” The most terrible thing about War, I am convinced, is its monuments – the awful things we are compelled to build in order to remember the victims. In the South, particularly, human ingenuity has been put to it to explain on its war monuments, the Confederacy. Of course, the plain truth of the matter would be an inscription something like this: ‘Sacred to the memory of those who fought to Perpetuate Human Slavery.’ But that reads with increasing difficulty as time goes on. It does, however, seem to be overdoing the matter to read on a North Carolina Confederate monument: ‘Died Fighting for Liberty!’ ”
— From “The Perfect Vacation” by W. E. B. Du Bois in The Crisis (1931)
“Died Fighting for Liberty!” certainly fits the content and tone of Confederate monument inscriptions, but I can’t find evidence of where Du Bois might have spotted it…. Is there a monumentalist in the house?
“In 1926, the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a monument to the Ku Klux Klan in a town [Concord] just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. Though the marker itself seems to have been lost to time—or more precisely, to the urbanization and shrubbery that has sprouted around it—proof of its existence endures thanks to the UDC’s own meticulous record-keeping. In 1941, a local division of the group published North Carolina’s Confederate Monuments and Memorials, a book that handily compiles various tributes to the Confederacy from around the state, many of them the UDC’s own handiwork. Writer James Huffman got his hands on a first pressing, in which he noted the monument’s inscription:
“ ‘In commemoration of the “Ku Klux Klan” during the Reconstruction period following the “War Between the States,” this marker is placed on their assembly ground. Erected by the Dodson-Ramseur chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 1926.’ ”
— From “Time to expose the women still celebrating the Confederacy” by Kali Holloway in the Daily Beast (Nov. 2)
“On at least one Confederate soldier monument, that in Columbia, North Carolina (1912), one of the inscriptions included a statement ‘in appreciation of our faithful slaves.’ In the early 20th century several attempts were made to augment [such] localized efforts with a regional or even national monument to the ‘faithful old slaves’….But the more ambitious schemes never materialized….
“The Fort Mill [S.C.] monument remains unique as a representation of slavery, one that is deliberately comprehensive, including both house slavery and field slavery, female and male labor….”
— From “by