Those statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond and in Charlottesville have their own little-known history.
They were erected between 1890 and 1920, long after the Civil War ended in 1865, and most were erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy to honor “The Lost Cause” and affirm white supremacy. It also is no coincidence that many appeared after publication of the wildly popular “The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klansman,” in 1905. The author, T. F. Dixon, wrote his book as a message to northerners to maintain racial segregation. Finally, they were erected during a period when more than 4,000 blacks were lynched by white mobs.
So, just what is the true history represented by these monuments and why do we wish to preserve it?
Wayne A. Moyer