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"Arlington’s Confederate Memorial Should Go, Commission Says" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian13 Sep 2022 10:35 p.m. PST

The 1914 monument "is problematic from top to bottom," the Naming Commission's vice chair said.

Defense One: link

55th Division14 Sep 2022 4:27 a.m. PST

i have a ptoblem with this iits a memonument to the dead it should stay otherwise we should remove the german cemetaries to the fallen in both world wars iwould object to a nmonument to theSS but the ran and fie soldiers should be remembered

42flanker14 Sep 2022 5:11 a.m. PST

The monument also includes a Latin quote that portrays the South's position during the war as a "noble" cause, according to Arlington National Cemetery, using a common phrase of the revisionist "Lost Cause" movement of the early 20th century.

The inscription reads:

"Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni." (Lucan, Pharsalia, 1, 128)

- which could perhaps cause offense to all those passers-by fluent in Latin but I'm not even sure what it means in English.("The victorious cause was pleasing to the gods, but the conquered [cause] to Cato")
I gather the verse is a coded reference to the civil wars that presaged the end of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Caesars, apparently nodding to those who remain consistent with their values even when destiny goes against them.
Cato, of course, had the grace to fall on his sword (How does one do that?).

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 5:18 a.m. PST

I have a problem with " noble cause". The reality of history is tough for some to take as we uncancel the truth and correct the Lost Cause narrative. So leave the monument and put a plaque there explaining the whole story. Which includes respecting the rank and file buried there.

LongshotGC Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 5:50 a.m. PST

@Tortorella +1

Wackmole914 Sep 2022 6:08 a.m. PST

And next it will be monuments on battlefields It will never end until all history is purged.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 6:23 a.m. PST

In France, on November 11th, village mayors read out the names of the fallen from their village in wars from 1914 on. Of course, in Alsace and Lorraine, many of them died in German uniforms. But the villages are French now, and their ancestral dead remembered regardless.

Someone want to explain to me why we can't be at least as civilized about this as the French?

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 6:26 a.m. PST

I did say this was coming about a month ago in TMP. It is all a matter of time. As I keep quoting:

"Doin right, ain't got no end."
Captain Terrill

These people have his attitude in spades. ♠️

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 8:36 a.m. PST

Wackamole, I have been to Gettysburg many times and some of the monuments and their inscriptions there could use a little context. The Lost Cause narrative purged a lot of history that people did not like hearing. It glossed over much of the truth for so long that we forgot it.

The South Carolina monument reads something like "So men of honor will know the responsibilities of freedom." I do not want this torn down. But we could acknowledge the irony.

We were cancelling history before anyone ever heard of cancel culture. And the cancellation itself is now part of our history, studied and analyzed. It is not new.

doc mcb14 Sep 2022 8:44 a.m. PST

Sentiments like on the SC monument were sincerely meant and not entirely wrong. The war was not JUST about slavery. How is defending one's home not a noble cause?

Decatur toasted "My country right or wrong." Which Chesterton said was like saying "My mother, drunk or sober."

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 8:46 a.m. PST

Let the dead RIP … whoever they are. If anything put historical markers giving a little history lesson and context, etc. We must remember the good, the bad & the ugly of history for obvious reasons, the woke folk, "enlightened", intellectual, academics socialists, progressives, etc., be Bleeped text

Someone want to explain to me why we can't be at least as civilized about this as the French?
They don't have the very vocal minority of the types I have listed above. Who wield much more power in the USA than they should. Again, weak leadership from the top down. Including the Pentagon top leaders. Allows some of this to happen or even supports it.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 8:58 a.m. PST

Docmcb said, in part:

"Decatur toasted "My country right or wrong." Which
Chesterton said was like saying "My mother, drunk or sober."

Of course Chesterton was British so probably never knew
or cared that Decatur's Toast was amended by an immigrant
German, Carl Shurz, who became a General in the Union Army.

Decatur's Toast in full: "To our country: in her
intercourse with Foreign nations may she always be in the
right, and successful, right or wrong."

Carl Schurz was elected to the Senate 1n 1868. Five years
later a fellow Senator accused him of working to undermine
the country, saying that Shurz should adhere to "My
country, right or wrong"

Schurz replied that he did, saying "My country, right or
wrong: if right, to be kept right. If wrong, to be put

BTW, as the adult child of an abusive alcoholic mother I
wish I could confront old GK…

donlowry14 Sep 2022 9:15 a.m. PST

representing the states that joined the Confederacy as well as Maryland, which remained neutral.

only 11 states joined the Confederacy. Factions claiming to represent Missouri and Kentucky were also admitted, but those states' legal governments stayed loyal to the Union. Maryland was fought over, politically and militarily, but it was never neutral! (Kentucky was, or tried to be, for a while, until the Confederates stupidly invaded her.)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 9:30 a.m. PST

I think removing the noble cause thing and something that put this in context is appropriate but I can see why people would not like this kind of a monument – as the linear descendant of a Union infantryman who limped to his dying day because of the Confederate Minie in his leg, I would not object to removing the monument

Choctaw14 Sep 2022 9:59 a.m. PST

I find many things objectionable but also understand there isn't a right not to be offended. Woke is alive and well here and across the land. Eradicating history because it hurts your feelings is as ridiculous as it is alarming. And I'm a minority and have experienced racism first hand but somehow I have survived and prospered. Good gosh we're becoming a weak people as Americans.

Wackmole914 Sep 2022 10:18 a.m. PST

Frederick but Union veterans like your ancestor, did forgive.
but now we are allow a small minority, who don't care for our history to purge it. They will come for the Union monuments too as they were place by people who allow jim Crow laws and bigotry to continue.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 11:00 a.m. PST

Choctaw, some people in the South eradicated history beginning more than 100 years ago because it hurt their feelings, and some still do.

And they also left us a valuable lesson about not going overboard, which they did in their rewriting of their history and ours so long ago. We do not want to make that mistake again today.

Doc, maybe every visitor to the SC monument should also get to read the SC articles of secession and then make their own decision about the monument's meaning.

But really I would rather these monuments just be about soldiers who did what they had to do. The rank and file of both sides deserve respect. Caught up in the upheaval of apivotal era. A sad time.

Bill N14 Sep 2022 11:02 a.m. PST

When do we take a sledge hammer to Philip Sheridan's grave for his involvement in the post ACW Indian Wars?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 11:17 a.m. PST

Agree with the sentiment, Bill N, but if he has a monument we should put a plaque there and leave graves out of all this,IMO

dapeters14 Sep 2022 11:54 a.m. PST

I don't think the dead care. So all we have left is the living. We don't need to inspire kids by giving them the delusions, rationales and lies of the past.

There is no common good in continuing their propaganda so many years after the fact.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 12:25 p.m. PST

Can't they just change the plaque on these monuments?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

Not always…carved in stone many times. No the dead don't care, but monuments are far more intrusive, I think, harder to ignore. We will never agree entirely on who deserves a monument and who does not. And cancel culture and blamer culture are not new. If we can agree on some facts around our heroes we can put them out there and let people decide on their own.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 4:49 p.m. PST

The official Army version of its history, meaning, and context:

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 5:38 p.m. PST

Just Sayin…
In Britain, there have been some few instances of Prehistoric Standing Stones, etc. having been toppled, broken up or even buried… by enthusiastic Clergy over the centuries.
Removal of objects of possible 'Pagan' significance? 'Inclusion' of local Flock in an endeavour?
Just 'think sideways' a bit… yeah, 'Quite a bit', but…

NOW seen as reprehensible destruction… but may have seemed a 'Good Idea at the Time'.

And… there is also the damage / destructon / desecration of tombs and Churches in ECW or earlier… by those who may have considered themselves 'Right' to do so.

I have 'heard' that even Hitler gave instructions that War Memorials should, if possible… be respected.

Sad World just goes on.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 5:42 p.m. PST

Choctaw +1

now we are allow a small minority, who don't care for our history to purge it.
So very true … the tail is wagging the dog. And this very vocal minority is like something out of 1984.

We don't need to inspire kids by giving them the delusions, rationales and lies of the past.
We have to put this all-in context with the individual, event and the era it occurred. I'm still a fan of accurate history markers next the statue, etc.

The official Army version of its history, meaning, and context:
That sounded fairly reasonable …

HMS Exeter14 Sep 2022 8:04 p.m. PST

Here's an idea. On our income tax forms we are offered an opportunity to donate $1 USD to the Presidential Election fund. It's diverted from our tax obligation. It's not more money from our pocket.

What say we have a new option added. We are offered an option to donate $25 USD against the costs to remove Confederate memorials, rename bases and ships, replace signage, issue replacement print materials, update websites and so on.

If nothing else we'd get a clear understanding of how many people are adequately motivated on this to put their money where their mouths are.

Then we can try to figure out how much it'd cost to rehabilitate Virginia Rte 11.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 8:48 p.m. PST

The Taliban destroyed an ancient Buddha statue in Afghanistan because they were offended. Even as a conservative Christian I think this was a crime against humanity.
The people who want the Confederate statues torn down have never stopped with Confederate statues, they are just the low hanging fruit. Such people have torn down statues of Saints, statues of Lincoln, Washington, Columbus and many others. Their goal is not to "correct" historical error, their goal is to destroy Western culture.
BLM is an avowed Marxist group and many of these other groups are similar.
Leave the statues alone. Teach accurate history in school and quit destroying our statues. Put up your own statue if you don't like the one there. But communists only bring destruction.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

Zephyr114 Sep 2022 9:57 p.m. PST

Erase the past, and people won't remember the better times before the Hell they're being led into…

" But communists only bring destruction."

They can't even be called 'communists', because they can't get past being Nechayev-ists (who believed everything must be destroyed first, and then the "worker's paradise" would spontaneously come into being.)

And who knew "Eve of Destruction" would be so prescient:

notes You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace notes

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 5:37 a.m. PST

As I keep saying, I never meet any Marxists. Used to see a couple guys in MAGA hats at the coffee shop but not now. The US population is flatlining. IMO most of us are in the middle, holding on. We still like a lot of statues, take care of our neighbors, salute the flag. We did not attack the Capitol or call people deplorable.

The world is changing but not ending. Is there some other nation doing so much better than us that proves we are failing? We have survived worse inflation, gas rationing, radical politics, pandemics before. We are not losing our history, it will survive radical revision as it finally did the last time the truth was buried under the Lost Cause, or the radicalism of the 1960s. Truth has a way of uncancelling itself.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 5:48 a.m. PST

@HMS Exeter. Interesting idea. The skeptic in me says most of the offended, don't pay taxes, so it would not accomplish much though.

But it shouldn't be necessary. We had rioters and college students doing this for all of us. Destroying and defacing monuments, (not just Confederate), all over the US. From 2016 to a little after 2020.

🤔 But suddenly it stopped.

Now the skeptic in me asks why did they stop? Did the police magically stop shooting "unarmed blacks"? Did they suddenly all become racially sensitive?
Were those riots not quite as spontaneous as everybody wanted us to believe? Were their certain individuals paying organizers to instigate those "protests"? A certain man with an "S" in his last name comes to mind. Did the shootings not stop, but the willing mainstream media just stopped covering them, thus egging them on? Could their coverage have everything to do with what party is in power.

🤔Nahhhh, that can't be it. probably just my skeptical mind at work again.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 7:53 a.m. PST

FWIW had the same article :


My solution is still put a historical marker next to the statue, etc., and explain who, what, when, how, etc. From an unbiased historical POV.

But it seems the vocal minority of woke, CRT, equity, inclusion, diversity, etc. zealots won't be satisfied unit some of our history is erased, changed, etc. The
DOD even has an position at the Pentagon that is for woke, CRT, pronouns, etc., instruction. This is very divisive, not team building. Again, all time wasted on this type of "training" is taking away from time spent on warfighter skills and training. They are called the Armed Forces for a reason.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 8:18 a.m. PST

As I said in a previous TMP post, how long until they demand the Confederate dead be dug up and Discarded?

"When Cary McCormick visited Arlington National Cemetery a decade ago for the funeral of her grandmother, she and several relatives made a stop afterward to another part of the grounds: Section 16, home to 482 graves of Confederate soldiers."

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 8:39 a.m. PST

I hope that won't happen … are these woke, CRT, etc., zealots that deranged to dig up the dead ?

donlowry15 Sep 2022 9:05 a.m. PST

but Union veterans like your ancestor, did forgive.

There is a big difference between forgiving and honoring!

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 9:05 a.m. PST

Well of course they won't do it themselves! That would be Manual labor! The mere thought …… arghhhhh!!! 🤣😂

No they will use taxpayer dollars to have them dug up. 😉

dapeters15 Sep 2022 11:54 a.m. PST

LOL we only dig up POCs.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian15 Sep 2022 5:15 p.m. PST

If we have a level of respect for those who fought it seems worthwhile to consider what they thought.

When the issue of erecting a monument to Jackson came up, Lee wrote –

"As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; [and] of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour."

When Lee was invited to participate in the placement of monuments at Gettysburg, Lee wrote –

"I think it wiser, not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered."

"Oblivion" is a pretty clear and direct word.

As someone who read Freemans 4 volume bio of Lee in high school I have to conclude that if you respect any qualities in Lee, why ignore his clear personal opinions on monuments?

I would also suggest the one should consider the circumstances in place as to when and why a monument was put up or a school named after a CSA general. Many monuments at Gettysburg were placed in the immediate aftermath of the war and likely resulted from a much different motive than a monument erected in the Jim Crow era of 1900-1920. There is a reason some 400 of the approximately 800 Confederate monuments were erected during Jim Crow. Thinking it was all about honoring the dead turns a blind eye to what was going on in the South during that time of a strong KKK, lynchings and laws designed for singular purposes. The surge in monuments placed during that period is no coincidence and much are nothing more than pure political statements.

Similarly, there is a reason there was a spike in the naming of schools after Confederates after Brown v Board of Education was decided. And it's not because people suddenly decided Polk and Bragg were great guys 100 years later.

So it may be worthwhile to study what motivated the decision to erect a particular monument and not assume all were erected for a good faith memorial. If it was a way to shoot the bird in defiance to those promoting equal rights, then it's legit to remove that symbolism if you support equal rights. If it was truly erected to honor the fallen maybe that's a different discussion.

I have liked the art and history of monuments since I first saw them on the capital grounds in Austin as a kid. But my views have shifted to looking at why that monument was primarily put there when erected, and I learned to ask "why is that statute of Jeff Davis on the central mall at University of Texas, I doubt he did much for UT." It is now down the street in a museum and I don't think we are worse off for that decision.

But for what it's worth, it is probable that Lee would say take them all down.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2022 6:18 p.m. PST

Some good points … I have no problem with them in a museum with accurate historical signs etc. I've said this before. The history in not forgotten … only moved to another location. Albeit not as visible, but better then destroying or storing them.

Of course, what was quoted by Lee there, was shortly after the war. Wounds were trying to be healed and bring the country together, etc. Yes, there were many Jim Crow era statues. Many erected to by racists, KKK, etc. types. To continue to keep the Black Americans as 2d class citizens, etc.

" noble cause". The reality of history is tough for some to take as we uncancel the truth and correct the Lost Cause narrative. So leave the monument and put a plaque there explaining the whole story.
Agreed but if one must put them in a museum.

I think removing the noble cause thing and something that put this in context is appropriate
Yes, I agree with that … and let them read to know that it was not a noble cause and why, etc. on a sign next to the statue, etc.

dapeters16 Sep 2022 12:01 p.m. PST

Perhaps we should simple cross out noble and put in tragic instead.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2022 9:06 a.m. PST

One option … and a pretty good one. But some still even today, embrace the noble cause myth. Albeit few …

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2022 10:51 a.m. PST

"Tragic" is not quite right for me. Tragedy involves no right or wrong cause, it is a sympathetic term. I am not always sure how best to deal with the context, but I suspect many ordinary soldiers fought to defend not just their homes, but their way of life as they saw it and it was told to them.And there was a big part of that we needed to be done with. Whatever you believe about the causes of the war, I go with Catton who said it became about slavery because slavery underlay the whole thing.

As an American, I want people to see the monuments and learn how others seem them. Whether you are descended from slaves, or slave owners, or supporters of the system of slavery, or abolitionists, North or South, you need to hear the other side, learn the facts and decide. The facts about slavery in that time are the tools you need to understand the other reasons for the war people refer to in Lost Cause ideaology. All my opinion.

My first gaming experiences were all ACW but I grew to hate it. It was a bitter, too real gaming era and slavery cast a shadowy over everything. Later, I came to see morality flaws on both sides. Finally, I reread the Army of the Potomac Trilogy, still my favorite army, amateurs turned into seasoned professionals eventually, great commanders emerging from the internal politics of the early days, a great American army in the classic sense.

So I painted up a ton of 6mm. I already had a good knowledge base, had seen many battlefields, and no longer felt torn about gaming it. But I will never be Lee again. He gets my respect as a general, but that's it. The Rebs are run by an AI in my solo battles, the Yanks have some negative command modifiers sometimes and get beat. But as in real life, they keep coming back.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2022 1:07 p.m. PST

As an American, I want people to see the monuments and learn how others seem them. Whether you are descended from slaves, or slave owners, or supporters of the system of slavery, or abolitionists, North or South, you need to hear the other side, learn the facts and decide. The facts about slavery in that time are the tools you need to understand the other reasons for the war people refer to in Lost Cause ideaology. All my opinion.
Yes, I totally agree. Especially the Lost Cause myth must be explained along with everything else.

doc mcb17 Sep 2022 4:46 p.m. PST


"This trend toward presentism is not confined to historians of the recent past; the entire discipline is lurching in this direction, including a shrinking minority working in premodern fields. If we don't read the past through the prism of contemporary social justice issues—race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, capitalism—are we doing history that matters? This new history often ignores the values and mores of people in their own times, as well as change over time, neutralizing the expertise that separates historians from those in other disciplines."

doc mcb17 Sep 2022 4:48 p.m. PST

"Maher says at one point, "Being woke is like a magic moral time machine where you judge everybody against what you would have done in 1066 and you always win." He continued," Presentism. Yeah this professor is right. It's just a way to congratulate yourself about being better than George Washington because you have a gay friend and he didn't. But if he was alive today he would too. And if you were alive then, you wouldn't."

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2022 5:59 p.m. PST

Agree with both posts. You can't put today's standards, etc. on what happened 100 + years ago.

Blutarski17 Sep 2022 6:17 p.m. PST

Erasure of history = An exercise in Hubris.


Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2022 9:08 p.m. PST

"Other activist historians joined in, flooding the thread with profanity-laced attacks on Sweet's race and gender as well as calls for his resignation over a disliked opinion column. The responses were almost universally devoid of any substance."

Prove it – this sounds unlike any professional historians I have ever known.

I care about what really happened, Northern draft riots, Southern slavery, Elmira or Andersonville, whatever. I gave you my personal reaction to the ACW as I read more and grew older, it was off-putting for me. I am not engaging in 'presentism" in sharing and commenting on this. I understand that people saw issues through the lens of their times. But there is plenty of evidence that they saw slavery as a huge confrontational issue. It wasn't okay then for a lot of folks either.

As I have said before, the relatively recent reappraisals of Grant have been fully realized professional histories, well sourced. This is not "presentism".

Bruce Catton hung around with Union veterans in his youth. And we have plenty of info about how the slavery question tore the nation apart and was connected to states rights and other commonly cited causes. "Presentism" was not Catton's thing either. I have also been influenced by McPherson, Sears, Blight, Guelzo, Chernow, White, many others. Not history erasers, professional historians with academic standards.

So, these are the things I believe, my choices.

Murvihill18 Sep 2022 5:33 a.m. PST

There's also a first amendment issue to be considered here. Just because we disagree with the position taken in an epitaph doesn't mean we should erase or change it. The Lost Cause people have a right to speak just like everyone else.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2022 6:29 a.m. PST

Agreed, I think I tried to make that clear. Using additional plaques with the monuments to add context, for example, allows both stories to stand and gives you a choice.

Get the facts, not the alternate facts. For example what does data tell us? Truth over politics is becoming its own lost cause in todays world. Politics assigns blame, scholarship looks to understand. What was it like to live back then? What did people believe and think? And what was the reality? What do reliable source materials tell us? Just like now, people had trouble letting the curtains be pulled back to learn things they did not like. It's all part of the story.
Franklin said:
"I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them," he said, "For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise."

donlowry18 Sep 2022 8:38 a.m. PST

The fact that it is on a monument in a national cemetery makes it seem official, though.

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