Confederate memorialization

Rountree Losee

On November 15, 1864, William Tecumseh Sherman began his “March to the Sea” from Atlanta to Savannah.  It was the beginning of a major blow to the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  While the 19th century sounds like ancient history to some of us, there exists a tangible division in this country which has this year, played out in an emotional debate over how to treat Confederate monuments and statues. 

Read the Transcript Here. Read the Emails Here.

Within the City of Wilmington, statues and street names honoring key members of the Confederacy pepper the landscape.  At the entrance to downtown Wilmington, on one corner stands a statue of George Davis, Confederate Attorney General.  At a nearby intersection, a monument honoring soldiers of the Confederacy stands. 

Cleve Callison is probably a name you associate with WHQR fundraising -- whether it’s the signature at the bottom of a donation request letter or the voice singing Super Chicken when an hourly goal is reached during an on-air pledge drive.  When you hear the name Cleve Callison you might think about HQR’s weekly segment featuring your calls and emails – Friday Feedback.

Friday Feedback for May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

Listener Anna wrote concerning reporter Vince Winkel’s story about the dedication of a plaque on Confederate Memorial Day. I’ll quote it at some length: “…as I was driving my car this week, I am quite sure that the drivers around me were wondering who this mad woman was who was yelling back at the radio. I yelled because I was incensed by what I heard, in particular by [the] lack of follow up questioning to the assertions made by the members of the Daughters of the Confederacy. 

Vince Winkel

Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in North Carolina, officially observed on May 10. Six other states celebrate the holiday. It’s not without controversy. In New Orleans, Confederate monuments are now being removed from public places. Meanwhile, at Fort Fisher, a new interpretive marker was just dedicated next to the Confederate Monument. The service was more about men … than soldiers.

Billy Hathorn

On the corner of Market and Third Streets, at the entrance to downtown Wilmington, there is a statue of George Davis.  He was the last Confederate Attorney General.  Third Street near Dock boasts a monument to soldiers of the Confederacy.

The StarNews recently wrote about streets in Wilmington’s Pine Valley neighborhood that are named after Confederate officers.  The namesakes include General Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, John D. Barry. 

Billy Hathorn (Own Work), CC-BY-SA-3.0, 07/30/2012

When the Confederate flag was removed from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse last year, it ignited a discussion in the American South about the role of Confederate memorialization.  But while there may be local discussions about removing Confederate monuments, it would take an act of North Carolina’s General Assembly to do so.