Re L. Gilmores letter of Sunday, Sept. 22 (Another Confederate monument is "offensive):
I would like to clarify some matters that have been otherwise misrepresented. There are those who obviously are not aware that the monument will be located at Columbia Countys new Memorial Gardens monument park rather than on the grounds of the new courthouse annex. This fact was also pointed out by the editor at the end of Keith C. Moses Sept. 1 letter, Confederate marker shouldnt be at annex.
The monument will not be in remembrance of the Confederacy, as Gilmore stated. However, it will be in remembrance of the 500-plus Columbia County men who stood to defend this county and state from the United States (which was a foreign country at the time) and its military forces.
Many of these men died in the process. The ones who did not die returned home to Columbia County to help rebuild its foundation and to help it progress to the flourishing county it is now. These men from Columbia County were not slave owners as some might be under the delusion to believe. It is a fact that only 5 percent of all Confederate soldiers ever had slaves.
Has nothing of significance happened to Columbia County since? Gilmore asks. In 1860, the population of able-bodied men in Columbia County was a mere 1,300. That includes the population of Thomson and McDuffie County, which were at the time part of Columbia County. That means 38 percent of the available population of Columbia County went to war. That is a very significant event in this countys history! In comparison, with our current population at 90,000 plus, we would have to send 34,000 people off to war. No, Ms. Gilmore, nothing of this significance has ever happened to Columbia County since 1860.
Need I also mention that this country we live in today also had its foundation with a revolution. From this revolution was formed the United States of America, where slavery was a vital part of the nations growth from the 1700s to the middle 1800s. The Confederate States of America was a legitimate government that had it its constitution the first steps to abolish slavery completely.
I have a copy of this constitution if you would like to see it for yourself. For some unknown reason, there are a lot of facts concerning that era that have not been accurately depicted in school texts and other literature.
One fact that many people are unaware of is that the only flag that flew to represent a country that had legalized slavery is the same flag that was recognized by Francis Scott Keys Star Spangled Banner. Ironically, this same design is honored each Fourth of July.
I sure hope that when someone comes up with a motion to place a monument or memorial to be a remembrance of Sept. 11 the Gilmore and others alike do not object on the grounds that we should move beyond the past and we should be a forward-moving, innovative county that should not honor the saddest and most enduring indictment against America.
Our purpose is not to place just another monument, but to establish an enduring expression of honor and respect for our ancestors who so bravely fought for this, our beloved Columbia County.
David Butler, Commander
Sons of Confederate Veterans
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