A pondering of Confederate Memorials, ‘Lest We Not Forget’ the way the South once was.

 

One hundred and fifty years ago, this week, the South surrendered in the Civil War. Most of Confederate Army returned home to a place in which the culture and lifestyle was vastly different than just 4 years earlier. Many lives were lost in the fight for the Southern cause and the South was no longer the same. In the hard years after the war as the survivors saw their lifestyles change along with an anger for those who did not share the same values. These Southerners longed to remember the lives they had before the way and wanted to hold up the valor, the fight and the true cause for which they believed the Confederate nation went to war for.

To always remember the sacrifice of the soldiers in almost every town in the South there still stands a Confederate memorial. Many of these memorials were erected around the 50th Anniversary of the Civil War, 100 years ago. Since people at that time were remembering and romancing the Civil War, it inspired creating the film The Birth of a Nation and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Many of the actual memorials were placed by the organization the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Though the general concept of the memorials was to honor the sacrifice of the Confederate soldiers, the message that these memorials carry varies widely. Along with the actual physical memorials many states throughout the South celebrated Confederate Memorial Day. The Memorial Day that is now celebrated across the United States in May, was started after the Civil War to memorialize the soldiers on the both sides, the Union and the Confederate.

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The most famous of Confederate Memorials stands in Arlington National Cemetery, this monument was created by a former Confederate soldier who became a world famous sculptor, Moses Ezekiel. The scenes and image that the monument is trying to convince has been interpreted many different ways. Though it is agreed that there are multiple slave-slave owner relationships portrayed on the monument but it’s imagery has been explained as being symbolic of many things. . Individual memorials do not always share that same viewpoint. The memorials shared with this article are a very small portion of the possible thousands of monuments across the United States to the Confederate soldiers.

Confederate Memorial in Eastman, Ga; where the Confederate flag also still flies in front of the Dodge County Courthouse.

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One side of the Confederate Memorial in Eastman, Ga.

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“No Nation Rose So Pure and White; None Ever Fell So Spotless.” Confederate Memorial, Eastman Ga

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According to this monument it would appear the Confederate cause atleast was still very much alive in 1925.

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Confederate Memorial in Abbeville, GA

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Southern Ladies of the past and present (Special thanks to the ladies in this picture, taken at Natural Bridge Monument)

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Preserving the memory of the past and respected those that have fallen is an important legacy for our history. The good and bad parts of the history of our nation should be shared so that people have a better idea of the past that created the United States and its people today. Preserving the history of all the people that made up the history of the South is important. Texas Senator Rodney Ellis, puts it “As opposed to me putting energy into trying to take those Confederate monuments down, I advocate that we be more representative and be more accurate in terms of presenting our history,” he said.

As we remember the anniversary of the end of the Civil War, we as a nation should think of how far we have come to be united and to seek equality for all. For, ‘Lest we not forget’ the way the South once was.

 

References and Links:

(Confederate Memorial, Arlington Cemetery; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Confederate_Monument_-_E_frieze_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011.JPG)

(Ellis, http://www.texasobserver.org/hidden-confederate-history-texas-capitol-unofficial-guide/)

http://www.civilwar.org

http://www.civil-war.net/

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore-the-Cemetery/Monuments-and-Memorials/Confederate-Memorial

https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Natural-Bridge

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Written by Southern Gestalt

Exploring Southern culture, history and travel.

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