To the Editor:
Back in April, some friends and I, Civil War buffs all, visited Franklin to see the battlefield where thousands of Americans were killed or wounded back in 1864.
Despite being from New York, we were not offended in the least by the downtown monument honoring the local men who fought for the Confederacy. We had seen many such memorials on our battlefield trips below the Mason-Dixon Line. Nearly 500,000 Southern men either died or were wounded in the war, about half of those who served. It was to be expected that after the conflict ended, the surviving veterans and their fellow citizens would seek to commemorate the sacrifice of the common soldiers who wore the gray in the bloodiest war in our history. Nor were we offended by the small cannonball pyramid marking the site where General Patrick Cleburne fell, or the impressive array of Confederate monuments in the heights about a mile south of town, near the spot where Hood’s ill fated attack began.
All of these memorials have historical significance and their presence added to our appreciation of the battle, as did the solemn Confederate cemetery on the Carnton Plantation. Our only complaint was that so much of the battlefield has been lost to development, although we were glad to learn that parts of the field have been restored in recent years.
The vitriolic campaign to remove all Confederate monuments from public view seeks to erase a vital part of our history in the name of “political correctness.” It must be resisted.
1913 70th Street
P.S. I am a member of the Blue Gray Education Society