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Title: Cooper: The irony of moving a peacemaker
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(Date Posted:07/15/2017 12:07 AM)
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The link is at .This is another attack on Southern heritage.

Cooper: The irony of moving a peacemaker

July 14th, 2017 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press Read Time: 3 mins.

The nascent effort toward removing a bust of Confederate Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart from the grounds of the Hamilton County Courthouse for racial motives is an irony, indeed, because of the Tennessean's role in the peacemaking creation of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

The Chattanooga chapter of the NAACP has begun an endeavor to engineer that removal, building off similar undertakings that have occurred in other Southern cities because of what have been called painful memories for blacks of the United States Civil War more than 150 years ago.

Stewart, who was not a notable battlefield figure but did lead a Confederate division against the Union at the Battle of Chickamauga on Sept. 19-20, 1863, later returned to Chattanooga after legislation was passed creating the national military park in Chickamauga. By that time, he had been an insurance company employee in St. Louis, mathematics professor at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., and chancellor at the University of Mississippi.

The former soldier, his Chattanooga biographer Sam Davis Elliott told the Times Free Press in 2011, "supervised in a lot of ways the startup of the battlefield [park]."

For those who don't bother to study history before attempting to remove it, the creation of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was set in motion with an 1889 barbecue on the Chickamauga battlefield to which veterans of the North and South were invited.

"Chattanooga welcomes the Blue and Gray to a barbecue to be given on Veterans Day, on Chickamauga Battlefield, where they will smoke the pipe of peace and bid each thought of conflict cease," the invitation read.

A year earlier, Union veterans Henry Boynton and Ferdinand Van Derveer had conceived the concept of a national military park while riding through the battlefield. This concept, they hoped, would involve the federal government, where previous battlefield preservation efforts had been private — as in Gettysburg, Pa. — and did not allow for Southern participation.

At the 1889 barbecue, 12,000 veterans from both sides — including Stewart — heard the park plans and enthusiastically supported them. Side by side, at the end of the meal the next day, they actually smoked commemorative peace pipes. One attendee, according to a 2014 Times Free Press history article by local Civil War expert Dr. Anthony Hodges, said, "Men embraced. Old veterans cried like infants as they clasped the hands" of former comrades and enemies.

Congress officially established the military park the next year, the oldest and largest in the country.

In accordance with the congressional act, according to Elliott, two of the commissioners of the park were to be appointed from civilian life, both veterans of the local battles. Although the measure didn't specify it, one was a Union veteran and the other a Confederate veteran, who was Stewart.

Stewart, as resident commissioner, "spent a great deal of time in the park, supervising road construction, the erection of towers and bridges, and the general engineering work of the park ."

Though past 70, he, according to Elliott, "learned to ride a bicycle, and by that means or on horseback traveled all about the park." His biographer said he continued to have spirited conversations about the war with friends on both sides and, to a New York writer, noted in his conclusion on what transpired "that Providence had a great deal to do with the affairs of men, and that human efforts, even those of men who were considered great, had very little to do with great achievements."

Stewart, who never owned slaves, didn't believe in slavery, opposed Tennessee secession and garnered the nickname "Old Straight," probably for his moral uprightness, wistfully concluded at the death of a friend, "It will not be long until the Confederate soldier will be a dream of the past, but his name will live in history, in story, in song and in tradition while the world stands."

Nevertheless, the Chattanooga chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy renamed its chapter for Stewart in 1904. The former park commissioner died in 1908, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy unveiled the now tarnished bronze bust on a marble base of him in 1919. The bust stands beside the walkway to the front doors of the courthouse, which are locked. So few people even pass the bust, whose subject was probably known to less than 1 percent of Hamilton County residents until the NAACP sought to remove it.

However, the bust stands not as a relic of the Jim Crow era or as glorification of the Confederacy, as the NAACP maintains. If it did, it would likely depict Gen. Braxton Bragg, Confederate victor at Chickamauga, Gen. Robert E. Lee, the best known Confederate hero of the war, or Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Tennessee native who was an early member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Stewart, on the other hand, was memorialized, at least in part, for his devoted role to the unification effort that resulted in the nation's first national military park. His was a uniting effort rather than the divisive one that attempts to remove him.

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Re:Cooper: The irony of moving a peacemaker
(Date Posted:10/04/2017 10:32 AM)

 The link is at .

County Commission Votes 6-2 To Keep Bust Of Confederate General At County Courthouse

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The County Commission voted 6-2 on Wednesday to keep the bust of Confederate General A.P. Stewart on the south lawn of the Hamilton County Courthouse.

In favor of keeping the bust were Chester Bankston, Jim Fields, Joe Graham, Randy Fairbanks, Greg Martin and Tim Boyd.

Voting to move it were Greg Beck and Warren Mackey.

Sabrena Smedley was absent due to a medical procedure.

Former City Councilman Yusuf Hakeem, representing the NAACP, said the "symbolism is not one of bringing people together. It is a public space and we are all taxpayers."

He said, "Quite frankly, is this good for business in our community as a whole?""

Mr. Hakeem also said, "Place the statue where the story of General Stewart can be told in context." He suggested Chickamauga Battlefield or a museum.

Bea Lurie said brought up images of Hitler and said of General Stewart, "He had a choice to fight for the Confederacy and against our nation. We call that a traitor."

Commissioner Beck, who proposed the resolution, recommended that an eagle be placed at the site in place of the bust of General Stewart.

He said, "Some people put on a different uniform, and you shoot the hell out of your neighbor. That's crazy. We don't want to remember the Civil War."

Chuck Hamilton, who said he is a relative of General Stewart, said he was on the Chickamauga Park Commission and the park would be an appropriate place for the bust. 

Commissioner Fields said county officials who placed the bust were honoring his service to Tennessee. He said, "The thoughts were different back then. Folks were a lot more loyal to their state than the country." 

He said he could not second guess the council that put the bust in place. He said General Stewart "was a man who was torn" in his loyalties.

Chris Dooley, a retired military officer, said General Stewart was honored "as a great leader and as a unifier of our nation at a time when it was torn. He did something very positive."

He said the bust "should not be thrown in the dust heap, but General Stewart should be held up as a man who did good things."

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Re:Cooper: The irony of moving a peacemaker
(Date Posted:10/04/2017 10:38 AM)

 The link is at .Roy nailed it.

Roy Exum: A.P.’s Statue Is Staying

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

The Hamilton County Commission was at its all-time best yesterday when a resolution was presented to remove a statue of a Confederate officer from the entrance of the courthouse in Chattanooga. There was thoughtful discussion, not from “both sides” but rather between kindred elected officials each eager to do the right thing as harmoniously as possible. There was great discussion Wednesday from every voice that was heard.

I am on record in the belief that tearing down a statue is to let emotion and prejudice cloud one’s decision and that the statue craze is a big part of what I see is tearing America up today. Statues of every type are our history and to muffle any part of what has happened since 1776 is shameful.

I can also go on record with the strong belief the monument to A.P. Stewart on the courthouse front law will remain in place – this crowd of nine commissioners is above knee-jerk stupidity and the ridiculous tweets that feed our nation’s savage fire every day. The only thing worst than removing that statue would be to bash the Bible and, in this town, that will never happen.

America is mad. Those on the left howl and have protests over everything. They quiver when they talk and their outbursts are comical. The right, just as quiet as when Obama was president eight years, watches and agrees with what Steven Miller just wrote on Fox: “My question to the Democrats (and media) is simple: What voters in that big chunk of the country turned red do you plan to win back on a platform of kneeling for the National Anthem, revoking due process, removing monuments of our founders, or backing Kim Jong Un in a nuclear showdown?”

“The more the left has ramped up its cultural war, the more their governing power has diminished. Who cares if the Affordable Care Act wiped them from the electoral map, as long as Jimmy Kimmel gets his sick burns in,” Miller added and he’s right. Democrats will get mauled at the polls next year. The liberals are in tatters without any rudder.

I like this take by the National Review writer, too. “Donald Trump’s election should have been a giant wake up call to both the media and the left that the causes they care about and blast out with their bylines are not the issues Americans care about. They may view Donald Trump’s twitter commentary as beneath the office of the presidency, but they can forgive a lot when the other party is demanding they bend the knee.” 

The NAACP is planning a march around the courthouse in protest of the Stewart statue this Sunday but they’d do better joining hands and singing “Kumbaya,” which began – seriously -- as “the sincere plea of a generation of African Americans for God’s intervention.” We need God’s mercy as a country a lot more that hand-wringing over statues in a community that has a great number of them.

Maine Governor Paul LePage, who doesn’t read newspapers because he believes the liberal reporters are “pencil terrorists,” had this to say about Confederate statues, “How can future generations learn if we're going to erase history? That's disgusting," he said. "They should study their history — they don't even know the history of this country and they are trying to take monuments down. Listen, whether we like it or not, this is what our history is." 

Then he took it up a notch: "To me, it's just like going to New York City right now and taking down the monument of those who perished in 9/11. It will come to that." 

When they just took down statues in Southern cities, a quick review reveals almost every city had a Democrat-heavy governing body. In Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, a noted liberal, created an outrage when he wanted the city to disenfranchise itself with the “Confederate Cemetery” but Hamilton County government is solidly conservative with a make-up of seven whites and two blacks.

As eloquent and as solid as Greg Beck and Dr. Warren Mackey most certainly are, it’s the GOP that will keep General Stewart in place, not race (witness the recent swell to memorialize Ed Johnson, who was black, after he was wrongly hanged over 100 years ago.)

Commissioner Greg Martin said it best, “How can we look at the 19th century, and what those Americans believed, through a 21st century lens? I don’t believe that’s fair. And when you study, you realize its importance and meaning in the 21st century.”

Joe Graham, truthfully stating that some people deny the Holocaust despite the brilliant museum in Washington and visible prison camps in Germany, wants to know, “Where does this stop? To deny history, no matter how personally distasteful, does a disservice to our children. We need to teach them this was wrong.”

Then Beck revealed this view. “You can say what you want about a statue … but all I see is the Confederate uniform. That is unacceptable in the lawn of all places where we should all be equal … I personally do not like the statues of the two naked women on Market Street. You can talk about art all you want to, but all I see is two naked women,” he said, drawing laughter and smiles.

Each county commissioner has an opinion but, more, a belief. This is a fun conversation but you won’t get odds on the outcome in Las Vegas or Birchwood. It ain’t happening.

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