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Prelude To A New Civil War?

Matthew Schmitz posted this comment from Solzhenitsyn to Twitter just now:

Well. In Madison, Wisconsin, the city council has voted overwhelmingly to remove a cemetery marker [1] noting the names of about 140 Confederates, most of whom died in a prisoner of war camp in the town. More:

“You don’t have discussion in a cemetery. You have reflection, and you have memories, and this (monument) brings up memories that are not so pleasant in our history,” said Council Vice President Sheri Carter.

These are Americans who died as prisoners of war. “They die off like rotten sheep,” [2]said a Union soldier who worked at the camp, where conditions were bad. The “monument” is a tombstone large enough to feature the names of each of the dead. This is not a statue of a Confederate war hero. It is simply a grave marker noting the names of POWs who died far from home.

There is no longer equality before God of the fallen, not in Madison, Wisconsin. The city council spits on these dead men, who passed away not in combat, but in Union custody.

In Grace Church cemetery in my Louisiana hometown, you can visit the grave of Lt. Commander John Hart, US Navy, who captained a Union gunboat that was shelling the town and that very church in 1863 [a local friend just informed me that Hart’s boat was blockading the town to prevent contraband from coming and going; the Union gunboat that shelled the town came in 1864]. Cmdr Hart committed suicide on the boat during the battle. He was a Freemason, as many of the Confederates were. Hart’s men asked for a truce, and for the right to bury their commander in the Grace Church cemetery with full Masonic honors. The Confederate Masons agreed. So the war stopped while all the combatants gathered around the grave to commit Cmdr Hart to the earth.  [3]

Children in my hometown are often taken to Hart’s grave and told the story. His grave is treated with great respect locally, and always has been. That’s what decent people do for the dead. There is a brotherhood that defies mortal conflicts.

change_me

The leaders of Madison, Wisconsin, are manifestly not decent people. God preserve us Southerners from behaving so shamefully. I suppose it won’t be long before they disinter the Confederate bodies and put them on a barge down the Mississippi.

It’s hard to imagine what kind of despicable people destroy a tombstone — a tombstone! — for political reasons. This is a sign of the times — and of a time to come.

UPDATE: Here’s the text from a 1990s-era story from the Baton Rouge Advocate, written by George Morris, telling about the local woman who rescued that cemetery from ruin. Notice that the people of Madison did their best to take care of the interned POWs, and that when Mrs. Waterman died, one of her pallbearers was a former Wisconsin governor and wounded Union veteran. This is the noble history of Union supporters and veterans that the current Madison City Council defecates on:

Alice Whiting Waterman, born in Baton Rouge in 1820, is buried in the Confederate Rest section of Madison’s Forest Hill Cemetery. That is a rare honor for any non-soldier, much less a woman. But Waterman earned the right by pouring the last 30 years of her life into caring for the fallen warriors interred there.

That the cemetery exists at all is a matter of historical accident. In the spring of 1862, Southern soldiers were defending Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River a few miles south of New Madrid, Mo. They had been stationed there to prevent Union warships ,reinforcements and supplies from getting to Gen. Ulysses Grant, who was fighting farther to the south in Tennessee. When Union troops captured New Madrid on March 14, the soldiers on Island No. 10 found themselves surrounded. The Mississippi River was high, forcing many of the defenders to fight in knee- and waist-deep water. Badly outnumbered, they finally surrendered on April 8, 1862. More than 1,000 were captured and shipped north.

Under normal circumstances, they would have gone to Camp Douglas in Chicago or the Rock Island, Ill., prison camp. The Battle of Shiloh, however, had ended a day before their surrender, and the Union suddenly had more Confederate prisoners than it knew what to do with. So, many were taken to Camp Randall, a Union training base in Madison. From their ordeal on the island and the cold train ride north, pneumonia and other diseases ravaged the Confederates.

“Word spread like wildfire through the city of Madison that they were going to get these Confederate soldiers, so everybody got to the railroad station,” said Jim Zeirke of Sussex, Wis. Zeirke is historian for the Alice Whiting Waterman Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The long stream of sick and wounded soldiers touched the crowd, Zeirke said. “Some woman just cried out in the crowd, ‘My God, that could be my son,’ ” Zeirke said. “Something about that electrified the community, and the next thing you know they’re bringing milk, cheese, meat, all sorts of food products, all sorts of medicines, blankets, clothing, everything for these prisoners. The Wisconsin Union soldiers training at Camp Randall are starting to get kind of irritated because they’ve never had this kind of attention.”

For many, the kindness was too little too late. By the end of May, 114 prisoners died. Before the prisoners were moved to Camp Douglas in July, the death toll reached 140. The town quickly forgot those left behind. Waterman discovered this when she came to Madison in 1868. The cemetery was badly overgrown and the wooden headboards rotting.

“Nobody in the North thought they should take care of it. It was their enemies, and why take care of it?” said Jim Heberling of Madison, who has researched the cemetery’s history. “Then she saw it. She felt it was part of her heritage, and she took care of it.”

A childless widow who worked in rooming houses to make a living, Waterman’s sacrifice was considerable. She bought new wood headboards. She weeded the cemetery and planted trees, hedges and flowers. Accounts differ as to whether she accepted any financial help for the work, but most agree that the bulk of it came from her pocketbook.

“I’ve seen some indication in some other history of her that she was a very modest woman, judged by the fact that we don’t have a lot of terrific background on her,” Zeirke said. “I’m not aware that she was ever profiled. I’ve looked through some old newspapers. I’ve never done an extensive search. I wish they had Nexis and Lexis for the 1880s.”

“She said about the men buried there, ‘They are mine. I belong to them and they to me. They are my boys,’ ” Heberling said.

When Waterman died on Sept. 13, 1897, her work had become famous in Madison. Former Wisconsin Gov. Lucius Fairchild, a Union veteran who had been wounded in the war, was one of her pallbearers in a funeral attended by many prominent residents. An obituary in the Wisconsin State Journal lauded her life’s work, which others would continue. Permanent headstones have replaced the wooden ones, and a brass plaque now explains the history and Waterman’s contributions. Part of Forest Hill Cemetery, this section is called Confederate Rest. Zeirke and Heberling believe it is the nation’s northernmost Confederate cemetery.

“Mrs. Waterman, being of Southern birth, took a very tender and touching interest in the plot occupied by 100 or more Confederate dead,” her obituary said. “She beautified the spot, encircled it with shade trees … and for these soldiers lying so far among strangers she unceasingly performed the most sweet and charitable labor of love. At her own request and on the exact spot long since designated by her, she will be laid to rest with her ‘boys,’ as she so fondly called them.”

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177 Comments (Open | Close)

177 Comments To "Prelude To A New Civil War?"

#1 Comment By JessicaR On October 6, 2018 @ 7:23 am

Two thoughts:

1. Many object to removing the monument because its removal supposedly dishonors the dead. I don’t see how the erection of a memorial by a group with a political agenda honors the dead in the first place. Even if the monument itself is not overtly political, the group, at least in the early years, had a white supremacist agenda, one that was served by erecting the cenotaph.

The members of this group presumably didn’t know the dead as individuals and didn’t know their personal views on the conflict. Some of those soldiers may have strongly resented being forced to fight for the rights of wealthy people to own slaves, a system which undercut the value of poor whites’ labor.

From this perspective, the cenotaph actually dishonors the dead by taking the tragedy of death and turning it into a political message that some would not have agreed with–and the best way to honor the dead as individuals would be to remove the memorial.

2. Maybe because I was raised in South Florida, a place with little sense of tradition, by a Midwestern and intensely practical mother, I do not believe that respect for the dead outweighs the welfare of the living.

Try to imagine what it must be like to be the African-American descendant of slaves and to have such a memorial in your community. After all, while people may disagree on the extent of brutality under slavery, none can claim it didn’t exist: floggings for not working hard enough, stripping women naked and displaying them like cattle at slave auctions, separating small children from their mothers.

If this monument is on public land, African-American taxpayers are having their tax money go to maintain this monument because the land it is on has to be maintained and the monument cleaned occasionally, etc.

No one should be forced to pay to maintain a monument to their ancestors’ oppression–which is what this cenotaph commemorates, even if only implicitly.

This memorial should be removed and placed in a private museum. People who value this sort of thing can then pay for it.

#2 Comment By mike On October 6, 2018 @ 9:28 am

@Viriato
Dead on.
He defended Spain effectively from Statist forces – foreign and domestic. It was the nearest thing we have seen in recent times to the restoration of the Christian-aristocracy guardian-class anti-State. (History shows that a society cannot simply decide to adopt rule-of-law and to restrict the State. Unless the State-power void is filled by a vigorous vigilant “Anti-State”, dark forces will almost always fill that void with something even more evil than what went before.)
Franco’s defence of Spain made possible an era of stability and prosperity and REAL freedom – the kind in which ordinary REAL people can go about their business without fear. This contrasts sharply with the Left’s definition of freedom, wherein chaos reigns, and feral marxist drones run wild in the streets – destroying, terrorising, killing.
During his reign, Civilisation was treasured and preserved. He restored the monarchy upon his departure. Sadly, since that time, the Statist cancer has spread through Spain as it has through all Western countries.
This recurrence may prove fatal.

#3 Comment By muad’dib On October 6, 2018 @ 12:19 pm

It must really hurt to know that this good and great man not only repeatedly thwarted Communist ambitions, but accomplished such extraordinary feats for his nation.

[4]

After Francisco Franco came to power:
Ramon Salas Larraza:
22,641 executions
4,000 deaths by guerrilla activity (to 1961)
159,000 excess deaths by disease (1940-43)
Hugh Thomas: 100,000 executions
Freedland, “Spain and the lingering legacy of Franco”, Guardian, 28 March 2011, “113,000 people executed by Franco’s forces during and after the war”
22 October 2002 AP: new research shows perhaps 150,000 political prisoners executed during war and Franco dictatorship,.
Gabriel Jackson: 200,000 prisoner deaths, 1939-43
Daniel Davis, Spain’s Civil War : The Last Great Cause (1974) says that a Spanish official admitted in 1944 that Franco’s government had executed 192,684 since coming to power. Thomas doubts this number.

#4 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 6, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

Republican sympathizers burned many churches and convents down beginning that very year.

Indeed. Mostly by anarchists. In the throes of a revolutionary transformation, a lot of people and groups and factions take a good deal into their own hands. Think globally, act locally. The church had incurred the enmity of many peasants for its overbearing ways, and there was some spontaneous violence. There were also instances where the people of a town would vote to preserve the local church for its esthetic beauty, until an anarchist band came through and decreed it must be burned. But it was not socialist or communist policy, nor official government policy, to do any of this.

The Republican government dissolved the Jesuits in 1932

A lot of conservative Roman Catholics would like to do that right now. Whether they are fanatically devoted to the Pope or easy-going liberals, Jesuits can be viewed as a power worth dissolving. It doesn’t mean elderly ladies can’t take comfort from saying the Rosary, or young men either.

Paul Preston, among the most viscerally anti-Francoist historians, estimates the number of deaths at around 50,000. By what measure is this not a massacre?

In war time? Against an enemy that is indulging in firing squads against anyone suspected of supporting the elected government? How many different incidents resulted in the deaths of those 50,000?

Let’s not forget that before the Civil War, La Pasionaria made death threats against right-wing members of Parliament José María Gil Robles and José Calvo Sotelo.

I’m not sure I have the slightest objection to that, any more than I object to any of several plots to kill Adolf Hitler. But neither one was a priest or a nun.

like their allies, they were committed to the abolition of Catholicism, the foundation of Spanish culture.

Catholicism? Or abolition of state collusion in the subjection of every man and beast to the Roman Pontiff?

NFR: What choice did Spaniards of the era have?

de nosotros!

Technically, the monument is NOT a Ku Klux Klan monument. Accurate facts are important in an emotional debate like this. There have been three, or possibly four, incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan in American history.

The first was founded shortly after the civil war, and had more or less died out before the end of Reconstruction. The “Redeemers” who restored white supremacy in the southern states, and the later wave of “reformers” who almost fully disenfranchised citizens of African descent, installing a system of separate accommodations etc. almost unprecedented in previous history, were not operating under the banner of the KKK.

The second wave began in 1915, and was initiated almost as a business enterprise by the founders, although it spread nationwide, and engorged more members than any other incarnation of the Klan. This KKK generally carried the American flag, not the confederate battle flag, it could turn out thousands of robed partisans for a march in Washington DC, it was influential in California and controlled the politics of Indiana. This KKK hated Negroes, Jews, Catholics, foreigners. (Neither the confederacy nor the Union indulged prejudices against Catholics or Jews, both needing the support of everyone in their respective populations.)

So, the Daughters of the Confederacy were racist, historically revisionist in the most evil way, but not operating for or with the KKK, which did not exist at that time.

The third incarnation of the KKK developed in the southern states in response to Brown v. Board of Education and other civil rights measures of that period. It was small, lethal, crude, but often well represented in southern police and sheriff’s departments.

#5 Comment By JonF On October 6, 2018 @ 4:53 pm

Re: He defended Spain effectively from Statist forces – foreign and domestic.

At an unacceptable cost. The same sort of thing was said by many French liberals about Napoleon: he kept foreign and domestic enemies at bay so that the fruits of the Revolution were preserved. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a blood-stained tyrant.

Re: It was the nearest thing we have seen in recent times to the restoration of the Christian-aristocracy guardian-class anti-State.

How’d that work out in the long run? The abysmal state of Catholicsm in Spain today is directly linked to Franco’s attempt to restore early 19th century ethic: the Church ruined its credibility by making itself a ward of the state. Compare and contrast with the Polish Church under Russian rule, both tsarist and Communist. The lesson should be staringly obvious: Stop putting trust in princes when that trust belongs only in Jesus Christ– whose kingdom is indeed not of this world!

#6 Comment By Viriato On October 6, 2018 @ 7:27 pm

@mike:

“Franco’s defence of Spain made possible an era of stability and prosperity and REAL freedom – the kind in which ordinary REAL people can go about their business without fear. This contrasts sharply with the Left’s definition of freedom, wherein chaos reigns, and feral marxist drones run wild in the streets – destroying, terrorising, killing. During his reign, Civilisation was treasured and preserved.”

Exactly right. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

#7 Comment By blanc de blanc On October 6, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

“That the Daughters of the Confederacy shared many principles with the KKK in the early 20th is not a debatable point”

Of course not. It’s also not a relevant point. Almost any two human groups you can name “share many principles”.

“That Adolf Hitler shared many principles with vegans is not a debatable point.”

See? It’s fun! Anyone can do it!

“WHITE WHITE WHITE conservatives “

The third WHITE’s the charm, no? Anything less wouldn’t do.

#8 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 7, 2018 @ 12:08 am

The paeans of hagiographic praise for Francisco Franco rank right up there with the visions of “our Soviet paradise.” I will not attempt to dissect them in greater detail. His most fitting epitaph was the series of news reports done by Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin on Saturday Night Live: “Franco’s medical condition remains stable; he’s still dead.”

#9 Comment By Wayne Lusvardi On October 7, 2018 @ 12:33 am

I’m not too concerned about a civil war where the military would have to become divided and fight an internal war. What I would be concerned about is where the military is infiltrated by the Left, stacked with multicultural soldiers with no allegiance to the nation and then used to enforce totalitarian control on the nation.

#10 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On October 7, 2018 @ 12:18 pm

It should be noted that in the Finnish Civil War, which was concurrent to the Russian Civil War and had White and Red sides, and which the Whites won, had most Red victims (of which there were many – the Whites engaged in systematic slaughter after the war) buried in unmarked, unblessed graves without markers and with commemoration being forbidden. (Eventually there were markers and commemorations, after time had passed.) That would seem to be rather more relevant to what would have been the result of a White victory in the Russian war than the Spanish situation, no?

Kanta,

You raise a really good point here, which is that Solzhenitsyn was wrong to suggest that magnanimity towards a defeated enemy is some kind of general result of the Christian side winning the war. Sometimes people treat their enemies with magnanimity, sometimes they don’t, irrespective of whether you’re Christian, Communist, or even both at the same time (they do exist).

It’s also pretty ironic that after a comment about the need for magnanimity and temperance towards one’s political opponents, Solzhenitsyn claims that “Satan” won the Russian civil war. There’s a lot to criticize about both the Reds and the Whites in that war, and I would disagree with him about who was the better side, but in either case neither side was “Satan”.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was undoubtedly a man of great moral courage, but it’s worth pointing out that he exaggerated Stalin’s death toll by at least 3.5-fold. He was writing before Soviet archives were opened so he didn’t know the truth, but at the very least it should remind us that his judgment wasn’t infallible. (And his judgment about the course of post-Soviet Russia was often even more fallible).

#11 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On October 7, 2018 @ 12:48 pm

You’re correct that the Communists were quite moderate compared to their anarchist, Socialist, and even bourgeois Republican allies. That speaks to the shrewdness and sophistication of their long-term political strategy, but does not change the fact that, like their allies, they were committed to the abolition of Catholicism

Since you acknowledge this, why are you tarring the Communists with crimes committed by anarchists?

Yes, the Communists would have been bad for Catholicism if they’d been in charge. I’m not a Catholic so that isn’t dispositive for me.

A fascist dictatorship is not about preserving anything than it’s own hold to power.

This has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve seen said in the last week. Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this interesting claim?

Most governments, whether you disagree with them or agree with them, stand for some set of ideals. This goes for monarchies, communist states, fascist states, capitalist countries, liberal democracies, or really most other types. The kind of regimes that stand for nothing but their own power tend not to last very long, and Franco’s Spain was certainly not one of them. In their case they stood for a fairly clear and coherent set of ideals: Counter-Enlightenment conservative Catholicism, with everything that implied (monarchy, hierarchy, tradition and so forth). You can choose to dissent from that strain of thought- and as someone who’s not a consistent ideological conservative nor a Catholic, I certainly do dissent from it- but you can’t claim that Franco (and his imitators elsewhere in Europe and in Latin America) didn’t stand for anything.

If you have a “post-war Pavlov reaction” against fascism or anything else, then that’s a good argument for why you should think (and, maybe, read, and listen) before you talk. We need more reasoned arguments and less “Pavlov reactions”.

#12 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On October 7, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

One interesting tidbit of history: in spite of being diametrically ideologically opposed, Francisco Franco and Fidel Castro (both ethnic Galicians) apparently had a decent degree of mutual liking and admiration for each other. Some of it might stem from the fact they were both fairly internationally isolated: Cuba the symbol of ultra-left international revolution, much more so than the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact states, and Spain the symbol of reaction. Cuba declared three days of national mourning when Franco died.

#13 Comment By Delmas On October 7, 2018 @ 2:07 pm

Amazing how readers of what I consider as a well-informed and well-posted articles, though with a conservative perspective, can behave so idiotically in their comments. The argument, ‘why should African-Americans have to pay for the upkeep of a cemetery of white slavers’..well, why should African-Americans have to pay for anything dealing with white Americans’ history? And then there’s this drift off into caviling over Franco and the Spanish Civil War. But nothing to deal with the essentially barbaric insensitivity by the Madison, Wisconsin City Council to the remains of POWs and what was supposed to be their final resting place. That says a lot about the current American mindset as it relates to a proper Christian treatment of the body in that moment when death becomes the reality.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 7, 2018 @ 8:47 pm

But nothing to deal with the essentially barbaric insensitivity by the Madison, Wisconsin City Council to the remains of POWs and what was supposed to be their final resting place.

You really haven’t been paying attention. Nothing is being done to their remains or their final resting place. Only to an obscene monument dumped into the middle of it all some forty years later.

#15 Comment By Alcyoneus On October 7, 2018 @ 8:48 pm

I’ve been warning you with tidings of faction, discord, and feuds of blood and soil.

It’s gone too far. The USA will not stir its peoples into a melting pot. They will fight for their own pot. The USA of the future is a partitioned continental land mass.

This was foreseen. It could have been avoided by simply slowing down the rate of immigration and purging the schools of leftist ideological saboteurs.

A return to true federalism, which let’s each state have its own nation and way of life within the USA, could still save the Union. But that is manifestly improbable.

Civil war fast approaches.

#16 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On October 8, 2018 @ 9:48 am

Rod,

Speaking of Madison, WI: I was actually there last week on a work trip (spent Thursday collecting plant samples from a cranberry marsh somewhere in central Wisconsin and then Friday working at a coffee shop in Madison). While I was working on some spreadsheets at the coffee shop, the folks at the next table over were talking about your beloved Dante! It sounded like a female grad student (she wasn’t doing much of the talking) and an older guy, maybe a professor or something, but he was talking about Dante’s political ideas and about some of the recurring symbols. I thought you would have enjoyed hearing that, as such a Dante enthusiast.

#17 Comment By possumtrotter On October 8, 2018 @ 11:04 am

Sophocle’s Antigone teaches the ancient truth that desecrating the dead is a grave offense; how a victor’s awful sin of denying decent burial to his enemy desecrates his own soul. Divine retribution comes upon those who disgrace the public square. Nothing separates the living from the dead, the good from the evil, when the meanest spite triumphs. Desecrating a tomb stone creates a new monument to evil.

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 8, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

Desecrating a tomb stone creates a new monument to evil.

Indeed it would. LET US KNOW IF YOU RUN ACROSS ANY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OF THIS BEING DONE.

Civil war fast approaches.

Would it be ethical to kill the person who said this, to prevent a civil war? It seems to me a bit like Abraham Lincoln’s question, must I sign a death warrant for a soldier who deserts, but let go the man who openly urges him to do so (meaning Clement Vallandigham).

#19 Comment By MP Groves On October 8, 2018 @ 2:24 pm

I went to school at UW, and I had the good fortune of stumbling on to this burial site. The monument discloses the astonishing news that Confederates were buried at Camp Randal, and that the woman who spent her adult life tending their graves was also buried there. It was an honor to walk the ground, and be in a city that made room for the sacrifice of both the men and the woman to be recognized. This 21st century policy is the work of petty people whose moral formation is so shallow that they boost themselves by finding 19th century lives to judge and dismiss. If this is tolerance, diversity and inclusion — then give me back what we had before because then, at least, there was a sense of universal human dignity.

#20 Comment By John Gruskos On October 8, 2018 @ 7:21 pm

“an obscene monument”

?????????

It was a list of names!

The original names on the individual tombstones had been weathered away and were illegible, and so the Daughters of the Confederacy researched the names of the men buried there from the records of the POW camp and set up a small monument listing the names of the men buried there.

The false ideology of Marxism is leading you to support the evil vandalism of Paul Soglin.

#21 Comment By Penrod On October 8, 2018 @ 9:17 pm

The Madison City Council is even worse than when I had the misfortune of living there in the 1970s.

What disgusting excuses for human beings. But excellent examples of Progressives: petty, hateful, and ugly.

#22 Comment By Rob On October 9, 2018 @ 3:21 am

If this were a group of German or Japanese WW2 POWs, would Madison take it down?

#23 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 9, 2018 @ 11:14 am

The Madison City Council is even worse than when I had the misfortune of living there in the 1970s.

They’re elected, you know.

#24 Comment By Penrod On October 9, 2018 @ 1:25 pm

“They’re elected, you know”

I’m aware of that concept, yes. It says a lot about the hateful people who live in Madison posing as tolerant.

The upside is that by concentrating themselves in Madison, they aren’t infecting the rest of the state.

#25 Comment By Rob G On October 9, 2018 @ 1:55 pm

“It says a lot about the hateful people who live in Madison posing as tolerant.”

Cultural leftist “tolerance” is about the most intolerant thing going. Talk about lockstep.

Waiting to see what these cretins do with all the Confederate statuary at Gettysburg. Better see it while you can.

#26 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 10, 2018 @ 1:15 pm

The upside is that by concentrating themselves in Madison, they aren’t infecting the rest of the state.

Well, yeah. Those of us who still understand the concept of “working class” are in Milwaukee, or even in Rhinelander. Madison’s hero is the founder of Epic Systems, who carried the water for the National Chamber of Commerce in getting a Supreme Court ruling that employers can require job applicants to sign away their rights to appeal in court against an adverse employment decision. Scratch a liberal…

#27 Comment By Peter K [A Different One] On October 23, 2018 @ 9:09 am

If this were a tombstone over a mass grave, then its removal would be reprehensible. But it appears that each of the Confederate fallen has his own grave and tombstone, which are not being tampered with. Serious question: in the South are there monuments acknowledging the captured Union soldiers who died while being held in this or that Confederate prison camp? If not, then criticizing this move in Madison seems a bit, um, sententious.