Restricted When Monuments Gets Its History Wrong - Let's Discuss

NH Civil War Gal

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This article asks some hard questions and raises some issues that are well-worth discussing and talking about.

The ongoing controversies that surround all Confederate monuments these days cloud another fundamental question specific to the Lee statue: what do you do about a monument that’s factually wrong?

As it happened, I pondered this same question this week when I visited the site of the upper pontoon crossing in Fredericksburg.
<photo removed for copyright concerns>
The Upper Pontoon Crossing at Fredericksburg, where the UDC monument hunkers under boxwood trees

On December 11, 1862—158 years ago today—the Army of the Potomac bridged the river under fire and fought their way into the city, establishing a presence in Fredericksburg and setting the stage for a major battle on December 13. A bolder with a handsome bas relief plaque commemorates the crossing of the 7th Michigan as part of the initial Federal force. Nearby, a squat granite marker placed by the United Daughter of the Confederacy also commemorates the event.

But the U.D.C. monument gets the story wrong.
 
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PapaReb

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But the U.D.C. monument gets the story wrong.
So the inaccuracies are that they got the dates incorrect (to some extent)....I would imagine that to most observers that would never be noticed. Incorrect, yes, does if obfuscate the reason for the memorial or is this just pointed out in the article to to take a jab at the UDC? Not being argumentative, just wondering about the motives of the article.

I would imagine that one could find numerous inaccuracies on monuments from both sides of the War, but the question is, are the inaccuracies enough to render the monument/memorial worthy of removal?
 
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NH Civil War Gal

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So the inaccuracies are that they got the dates incorrect (to some extent)....I would imagine that to most observers that would never be noticed. Incorrect, yes, does if obfuscate the reason for the memorial or is this just pointed out in the article to to take a jab at the UDC? Not being argumentative, just wondering about the motives of the article.

I would imagine that one could find numerous inaccuracies on monuments from both sides of the War, but the question is, are the inaccuracies enough to render the monument/memorial worthy of removal?

Well, I think it's about more than dates if you read through the whole thing. Like I didn't know Lee had his wrists broken before Antietam so that he needed to be in a wagon or in Fredericksburg where Jackson and Lee didn't plan their strategy on the street corner. I'm not worried about something being off by a day or two. I do want accuracy on when and wear events happened.

I can't speak for the motives of the article and I'm not sure we should always assume the worst. I think it makes a good point about when monuments are wrong or at least partially wrong or give the wrong impression about something. Does it also mean they need to be removed? Not necessarily - but sometimes things need to be corrected.

I certainly didn't know about the 72nd was "tardy" in going into battle at Gettysburg and this occured: "In actuality, the 72nd initially refused to advance into the fray, so when they wanted to erect their monument after the war, the Gettysburg Battlefield Monument Commission placed in 70 yards to the rear. In retaliation, veterans of the unit bought a tiny plot of land just outside the then-boundary of the park and erected their monument in spite, and when later offered the chance to move it into the park, they refused. The location of their monument tells an inaccurate story, one reinforced dramatic by the dramatic statue that crowns the piece."

I've seen that monument in person and I had no idea they weren't as brave and fearsome as the monument depicted. I'm glad (and sad) to have that impression corrected. Probably by the next time I go back down there, I'll have a laugh when I see it again and can tell my daughter the truth about it. It was the media of the day, in a way, and I can correct that impression at least.
 
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