Recently, a citizen of our community wrote a letter calling for the removal of the confederate monument on the square in Russellville. Further, the monument was referred to as a symbol of bigotry and hate. I don’t know of any confederate monument that was ever built with the intention of sending a message of hate. Confederate monuments can be found as far north as Missouri and as far south as Florida. All of them were created and maintained for the purpose remembering the courageous sacrifice of the confederate soldier and memorializing their death. Most all war monuments are memorials honoring the dead. The monument on the square honors and remembers the 1000 men who left Logan County to defend their homes and the whole commonwealth of Kentucky. Two African American men were among those 1000 men who left Logan County. The monument is dedicated to those individuals who never came back home. As long as we have the monument on the square the memory of the confederate soldier will not fade away into the darkness of historical revisionism but will remain for the education of future generations.
The monument was planned by confederate veterans from Logan County and paid for by donations from the community. The monument was erected in 1911 and has stood for 105 years as a testimony of our community’s unique history. A large population in Logan County are descendants of those 1000 men who fought for the confederacy. There are approximately 80 million Americans who are descendants of confederate soldiers. The confederate soldier wasn’t fighting to preserve the institution of slavery but was defending their state, their homes, from an invading army. If America was invaded tomorrow by a foreign power, I suspect ever American citizen would be willing to defend their homes and relatives. The civil war was about states’ rights and unfair distribution of wealth, high tariffs and Northern states using Southern wealth to build their own infrastructure. It is a myth the confederate army was fighting to keep the north from creating a safe haven for freed slaves. Slavery existed in the north, Maryland and Delaware are two examples. Slavery wasn’t the cause of the civil war but became a war aim in order to prevent Europe from recognizing the sovereignty of the confederacy.
The mass hysteria sweeping across our nation has been provoked by aggressive political correctness and ignorance of history. Some believe the confederate flag can magically transform people into agents of hate, or confederate monuments will entice us to think poorly of our neighbor. Some believe if we erase the historical elements of our culture we will dissolve hate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hate comes from people’s hearts not from a stone monument or flag. Hatred has existed since creation and will continue until Jesus Christ the son of God returns. Hate can be erased, if we as a society, turn back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and fully embrace the written word of our savior. IF we deafen our ears to the facts of history and harden our hearts toward reason we rob ourselves of truth. No matter how many monuments, memorials, or flags are removed we will never be able to change history even through many are trying very hard to rewrite it.
If confederate monuments are going to be removed then we should remove monuments dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln since Lincoln supported the institution of slavery. It is a historical fact that Lincoln supported proslavery legislation and laws. (Morgan, 1993). Lincoln’s own comments in his political speeches reflect his prejudice. (Morgan, The ‘Great Emancipator’ and the Issue of Race, 1993). Lincoln also advocated for the Corwin Amendment; The Corwin amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the 36th Congress on March 2, 1861 in a desperate attempt to bring back seceding states. The Corwin resolution would have granted permanent protection of slavery to any seceding state who accepted it. (Morison, 1965, p. 609). Of course none of the states accepted it because this wasn’t the issue of secession. How far will this hysteria go? The White House was built by slaves should we move it out of the District of Columbia? Slaves was imported under the banner of Old Glory, should we remove the American Flag from public places? There are many in our society who are offended by Christian symbols should we outlaw any display of Christian symbols in public? The answer to these questions is absolutely no! All nations on earth, like individual people, have dark moments in their past but that doesn’t mean we should erase the entire history and heritage of a people because of it.
It is sad to see people using historical revisionism to achieve their own aims while disregarding the rights of others. We, the people of Logan County, must not allow the monument to be removed. We must have the courage to stand up to the tyranny of political correctness and the historical revisionist that has tarnished our heritage. The legacy of the confederate soldier is literally interwoven into the history of Logan County. As aforementioned, a large majority of people in the county are descendants of the 1000 confederate soldiers who left our community. Removing the monument not only would be dishonorable to the dead but would also be a slap in the face of every descendent of those brave men. We can’t erase our history without blurring the uniqueness of our own County. The monument itself is unique and tells a story each time a tourist stops to look at it. The Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter in Russellville Kentucky objects and opposes any proposal to remove the confederate monument on the square. Our heritage and legacy is worth saving.
“The Confederate Soldiers were our kinfolk and our heroes. We testify to the country our enduring fidelity to their memory. We commemorate their valor and devotion. There were some things that were NOT surrendered at Appomattox. We did not surrender our rights and history; nor was it one of the conditions of surrender that unfriendly lips should be suffered to tell the story of that war or that unfriendly hands should write the epitaphs of the Confederate dead. We have the right to teach our children the true history of the war, the causes that led up to it and the principals involved.” (Jr., 2015 )
“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevents their history, and denies them their symbols, has sewn the seed of its own destruction.”(William Wallace, 1301).
Camp Commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans