials while simultaneously educating visitors holistically about the actions, motivations, and causes of the soldiers and states they commemorate. A hallmark of American progress is our ability to learn from our history.

Many commemorative works, including monuments and markers, were specifically authorized by Congress. In other cases, a monument may have preceded the establishment of a park, and thus could be considered a protected park resource and value. In either of these situations, legislation could be required to remove the monument, and the NPS may need to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act before removing a statue/memorial.

Still other monuments, while lacking legislative authorization, may have existed in parks long enough to qualify as historic features. A key aspect of their historical interest is that they reflect the knowledge, attitudes, and tastes of the people who designed and placed them. Unless directed by legislation, it is the policy of the National Park Service that these works and their inscriptions will not be altered, relocated, obscured, or removed, even when they are deemed inaccurate or incompatible with prevailing present-day values. The Director of the National Park Service may make an exception to this policy.

The NPS will continue to provide historical context and interpretation for all of our sites and monuments in order to reflect a fuller view of past events and the values under which they occurred.

Confederate Flags

In a June 25, 2015 statement, then National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said, “We strive to tell the complete story of America. All sales items in parks are evaluated based on educational value and their connection to the park. Any stand-alone depictions of Confederate flags have no place in park stores.”

Jarvis said the murders of nine church members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which is near Fort Sumter National Monument, galvanized a national discussion that includes symbols and relics from our nation’s past such as the Confederate Battle Flag.

“As that discussion spread across the country,” Jarvis said, “one of our largest cooperating associations, Eastern National, began to voluntarily remove from the park stores that it manages any items that depict a Confederate flag as its primary feature. I’ve asked other cooperating associations, partners and concession providers to withdraw from sale items that solely depict a Confederate flag.”

This affected 11 out of 2,600 items in the bookstore at Gettysburg National Military Park’s Museum and Visitor Center.

In the telling of the historical story, Confederate flags have a place in books, exhibits, reenactments, and interpretive programs. Books, DVDs, and other educational and interpretive media where the Confederate flag image is depicted in its historical context may remain as sales items as long as the image cannot be physically detached. Confederate flags include the Stainless Banner, the Third National Confederate Flag, and the Confederate Battle Flag.
Last updated: July 6, 2020
 

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
I posted this a couple of weeks ago. There seemed to be some assurances of Confederate monuments being safeguarded there. Whether those assurances will remain plausible is anybody's guess.

Yes, I agree with you on the "assurances."

I have seen members of this very forum who have endorsed the destruction and removals so far claim they would defend Confederate monuments on Civil War Battlefields. None have not yet participated in this thread.
 
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rebracer

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Location
Southern Louisiana
From the web site https://www.nps.gov/gett/learn/historyculture/confederate-monuments.htm

Confederate Monuments

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects, and interprets one of the best marked battlefields in the world. Over 1,325 monuments, markers, and plaques, commemorate and memorialize the men who fought and died during the Battle of Gettysburg and continue to reflect how that battle has been remembered by different generations of Americans.

Many of these memorials honor southern states whose men served in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th century, are an important part of the cultural landscape.

Across the country, the National Park Service maintains and interprets monuments, markers, and plaques that commemorate and memorialize those who fought during the Civil War. These memorials represent an important, if controversial, chapter in our Nation’s history. The National Park Service is committed to preserving these memorials while simultaneously educating visitors holistically about the actions, motivations, and causes of the soldiers and states they commemorate. A hallmark of American progress is our ability to learn from our history.

Many commemorative works, including monuments and markers, were specifically authorized by Congress. In other cases, a monument may have preceded the establishment of a park, and thus could be considered a protected park resource and value. In either of these situations, legislation could be required to remove the monument, and the NPS may need to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act before removing a statue/memorial.

Still other monuments, while lacking legislative authorization, may have existed in parks long enough to qualify as historic features. A key aspect of their historical interest is that they reflect the knowledge, attitudes, and tastes of the people who designed and placed them. Unless directed by legislation, it is the policy of the National Park Service that these works and their inscriptions will not be altered, relocated, obscured, or removed, even when they are deemed inaccurate or incompatible with prevailing present-day values. The Director of the National Park Service may make an exception to this policy.

The NPS will continue to provide historical context and interpretation for all of our sites and monuments in order to reflect a fuller view of past events and the values under which they occurred.

Confederate Flags

In a June 25, 2015 statement, then National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said, “We strive to tell the complete story of America. All sales items in parks are evaluated based on educational value and their connection to the park. Any stand-alone depictions of Confederate flags have no place in park stores.”

Jarvis said the murders of nine church members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which is near Fort Sumter National Monument, galvanized a national discussion that includes symbols and relics from our nation’s past such as the Confederate Battle Flag.

“As that discussion spread across the country,” Jarvis said, “one of our largest cooperating associations, Eastern National, began to voluntarily remove from the park stores that it manages any items that depict a Confederate flag as its primary feature. I’ve asked other cooperating associations, partners and concession providers to withdraw from sale items that solely depict a Confederate flag.”

This affected 11 out of 2,600 items in the bookstore at Gettysburg National Military Park’s Museum and Visitor Center.

In the telling of the historical story, Confederate flags have a place in books, exhibits, reenactments, and interpretive programs. Books, DVDs, and other educational and interpretive media where the Confederate flag image is depicted in its historical context may remain as sales items as long as the image cannot be physically detached. Confederate flags include the Stainless Banner, the Third National Confederate Flag, and the Confederate Battle Flag.
Last updated: July 6, 2020
Thank you for posting Sir, that provides a good bit of information.
 

luinrina

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Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
I seriously hope they'll at least leave the monuments on battlefields alone - both Confederate and Union.

That may sound ignorant but do you Americans have the option to petition a government decision? Like in case the government does decide to take down the monuments on battlefields, could the people petition that decision? And could foreigners participate in such a petition or would that be restricted to Americans only? I was thinking that we at CWT could start one if it ever came down to the government deciding to remove monuments from the battlefields. And I hope this is not straying too far into modern politics...
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
I've seen a report on Breitbart news today which I was shocked to see, but which also provides more information on what was said in relation to this issue.

I can only say I'm glad I got to tour the battlefield in 2018, see the amazing monuments reflecting the story of the battle that took place there, and will always count my favourites as the monuments for Mississippi and Louisiana. They are incredible sculptures. I stood on Little Round Top and enjoyed the view, took a photo for a family who were amazed we had travelled so far to see the battlefield, and tried to take in as much as I could of the Guide's meanderings about the battle.

I also walked away with some souvenirs in a bag designed with both Union and Confederate flags emblazoned on it. We had travelled from Washington D.C. to visit the park and as I walked through Union Station on our return, I suddenly had a concern around the symbolism of the Confederate Battle flag on the bag. I immediately dismissed the thought. Two armies fought that day. Both should be remembered.

And monuments are a wonderful way to do that. Not only in commemorating the battle, but also in commemorating the dead.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Are there people who want to remove Confederate monuments and memorials from all battlefields? Yes. Some of them would probably take down the Union ones too.

Will they be removed by the government? The NPS ahows no inclination to do so, and even if they did I think it's safe to say they would lack endorsement from Congress or the President. The statue moderates certainly have no interest in removing them, only the radicals.

Will they be damaged or destroyed by mobs? The Eternal Peace Light Monument at Gettysburg and non-monument historic structures at other national parks are periodically defaced for apolitical reasons. Hopefully the park has been in contact with local and state law enforcement agencies to temporarily increase security patrols.
 

lelliott19

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The statue moderates certainly have no interest in removing them, only the radicals.
I posted this a couple of weeks ago. There seemed to be some assurances of Confederate monuments being safeguarded there. Whether those assurances will remain plausible is anybody's guess.

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Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
Thanks for posting that. (I guess.🙁) I had not heard of Kevin Levin before so I did some googling and came across this: http://cwmemory.com/2020/07/11/gettysburgs-confederate-monument-challenge/
There is a great deal of hatred for GNMP's Confederate monuments expressed in some of the comments. I don't understand the level of animosity, myself.

I hope Gettysburg and more broadly the NPS throughout the country is able to stand fast on preserving battlefields, monuments, cemeteries under their control, and even the natural parks that their director seems to feel are racist in some way. The next few months may be telling. I can only be thankful I got to see GNMP with monuments intact in 2017. The Mississippi monument and the view of the battlefield from it were among my favorite things.

I never got to Richmond but I would like to have had the chance to see the monuments there and I am sure I'm not the only Northerner to feel that way. People who do not like statues are free not to look at them, just like people who don't like TV programs that fill up our channels are free to turn off the tv and look elsewhere. All of us are offended by something; few of us demand the censorship and removal of those things from everyone's view.
 
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central NC
I think there has always been some discord about monuments to Confederates being placed on the battlefield at Gettysburg. I was actually surprised to learn this, but there were certainly some Americans who fought at Gettysburg who did not want them there.

T. D. Cunningham, who had served in the 56th Pennsylvania: “Simply mark the Rebel lines of battle in the Gettysburg fight – But not one word of commiseration – not once sentence in praise of heroic deeds done in a bad cause.”

J. L. Shook, writing from G.A.R. Post 88 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania: “We are heartily in favor of marking the Rebel lines but we want the Government to do that work not Rebels. You know that they do not care for History when they erect their monuments it is to honor their dead and vaunt their Rebellious acts. We don’t propose to have that.”

A. W. Fenton, who served in the 6th Ohio Cavalry, sympathized with the Confederate soldiers who fought bravely and could accept marking the positions held by their regiments, brigades and divisions, but said: “but I trust that we shall never see a Confederate monument ever along their line.”

And then you had Joshua Chamberlain (in response to P. Nicholas, Aug. 14, 1903 on the proposal to place a monument to the 15th Alabama on Vincent’s Spur) who said: “I should feel no objection to the erection of a monument to the honor of a regiment that pushed its way so far around the flank of the Union line and made so gallant an attack; but I should expect it placed on ground where it actually stood at some time during the battle, – at the extreme point of its advance, if desired, – so that it might not only represent the valor of a regiment but the truth of its history.”

With that said, I sincerely hope the monuments remain at Gettysburg. Park officials have announced that the Confederate monuments will remain in place. Right now, I am taking them at their word.


Source: D. Scott Hartwig’s paper on the High Water Mark Monument, 2010.
 

lelliott19

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There is a great deal of hatred for GNMP's Confederate monuments expressed in some of the comments. I don't understand the level of animosity, myself.
Me either. Unless your goal is to eliminate National Parks all together, it seems pretty senseless to go to a battlefield and stand there staring at only the Union monuments. Seems to diminish what actually happened there. I guess when the Confederate monuments are gone there will be no need to closely examine the tactics employed or the maneuvers executed or the casualties or anything else that makes a battlefield "something to see" --- I guess the goal is for people to just ride by in their car and say "Wow look at that will you. The Union army fought here and some guys died." See, to me, removing confederate markers from the battlefield not only diminishes the presence and involvement of the Confederates, it seriously diminishes the presence and actions of the Union army. Its much more impressive to be able to see where the guys were that were firing away at each other, than to just stand there and see where the union lines were - with no context. I just dont get it.
 
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central NC
Me either. Unless your goal is to eliminate National Parks all together, it seems pretty senseless to go to a battlefield and stand there staring at only the Union monuments. Seems to diminish what actually happened there. I guess when the Confederate monuments are gone there will be no need to closely examine the tactics employed or the maneuvers executed or the casualties or anything else that makes a battlefield "something to see" --- I guess the goal is for people to just ride by in their car and say "Wow look at that will you. The Union army fought here and some guys died." See, to me, removing confederate markers from the battlefield not only diminishes the presence and involvement of the Confederates, it seriously diminishes the presence and actions of the Union army. Its much more impressive to be able to see where the guys were that were firing away at each other, than to just stand there and see where the union lines were - with no context. I just dont get it.

Exactly. It would be like there was only one side fighting - like a training exercise. Ridiculous!
 
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