Not to be confused with the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).
After the very unfortunate events in Charlottesville, many have come to the forefront to express their concerns and views on Confederate monuments. Opinions have come in from all corners of the political spectrum as well as the historical and the heritage communities. Out of this cacophony, a few more voices emerged with an interesting connection to he past. The ancestors of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, some of the more prolific figures commemorated, have spoken out on Confederate monuments?
Robert E. Lee V had this to say to CNN:
Eventually, someone is going to have to make a decision, and if that’s the local lawmaker, so be it. But we have to be able to have that conversation without all of the hatred and the violence. And if they choose to take those statues down, fine..
He went on to add that:
Maybe it’s appropriate to have them in museums or to put them in some sort of historical context in that regard
A descendant of Jefferson Davis, Bertram Hayes-Davis, had this to say:
In a public place, if it is offensive and people are taking issue with it, let’s move it. Let’s put it somewhere where historically it fits with the area around it so you can have people come to see it, who want to understand that history and that individual
Probably the most condemning statement came from two descendants of “Stonewall” Jackson who in a joint statement said:
…we understand justice very differently from our grandfather’s grandfather, and we wish to make it clear his statue does not represent us…But we cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy…While we are not ashamed of our great great grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer. We are ashamed of the monument.
It is interesting to read the perspective of the ancestors of these three Confederate heritage heroes. They certainly do not seem to line up with the notion of many organizations, including the Virginia Flaggers, who want to protect and resist the urge to contextualize the monuments to these men. The question remains how much stock should we put into the viewpoints of these ancestors? After all, they are the opinion of one – much like the descendant of numerous veterans of the Confederacy…like me.