Since the courthouse entrance on the south end of the Hamilton County Courthouse has been closed to any entrance/exit traffic since 9/11, I doubt that it has been given as much attention as professed by the advocates for the removal of General A. P. Stewart. The General seems to have tried to rectify his military career by serving as the first superintendent of the Chickamauga Battlefield and presiding over the reunion of the Blue and Gray veterans in 1893 that had the effect of a sincere effort to heal the wounds and scars of the Civil War.
General Stewart may have fought for the South but he does not carry the baggage of Nathan Bedford Forrest who is charged with the massacre of blacks at Fort Pillow in West Tennessee and being the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Daughters of the Confederacy were one of the main groups that claimed that the Civil War was fought over the issue of States Rights and not Slavery.
The grieving widows and mothers of slain and wounded soldiers of the South were instrumental in creating the “Lost Cause” image that led to the erection and naming of many statues and monuments honoring fallen Rebel soldiers and leaders of the Confederacy.
There is a quote by the poet George Santayana that deserves repeating and it states that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The current movement of “Black Lives Matter” addresses the same issues that have been fought for years by Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman and many other sincere and dedicated individuals who have advocated for an advancement of civil rights for all of the races and not to just benefit their political and financial agendas.
The BLM movement should more appropriately be called “American Lives Matter” if its objective and goal is to eliminate bias and prejudice from all citizens of our Country.
General A. P. Stewart should not be a pawn in rhetoric designed to divide our country rather than to unify it.
He should be recognized as someone who attempted to overcome his past and tried to unify the veterans of the tragic events of the Civil War.
Taking down monuments does not remove history.
The good intentions of all races to work toward solutions to correct the wrongs of the past and hopeful advancement of the future are the real issues.