Saturday, 20 May 2017

Examples of Sponsorship of Civil War Statues/Memorials

I spent two hours looking over the topic this week.  Few people ever grasp who paid or sponsored the placement of Civil War statues/memorials.  Examples:

- The Ozark, Alabama Confederate Memorial....paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy group.  Finished in 1910.

- The Phoenix, AZ Confederate Soldiers Memorial....paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Finished in 1999.

- The Caddo Parish Memorial....paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy group.  Finished in 1906.

- The Sam Davis Memorial in Pulaski, Tenn (I've actually been to this one).  You won't find it on Goggle maps.  It was paid for by the local Sam Davis-supporters.

- The Stonewall Jackson statue in Charleston, WV....paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  Erected in 1910.

Generally, if you go down through the bits and pieces, it's roughly twenty to fifty years after the war ended that the majority of these statues went up.  For some reason, in the period of 1900 to 1915....there is an upswing, which I think is due to the 40th and 50th anniversary period.  Some of the statues rests in federal parks (Arlington Cemetery for example).

A complete listing of all of these?  Based on my reading, and my general background of the topic....I'd say that what is listed over the internet is maybe fifty-percent of the actual number.  In most counties of both Alabama and Mississippi....you will find a minimum of one to two statues/memorials.  If someone did an absolute complete listing....to include all fifty states....I suspect it'd get fairly close to 2,500 statues and memorials.

Civil War Memorials and Evolution

For a number of months, I've been watching various efforts unfold in the south that revolved around the dismantling or removal of Civil War memorials honoring southern figures.

For those who don't think much about it or read up on the topic....the vast number of statues erected in the south up until 1865....would probably total less than a dozen statues.  From 1865 to the 1915 era, you can probably count around 150-odd statues and at least 600 memorials (not exactly a statue), which will prominently cover either southern generals or politicians.....or some generic CSA soldier. The odd thing about all these statues erected is that they were generally paid for by private donations or the efforts of a few private citizens.  It's almost impossible to find a statue that was paid in some fashion by a state government or city.

The background on the property?  Most cities gave an internal vote and allowed a foundation group to erect a statue on public property (usually near a court-house or in a city park).

The erection of most of these Civil War statues came to a conclusion after WW I.  You might find a few that were put into place....but the massive bulk of all of these were prior to the 1920 era.

Taking them down?  If they are on public property....a simple vote can bring them down, but the statues in my humble opinion would have to be turned over to the group who sponsored them in the first place.  My guess is that they'd take the statue....find private land in the region and put them up again. Public anger would be triggered but to think getting rid of the statue fixes everything....would be a joke.

We are at some crossroads on erecting statues.  My suggestion would be that we need to just stop putting up any statues of people because you'd come back to some evolutionary period in the future where you'd have to remove some statue of a guy from the 1970s for some oddball reason.

So, we need to aim for statues mostly of dogs, horses, cattle, and such.  Generally, a horse statue never gets anyone upset and you can't blame much onto a horse.  Same for dogs as well.

As for Stone Mountain, Georgia?  Well, that's going to be an interesting case.  Eventually, twenty years down the line....it'll be a major political topic and involve half the state in some effort to dismantle all of Stone Mountain's carving.  If you think politics is heated now....just wait on the Stone Mountain episode to occur.