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indguard
08-15-2008, 05:25 AM
http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-08-14-0173.html

Museum to accept statue
Civil War Center says it will take Davis bronze; use is to be determined

By WILL JONES
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Richmond could get another statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

But this one might be treated differently from other tributes.

The American Civil War Center announced yesterday that it would accept a life-size bronze statue of Davis from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A final decision rests with NewMarket Corp. as owner of the museum site at Tredegar Iron Works.

Under the museum's collections policy, the decision comes with no guarantee of where or whether the statue might be displayed or how it is interpreted.

Officials said the statue would help fulfill the museum's mission to tell the story of the Civil War and its causes, conduct and legacies from the Union, Confederate and African-American perspectives.

A spokesman for NewMarket, parent company of Ethyl Corp., said the firm had not yet been briefed on the statue proposal and could not say when a decision would be made.

Christy S. Coleman, museum president, said the statue could be used to show how the Civil War is remembered. The museum includes a gallery that focuses on that, examining such popular cultural influences as "Gone With the Wind" and "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show.

"We are committed to telling the story. Are we committed to propaganda? No," Coleman said.

For now, the decision is good enough for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Group members were angered in 2003, when a statue of Abraham Lincoln was placed on the Tredegar property by the National Park Service.

Brag Bowling, a Richmond resident and board member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said he's delighted by the museum's decision. He hopes to meet with museum officials soon to discuss how the piece may be used.

"The statue is not meant to be put in a basement, that's for sure," he said. "It's a tool that will help their program. . . . I think it's a great monument for Richmond."

The statue is being prepared by Lexington sculptor Gary Casteel, and it depicts the Confederate leader standing with his son Joe and with Jim Limber, a mixed-race orphan who was taken in by the Davis family. The sculpture is expected to be completed by late fall at a cost of more than $100,000.

Coleman said the statue is interesting because it depicts Davis as a paternal figure and was offered by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "This really became more of an opportunity [to show] how people choose to remember."

Museum officials expect some backlash. "To a certain degree, that would have come regardless of the decision," Coleman said.

King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, called the museum's decision disappointing but understandable, given the criticism that likely would have come if the statue had been declined. He said Davis and the Confederacy are offensive to African-Americans because they represent a cause that was based on enslaving blacks.

"Now, it depends on how it's being deployed," Khalfani said, suggesting the statue be placed in permanent storage. "If it has a place of significance in the museum . . . we'll have to see."

Museum officials would not disclose the board's vote but Coleman said it wasn't unanimous.

"The board has made its decision," she said. "Bottom line, we can make this work to look at some pretty good legacy issues."

sbl
08-15-2008, 09:41 AM
I hope it looks better in Bronze. It's pretty forgettable.

indguard
08-15-2008, 10:25 AM
You can say that about nearly every building, memorial, and statue made since the 1950s! We are in the worst age for such things in human history!

WTH
The itdon'tlookgood Mess

flattop32355
08-15-2008, 12:04 PM
So long as they don't stick it directly in the front of the Lincoln bronze there, it seems fine, if not particularly artistic.

Rick Keating
08-15-2008, 02:08 PM
Just another monument to a failed cause. I don't think Jefferson Davis is worthy of the bronze, he was a failed leader.

Rick Keating

huntdaw
08-15-2008, 02:19 PM
I can't help but wonder what the Civil War Preservation Trust could have done with that money. I think it would have had a much more longer lasting and valuable effect.

Blockade Runner
08-15-2008, 02:25 PM
Just another monument to a failed cause. I don't think Jefferson Davis is worthy of the bronze, he was a failed leader.

Rick Keating

Your assertion that President Davis was a failed leader is strictly a matter of perspective. The North had virtually every advantage in the WBTS and couldn't subdue the South for 4 years. Most would agree that was remarkable.

thpritchett
08-15-2008, 02:42 PM
The North had virtually every advantage in the WBTS

Very true and Davis should have realized that before he authorized the firing on Ft. Sumter having been warned by his Secretary of War that such an action would likely result in war. Besides, from what I am currently reading about the AoT and the War in the West, Davis does not impress me as a War President.

40AcreMule
08-15-2008, 03:23 PM
The North had virtually every advantage in the WBTS and couldn't subdue the South for 4 years. That is Lost Cause mythology. The United States was at a distinct disadvantage from the beginning. The Confederacy had every advantage which they threw away:

1) Home field advantage
2) Internal lines of communication and transportation
3) A long coastline that was almost impossible to blockade
4) A plethora of West Point educated officers
5) An abundance of cheap slave labor
6) French and English sympathy if not out-right recognition

All of these strengths and they still managed to lose in a brief four years. The American colonies had less advantages, held out for eight years, and defeated the most powerful army on earth. And they did it without an arrogant president screwing things up. Of course they had direct help from the French. The CS would have had the same if they had abolished slavery early.

Jeff Davis frittered away most of the CS's advantages through incompetent leadership. His meddling in military affairs was ruinous. His appointment of John Bell Hood to replace the Joseph E. Johnston in 1864 was sheer idiocy. His only true memorial is the ash heap of failure.

RebelBugler
08-15-2008, 09:50 PM
Perhaps if the South countenanced taking the war to the civilian population of the North and engaging in the destruction of their homes, crops, and livelihood, the ultimate outcome may have been different.

Perhaps if Anthony Johnson, a Black freeman, had not introduced the concept of chattel slavery to the Virginia colony and the North American continent, there would have been no need to consider the slavery question in the South

You fail to mention that the North had the obvious economic advantage of the substantive revenue generated by the protectionist tariffs imposed on the South.

Jefferson Davis certainly demonstrated that he was more principled than his Union counterpart Lincoln, who was willing to allow slavery to continue indefinitely as long as the Union was preserved. Follow the money.....Lincoln's motivation was purely economic!

reb64
08-15-2008, 11:50 PM
Just another monument to a failed cause. I don't think Jefferson Davis is worthy of the bronze, he was a failed leader.

Rick Keating


The great man has a lot of pre-Civil War history under his belt, including an American Presidency. Perhaps more than Lincoln. I think they need to add another Lincoln statue out there, one with him in bed with his male friends.

huntdaw
08-16-2008, 12:57 AM
It's amazing - just amazing.

Ocaliman
08-16-2008, 10:14 AM
Your assertion that President Davis was a failed leader is strictly a matter of perspective. The North had virtually every advantage in the WBTS and couldn't subdue the South for 4 years. Most would agree that was remarkable.

Linear time is a matter of perspective. 4 years was a lot longer time 140+ years ago. By that, I mean if the WBTS happened today, the Federal government would have struck down the insurrection within 30 to 90 days, if it had been able to get off the ground at all. Remember, we can move entire divisions of troops, equipment and supplies halfway around the world in a matter of hours. How long did it take to move men, wagons, and artillery back then? I don't want this to sound like one of those "If they would have had nukes at Gettysburg, they would have used 'em" threads, because that is not how it is intended by any means.

thpritchett
08-16-2008, 01:07 PM
That is Lost Cause mythology. The United States was at a distinct disadvantage from the beginning. The Confederacy had every advantage which they threw away:

1) Home field advantage
2) Internal lines of communication and transportation
3) A long coastline that was almost impossible to blockade
4) A plethora of West Point educated officers
5) An abundance of cheap slave labor
6) French and English sympathy if not out-right recognition

Not all of these were the advantages that you make them out to be plus you are ignoring some definite advantages the North had.

First, while on paper it may have looked like the South had the advantage of internal lines of communications, in reality that was not the case for several reasons. The South did not have the number of railroads and overall miles of railroads that the North nor did it have the rolling stock of the North. Furthermore, the Northern rails were mostly of a standard gauge while the Southern rails were of a variety of gauges. Only in Virginia could the South take advantage of interior lines to move troops and supplies more quickly than the North. In the West, the Union controlled the Ohio River, control of which was never threatened by the South, and had far superior rails. Furthermore, it was far easier for the Union to move troops and supplies back and forth between the Eastern and Western theaters - something that was done fairly regularly. The only time the South tried such a transport was when the South moved two divisions of Longstreet's corps to reinforce Bragg. That move required transporting the divisions all the way through North Carolina and Atlanta and having to unload and reload the trains at least once because of different gauges in the railroads. Consequently, at the start of the battle of Chickamauga, Longstreet had his two divisions of infantry but had not received his battalion of artillery nor did he have his trains and horses. Finally, because of her limited industrial base and mineral resources, the South did not have the ability to fight a war and adequately maintain her rolling stock and rails.

As far as the coastline, yes it was long but there were not that many major ports (1 - 2 dozen). Furthermore, because of the Outer Banks, all shipping in and out of North Carolina has to go through one or two choke points that could be easily patrolled. The South had no blue water navy nor the means or expertise to build one while the Union started with the full U.S. Navy and quickly captured Norfolk VA, the only ship building base within Confederate boundaries. Thus the Confederates never had the ability to truly challenge whatever stranglehold the Union tried to use the interdict her shipping. All she could do is rely on fast ships that could slip through.

As far as the French and British, I am not sure that the South truly had their sympathy. Yes, both countries enjoyed their trade of cotton with the South but, as the Confederacy learned the hard way, there were other sources of cotton in the world. Furthermore, the war opened up a new trade - the sale of surplus weapons and munitions to both sides of the conflict. Furthermore, the British could sale ships to the South that would be the basis for her blue water navy. I suspect that the "sympathy" was more a matter of both countries wanting to see the war prolonged as long as possible in order to maximize their war profiteering. Furthermore, with a divided America, both countries had a better chance of recovering lands lost in the America's during the last 100 years. What appeared to be sympathy to the South, IMHO, was merely the European powers maximizing their war profits while ridding themselves of surplus ordnance while keeping all their overall political options open for future development.

Here are some major advantages that the North had that you did not address:

1) most of the manufacturing capability of the nation before it split

2) a much larger population pool from which to pull military manpower. Furthermore this pool was actually growing at a significant rate through immigration while the South had little to no immigration to augment her smaller pool.

3) the North had a much larger number of active coal mines and a much large reserve of easily available coal from which to increase her production. At this time, coal was the source of energy used in all railroad travel, much of the non-blue water navy, and the majority of manufacturing processes. The North had the energy resources to greatly expand all these processes to a greater extent than the South did.

4) in terms of financing a war, the North had almost all the active sources of new precious metals (gold and silver) with which to back their expansion of the currency levels and loans/purchases from foreign governments while the South basically had to rely on credit and a currency with no true basis of actual worth.

Blockade Runner
08-16-2008, 05:22 PM
I couldn't have articulated those points any better, Tom.

hendrickms24
08-17-2008, 11:20 AM
The great man has a lot of pre-Civil War history under his belt, including an American Presidency. Perhaps more than Lincoln. I think they need to add another Lincoln statue out there, one with him in bed with his male friends.

So did Benedict Arnold and see how he get treated by American History.
Treason is Treason and there is no way around it.

RebelBugler
08-17-2008, 04:43 PM
So did Benedict Arnold and see how he get treated by American History.
Treason is Treason and there is no way around it.

It is hardly treason when the right of secession was being taught at West Point. Jefferson Davis was there between 1824-1828. During this time, William Rawle's View of the Constitution was used as a textbook, which acknowledged the right of secession.

thpritchett
08-17-2008, 07:12 PM
Treason is Treason and there is no way around it.


From the many discussions on this forum, I think that it can be established that in the 1860's there was not a clear consensus one way or another on the right of a state to secede from the Union. However, his ordering the firing on U.S. troops and the flag at Ft. Sumter, that is a different argument for which I have no ready answer.

Frenchie
08-17-2008, 09:32 PM
It is hardly treason when the right of secession was being taught at West Point. Jefferson Davis was there between 1824-1828. During this time, William Rawle's View of the Constitution was used as a textbook, which acknowledged the right of secession.

West Point and William Rawles weren't the Federal government. If the Supreme Court had ruled that secession was a right enjoyed by the States, you might have something to stand on.

thpritchett
08-17-2008, 10:10 PM
West Point and William Rawles weren't the Federal government.

But they do illustrate that the issue of whether or not states had the right to secede was not yet a settled question one way or another.

Frenchie
08-18-2008, 09:42 AM
Tom, that is true. The question was settled when the secessionists took the discussion to the field of battle and subjected it to the ultimate test. Actually, the way I think of it, the question was not, does a state have the right to secede? I always have believed the answer is in the affirmative. The realpolitik question is, can it secede and stay that way if the majority of the rest of the states are willing to use force to keep it in the Union?

This is partly based on Franklin's reply to the lady who asked him what sort of government the Founders had given us, to which he replied, "A republic, Madam, if you can keep it." I believe the Colonies had the right to secede from England de jure, but had to go to war to make it de facto. If the Colonies had lost, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and many others would have been executed for treason and the Colonies would have suffered for their temerity for a very long time.

As much wiser people than me have pointed out, the post-War treatment of the South, harsh as it was, would have been far worse if we were closer to our European forebears in attitude and practice.

sbl
08-18-2008, 02:20 PM
The great man has a lot of pre-Civil War history under his belt, including an American Presidency. Perhaps more than Lincoln. I think they need to add another Lincoln statue out there, one with him in bed with his male friends.


You don't want to go down this road as I could link to a dozen or more period cartoons of "Jeffy Dee" on the "Internets" wearing a hoop skirt. You know and I know the truth of THAT story.

reb64
08-18-2008, 05:57 PM
You don't want to go down this road as I could link to a dozen or more period cartoons of "Jeffy Dee" on the "Internets" wearing a hoop skirt. You know and I know the truth of THAT story.


what started out as a preservation discussion on a historical statue turned into uncalled for insults against jeff davis. just returning a salvo.

sbl
08-18-2008, 06:29 PM
Rob,

We both know the Davis story isn't true but it still shows up. Same with the what you read by the dirty minds of Lincoln revisionists.

That proposed statue isn't historical. If Davis is being honored, it shouldn't be with a bronzed group of Sears mannequins. Even ancient statuary that is broken has beauty. Will this thing last as art and a tribute?