tv The Civil War Confederate Monument Controversies CSPAN August 3, 2018 3:06pm-4:07pm EDT
four or ten other people inside your facebook channel or your twitter feed, and then they would do the same thing in a daisy chain to create essentially, you know, a -- an unbreakable link of false narrative. at that point, nothing you believe before can ever be real. because you'll abandon it on the basis that it's been super reinforced by everyone you know. including the president. >> watch "after words," sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2's book tv. up next, american civil war museum ceo, christie coleman, looks at the controversy surrounding confederate monuments. she talks about her work as co-chair of richmond's monument avenue commission, and their process in determining the future of confederate statues located on that city's prominent thoroughfare. this hour-long talk was part of a conference on confederate icons, hosted by the shenandoah valley battlefields foundation. >> we're going to start the afternoon with answering a few questions that we've been hearing repetitively during the lunch time. we have gotten a lot of
comments, and a lot of praise. so thank you very much. about the closing of this land deal. we've had people ask how they can get involved with the battle fields foundation. the best thing that you can do to help us save land here in the valley and help us preserve the memory of the american civil war and honor those people who lived through it here in the valley is to -- is to become a member of the battle fields foundation. please see any one of our staff and they can give you information on how to do that. and that should answer most of the questions that we got at lunch. membership is really the key. membership does not only help us buy battlefield land.
it helps us do events like this one. it helps us advance the ball down the field when it comes to the preservation of american memory. please consider becoming a member so we can continue to do things like we're doing today. i'm excited to introduce our next speaker, miss christie coleman began her career as a living history interpreter at the colonial williamsburg foundation. over the course of a ten-year career with cw, she had increasing levels of responsibility. finally serving as the director of historic programs. in 1999, miss coleman was named president and ceo of the charles h. wright museum of african-american history in detroit. in 2008, miss coleman was named president and ceo of the american civil war center at historic treadiger and in 2013, helped orchestrate the merger of that center with the museum of the confederacy, to create the american civil war museum, initially serving as coceo, and
then named the sole chief executive officer of that museum. miss coleman lectures extensively, and she'll be no stranger to many of you. and she consults with some of the nation's leading museums. she's written a number of scholarly articles and served as a screen writer for several educational television productions and is a sought-after public historian for national and international media outlets. miss coleman has served on the boards of the american alliance of museums and the american association for state and local history, and she continues to be engaged with these and other local national organizations. active in every community in which she works, christie's accolades include detroit's cranes business under 40 list back in 2000. the key to the city of toledo. in richmond, she's been recognized on "boomer" magazine's it list for 2012. named the person of the year finalist by a richmond times dispatch, and her honors go on and on. it is our distinct pleasure to introduce to you our friend, miss christie coleman. [ applause ] good afternoon, everyone.
i'm delighted to be with you, and to talk about something that has clearly taken a life of its own of late. yes? and so today we're going to talk about when the sacred and the profane are one. and we start this off understanding that nothing, and i do mean nothing, happens in a vacuum. when we began our work at what became the american civil war museum, you need to understand that that endeavor was the result of about five good years of intense collaboration, on what became for richmond, anyway, the commemoration of the american civil war and emancipation. it was a deliberate attempt on our city's part to bring these two narratives together. why? well, frankly, one narrative had
dominated, and that was the history of the confederacy. the other part of it had been literally paved over with an interstate put on top of the bodies of the dead. a place that served as a center of the domestic slave trade. it has been estimated that close to 40% of all african-americans in this country have an ancestor that was sold or traded from richmond. and this history remained covered under a parking lot with an interstate running through it. so one doesn't have to wonder why in our city monuments and confederate symbols in particular have diverse meaning. but the truth of the matter is, they always have. not just in richmond, but around
the country. this particular piece comes from the southern poverty law center. it was republished after a few updates in 2015 by the board of directors business insider and showcases confederate symbols in the public space. whether that is schools, whether that is monuments and the like, you will notice they are virtually everywhere. even in places that were just territories during the actual war. and then one has to ask the question, when did they go up? now, i know even though these are on nice, large screens for you, it may be a little bit more difficult to see. but nonetheless, there is a period of monument-building that takes place throughout the south. the first period we can certainly refer to as the
mourning period. and that is obviously as soldiers are dying, they're being placed in cemeteries, some of them having their bodies reinterred from battlefields and taken home. and in those private cemeteries, those church cemeteries, obelisks, small stone sculptures, sometimes for the wealthier, headstones that honor their service to the confederacy. but after reconstruction, after reconstruction is, in fact, abandoned by the united states government, we start seeing something else happen. at the same time, we are beginning to see the rebuilding and granted, yes, we're running into the 25th anniversary of the war itself. there are beginning to be commemorations and reunification ceremonies, which are always very fascinating.
but there is a period of considerable building that coincidence or not, the reality was, they are occurring at the very same time that deliberate actions are being taken and legislatures throughout the south to disenfranchise black male voters in particular. to begin a practice of concentrating black voting power. and it is also a time when extreme violence is being perpetrated against those who are fighting back against that disenfranchisement. in our modern environment, the events of the summer of 2015 shook america to her core.
when nine church members at the mother emmanuel church in charleston, south carolina, were executed during prayer service. the space where they should have been the most safe, the most secure. and the violence against them was clearly reflected of the violence that had been perpetuated during the modern civil rights era when churches were bombed and preachers were killed and the like. and america remembered. and when the young man who was responsible for the deaths of those nine people was identified this way in his pictures and his posts and his social media presence, the response was swift. the confederate flag and symbols thereof became once again a reminder of america's domestic terrorism. but for those of us in the public history realm, we were getting the phone calls from our
communities, from the press, asking, well, what does the flag really mean? because we're hearing all kinds of commentary about this flag. initially, i will say that at the american civil war museum, we asked this question. which confederate flag? we wanted people to understand that the symbol that had become unequivocally, unequivocally aligned with racism and white supremacy in america actually was just one of many. and it's deliberately chosen for reasons we'll discuss later. so this was the question. initially, just, you know, which flag are you talking about? there are regimental flags, home guard flags, there's, you know, the three different national flags. which one? but after a while, quite frankly, i felt it became a copout.
we had a responsibility to talk about what we knew the community was asking. they weren't asking about particular battle or national flags. they were asking about this one. what most refer to as the army of tennessee or the tennessee flag. the rectangular one. and this is the one that would be associated with the ku klux klan and other white supremacists groups. it is that flag of nathan bedford forest that would become known as the symbol of oppression. especially, again, the modern civil rights era. and folks, whether you like it or not, the reality is, there were no very loud cries from southerners saying do not usurp our images at that time. do not take them from the battle folk at that time. and there are people living in america right now, like many of you sitting in this room, who very much recall the 1950s and
'60s as young people. and what was happening. so the question of which heritage are we trying to preserve and to keep when we think about confederate symbols, again, becomes messy. and if we are really not only intellectually but emotionally honest about this, we begin to understand that they are both sacred for some and absolutely profane to others. so the question quickly moved from just dealing with flags that are up on state houses to what do we do with the symbols themselves. the hundreds of statues that stand in the front of court yards and public parks in particular. very few people were having any
conversation about removing statutary from cemeteries. this was where the public is responsible for the financial upkeep of these monuments. and in many cases, these monuments exist in capital cities, in urban centers. which historically, as well as certainly more contemporarily, are spaces that are younger, ethnically and religiously diverse, and spaces that tend to be more politically progressive. so as these conversations are taking place, as the fever is
starting to build and build and build and build, we start seeing the first set of counter protests to that. and, in fact, by july of 2015, we see that there were 173, at least -- 173 pro confederate flag rallies that were taking place. and as you can see from the maps, central florida, western and central virginia, eastern carolina -- i'm sorry, western carolina and so forth. you can see the large rings where people are taking a stand. and these are some of the images that we saw. those two summers.
but we all knew that eventually, when the flag came down, one of two things were going to happen. one of them was sales were going to go up. the record number of confederate battle flags, particularly the tennessee, would find itself on -- with suppliers unable to keep up. and it spoke volumes. and our own gift shop, we had made the decision, a long time ago, actually -- but we had made the decision that temporarily we would pull them. because we wanted to have the conversation with our visitors about the other types of flags and really understand the meaning of why they were trying to acquire the items from us. and it was, quite frankly, quite a conversation among the staff. and we do have a staff that is diverse in terms of their age range, their backgrounds and so forth. and listening to them talk about the conversations that they were having with our public, and the
phone calls that were coming in as people were wanting to place orders, helped us better understand that more now than at any other time, we couldn't just be reactive. at some point, we had to enter the fray of the conversation to help our communities. i've said it before, and i'll say it time and time again. as a museum, as a place of public trust, as academic historians, when our communities are in crisis, it is irresponsible of us to sit to the side. it doesn't mean we take sides. but what it does mean is if we have the wherewithal, if we have
the artifacts, if we have the archives, if we have the information to help the conversations become more informed and more civil, then we are failing you as a public institution if we are not engaged. and that's exactly what our institution chose to do. so for us, we really started kind of inside. thinking about, well, hmmm, what's really out there? and this came even more to the fore when in the summer, last summer of 2017, i was asked to serve as co-chair of richmond's monument avenue commission. and in the initial -- i would say naive and wishful thinking of our mayor, he said, you can get this done in about three or four months. and you've only got two charges, really. the first one is to figure out how best to interpret them. and the second thing is, who
else should probably go out there on monument avenue? so we figured, well, we'll have a couple of public meetings, have a few conversations, set up a website, so people can, you know, send us letters, et cetera. and as the letters began pouring in, and i started going through them, the level of passion, the level of rage, the level of pain had a whole new dimension. and that's when this thought came to me. and i shared it with greg. i said, this is not going to be quick. and it should not be easy. we've got to figure out a better way to hear what people are saying. and he absolutely agreed. so we took a look.
we stepped back. of course, we had to see what everybody else was doing. and this is a piece that was later published about who were the most prominent of the confederate statuary, clearly robert e. lee, the one you see in green. i know it may be a little difficult to see each of these circles. but the bubbles. robert e. lee is in green. jefferson davis is in gray. you have stonewall jackson in yellow. jeb stuart is the large blue. and nathan bedford forest, in the top left. and below him is pierre toutant. so -- yeah -- beauregard.
you know what i'm talking about. and they're the most prominent on the landscape. so in richmond, we have a number of confederate statues located throughout the city. but the one clearly that is more prominent are the five that sit on monument avenue. the grand boulevard in our city that was developed as a real estate boon, and it was never -- and this is a thing that folks don't know, and what we -- we had the opportunity to share with our community, is that it was never -- monument avenue was never intended to be confederate row. it really kind of happened happenstance.
and it happened happenstance shortly after lee died. and it was clear everyone wanted to do -- do some kind of memorial to robert e. lee, and then it quickly became a conversation, it can be nowhere else but richmond. and then it took another 20 years before that happened. but when it was finally determined to place it on this western side of town that actually had absolutely nothing there, but, you know, big open fields, but the desire to build this grand boulevard again, the house-building began in earnest. and today it boasts some of richmond's most expensive and impressive architectural real estate in the state, frankly. the whole area is a national historic district. each of these monuments save two are considered national historic landmarks. and i'm sure everyone in this room has been there at one time or another. would that be a fair assessment?
raise your hand if you've been there. yeah. they're massive. the lee alone stands at 60 feet. and we started digging even further. taking a look at, again, this trend of even virginia's building. did virginia's monument building actually mirror what was happening on the national scale from the slide that i showed you earlier? and, in fact, it did. there are, again, this period from 1880 through 1899, and actually, you know, the -- basically -- 18 -- ooh. that wasn't supposed to happen. so it's a touch screen. that's lovely. okay. so basically, from 1880 to 1910 is when we see really the boon in these monument-building. and, in fact, in some communities like little augusta
county or akabac county, what you're finding is communities with less financial wherewithal. and i have to say, let me back that up and say, white members of a community would gather their resources and pay for what they could afford. and many times that was a mail order kind of statue. and that's really fascinating, because i was actually up in michigan, back in february, fun times. and giving a speech. and as we passed the public square, i immediately recognized the civil war soldier. except this time, it's the exact same guy that's in front of the courthouse in chesterfield, except his accoutrement is a little different. but it's the exact same guy. and i said, can you stop? i really need to take a picture of that.
and because this is what happened. they mass-produced them, which allowed communities to build these smaller-scale things. and, again, more often than not, they ended up in front of courthouses. in virginia, as these monuments -- at this height of monument-building, at the height of stripping black voting rights, they make a series of laws that are designed to protect not -- didn't use the language necessarily of war memorials. but what they used was, well -- well, actually, they did. war memorials to the war between the states. and they shall not be altered, moved or destroyed.
and this is significant. because in the state legislature, there were -- there was opposition to this. for the most part, they were the republicans who at that time were an extremely progressive party that were trying desperately to expand voting rights. they were the readjusters. they were very different in terms of the platforms of the time. and they were also losing the political power that they had in the 1860s and to the democratic party. it's during this time we see the height of the building of these monuments. language on the monuments as time go on becomes far less ambiguous. they don't just speak to our
fallen dead or honor the boys from such and such county. it becomes far more insidious. wh when we started asking the question and going through all the letters we received. what i'm showing you is a table of the 1700 plus letters that the public sent in to the monument avenue commission. the majority of those sending in were virginians, obviously, with probably 60% actually being in the richmond region which was important for us to track as much as possible. you don't want those interlopers in there. what we found was that on the surface when we asked the question or we read through their letters of are you in support of keeping the monuments
or adding context to them, we found 26.7% said keep them and add context from the letters. when he we asked remoouve monuments, we got 18%. when it's said, relocate the monuments and this something that battlefields and museums heard a lot of, move them from the public square and put them in museums. most museum, mine included, cannot afford to maintain statua statuary. it's an extraordinarily expen expensive thing. lincoln is the property of national park service. it was placed there so it could be removed, if needed, by the national park.
i digress. it costs a considerable amount of money to properly care for them. like i said, some of these are not itty bitty things you can slip in gallery. where do you store them? where do you keep them? they're bronze. they're stone. it would take away precious resources from other work that the museum chooses to do, my mission, had to do. museums made it clear that relocatie ining these to our facilities was completely out of question. then we had keep with no changes and found that 22% supported that. last but not least, well, the indecisive. the folks who were like i don't know enough. i want to know more. this is what i think. a lot of those letters were
based on, especially after august 12th of 2017. a lot of letters after that were i don't know what to do now because the violence that is erupted in charlottesville and the death of that young woman waves heavy. we don't wapnt that in richmond. we don't want that to happen again in virginia. what is the solution? we went to work and restructured the way we think about and planned for our work on the commission. we looked, again, we just went looking for essay and articles and statistics to try to better inform ourselves so that we could help better inform or communities. we had to accomplish some way
for our community not only to talk but to listen. one of the amazing ideas that came from our smaller planning session was this idea of what if you just found way for groups, for you to go to the groups that want to talk. that's what we did. rather than these large forums, instead remade ourselves available. we out into the desert in two by twos and three by two.wremade o available. we out into the desert in two by twos and three by two.eremade o available. we out into the desert in two by twos and three by two. remade o available. we out into the desert in two by twos and three by two.emade our available. we out into the desert in two by twos and three by two.made ours available. we out into the desert in two by twos and three by two. to whatever organization that waned to talk us. we sat through presentations
where we were told to just listen. we were not to say a word, and we did that. we had sessions where the groups actually did facilitated dialogue with professionals. those were the churches. we were able to walk around the room and listen in on the smaller listening sessions of hundreds of people who had gathered to do this. it was extraordinary. there was still the question of what to do on the landscape. this is probably the most, stone mountain. i don't know a whole lot you can do with stone mountain. last i heard they are plan on adding another face. when you have, again, things of this scale, what's their meaning. again, you have to really look carefully at why and when they were put up and what they say.
we did that too. we looked at what our monument said in richmond and we looked at other communities around the country that were having the same conversations. we all remember what happened in north carolina. we know what happened in new orleans. what people don't often, the back story is so important. in new orleans, just like richmond, it didn't happen in a bubble. it didn't happen pause nine people were murdered. it happened because that community was grappling with things in their public square that was in a complete defiance to the majority of it s population and sensitivity. i'm talking about what started it all. they had been wanting to get rid
of one particular statuary in liberty park. this is a statue that was put up honoring the great anglo saxon race for driving out reconstructists and reclaiming white supreissu supremacy. it's northerning a -- honoring a massacre of the black citizens being paid for pi thby that pub money. that's what started the conversation. you begin to see we have similar things on the landscapes in each of our communities. where some of this language is dominant. now, is that to suggest that -- here's an example. can you see that? united states troops took over the state government and rei stated the the usurpers and gave
us our state. yeah, i want my money paying for that. the truth of the matter is they tried to cover it up with new language and new plaques. the image above remained. as is here in me mor yum. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.m mo. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.o mo. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.r mo. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.i mo. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.u mo. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.m mo. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.mor . no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime. yum. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.yum. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell so pure of crime.um. no nation rose so white and fair. none fell sm. no . no this is the language we say taking over the landscape, particularly after 1900. when we see this next surge in the 1950s and 1960s, it's absolutely adjacent to the modern civil rights movement. the response of communities today, well, they're not sacred to many of them. the question that we have is what do we do to make sure that
the various values that people have attached to these over time, that we're able to bring together a language of understanding this past and all of its complexity. you cannot divorce the reality that many of them are put up in place, again, sort of the original groorigin n original grieving period is very different. most of those doesn't have word ons th on them. the later ones do. they become more and more and more about something else, about the underlying ugliness that continued to permeate american culture, even to this day. that's what people are responding to. the question as to whether or not, as a society, we decide to look at these pieces in historical context. to understand there are many,
especially those small ones in the community courtyards. they are placed there as way to remember. they are placed there in response to trauma and grief. with any trauma or grief there's five stages. there's the initial shock. there's the denial. there's the anger. there is the bargaining. then there's acceptance of what really happened to every single one of us. that is at the end of the day what we chose to do with the richmond monument avenue commission and what we choose to do on a daily basis at the american civil war museum in richmond, virginia. this story, this history, did not exist in a bubble. this history, this story, is all
of ours. we must recognize that like an extraordinary, extraordinary narrative where peace of art. there's more than one side to look at it but to appreciate its wholeness, you have to be willing to look at all of it. with that, i say thank you. we will take questions now. [ applause ] >> do we have any questions? remember, let's go over this as we have not talked about it since lunch. no statements. only questions. keep your questions brief so we have as much time as possible to have as many people ask as many questions as they can.
go ahead. >> in you'r looking at the monuments on monument avenue and your study, did you all compare yourselves or look at other periods of time or other countries, for example, where monuments have been removed or affected? >> the question was, for those of you who didn't hear. during the course of our study did we look at other countries and practices or options that are in the other parts of the world. the answer is loosely, yes we did. people are like we are not isis. we don't tear down statues. i heard isis so much it kind of made me crazy. americans have taken down statues quite a bit. let's back up a bit. what did other country do?
we found countries like in thailand, parts of the former soviet union, those were removed from public square. some were destroyed. most have been played in parks and containment parks where people can go. they don't allow for any demonstration. they don't allow for any kind of gathering of groups this those spaces. it's a preservation of the art work. we saw a number of examples of that. i actually had, during one conversation with someone who says in nermny, they don't -- they didn't tear down the concentration camps. they are open to people to talk about them. concentration camps. they are open to people to talk about them.y didn't tear down t concentration camps. they are open to people to talk about them. i said that's true. they don't statues to nshlazi leadership. they did keep the concentration
camps. in the united states, we turned our plantations into fantasyland agent moon night tea on the porch. we prefer to call them our servants, our people. we were good to them. on an enterprise that could sell your child at any point in time. we have to been mindful. there's a lot of different things that could happen. at the end of the day we had to try to keep those helped us think a bit bigger. i could mean more than changing the words on a plaque. you could create whole new meaning by adding a different kind of image next to them or
with them. the perfect example is the wall street bull. took on a whole different meaning when the artist put that little fearless girl standing there against the bull. it allowed us to see something a little differently. next question. >> anderson cooper did a very thoughtful interview with professor hader from the professor of richmond. it gives a nationwide, even maybe beyond, look at what you and your commission have been wrestling with. has that been helpful to you? has that much visibility nationwide through c nnn, has tt been helpful at getting more input from people to their commission? >> the pub llicity has opinion useful. helpful, if you read any of the
comment pages, which i really done ever recommend, at the end of the day for us, it was an opportunity to talk about the fact that -- i will say this. what's amazing is that since the commission report has been released, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. yes, there are pockets of individuals who are trying to do whatever they can to make sure nothing happens. what became clear is leaving monument avenue as it is, is not acceptable to the majority. it's just a matter of figuring out where we can find our balance in this moment in time. 20 years from now they may choose something else. yes, sir. >> could you speak more to the commission's recommendations and
how you -- why that's they recommended? >> essentially, the recommendations is -- the commission report is 135-panl docume -- page document. it's specific to the three charges that we had. -- page document. it's specific to the three charges that we had.-- page document. it's specific to the three charges that we had. page document. it's specific to the three charges that we had. page document. it's specific to the three charges that we had.page document. it's specific to the three charges that we had. what could context look like? who would you add? when, where, how, et cetera. virginia law made that restrictive. we had to couch our language and say pending current litigation or changes in the state law. they are really quite -- they're as nuanced as the questions and comments that came from the public. you would think having written most of that i would have it all
op t on top of my brain. we said we have to have context. add, think about it in terms of bringing in the artistic community and so forth. and how that can be created. then we talked about jefferson davis for richmond being the one monument in richmond that was more akin to the lost cause narrative and the style structure and language on the placards. there were options for elements of it. and we provided that. you can get it online. it's very much available online. at the website. monumentavenuecommission.org is where you can get it. it's right there on the front
page. >> first i want to apologize this is going tore more of a statement and a question. >> it has to be a question. >> it's going to be in there. the current law prevents war memorials from being removed. second, why didn't you have pictures in there for people that are taking back the image of the flag. you only had pictures of people using the flag negatively. >> actually, i did. you would have seen pictures of re-enactors and people holding flags saying these are our flags. >> yes, i did. >> this is not our flag is what i saw. >> yeah, i know. i'd be happy to show it to you later. >> next, you said how can we take -- how can we take this back or stop this? we need more education in our schools. kids out here today are only being taught the very minimal about our history. that's you see them out here. painting on this statues is racism. that is the question. i was answering her question. kids in school are not taught.
>> yes, sir? >> with the time line of when the monuments were placed and certain other historical events that happened at the same time, has anyone done, to your knowledge, a study of how long it takes from conception to actual unveiling for a one of the major monuments to come to fruition? >> at the time, if the money was there, and available, they could be erected fairly quickly. in the particular cases of monument avenue, it took 20 years for the lee monument. for a number of reasons. they couldn't agree on the type of monument. they had to raise the money. they had to figure out where it was going to go. it did take quite bate of time.
other communities that chose to do them in front of the courthouses with the generic soldier, it didn't take long at all. less than a year. yes, sir? >> i'm curious. i learned something here today. what i'm curious about you is said during the latter stages, i'm going to say during the 1920s as the monuments went up, they came -- became more explicit with the verbage. was there any change in terms of the people that were being memorialized and when i say that, initially you say they were kind of the generic confederate soldier or the leading lights, say lee and jackson and such. but was during this period where the became more explicit, was --
were they like say second tier con f confederates? >> that's a very good question. what we found is that the statues to the big boys, the big icons, confederate icons, those absolutely dominate the landscape. in richmond it says lee. it may talk about where a battle where they died. so there is a slip there. but the language that takes on the strongest in terms of the lost cause narrative or white supremacy specifically, those
tend to be more generic monuments. there may be a singular soldier or something like that. there are instances where it is individuals that are in particular. very good question. >> in one of your slides in terms of the demonstrations that took place, the bubble, you had the bubble chart. and your total number in terms of people that participated in that was 23,000. i mean 23,000 people in the united states is a drop in the bucket. but that seems to be driving the narrative. >> in terms of?
about where the counter demonstrations are taking place. >> right. counter demonstrators. and when ch who are obviously, you know, on way over here. and your number was 23,000 people. that is nothing. that's not even a small county in virginia. but that tends to be what is focused on and driving so much at a narrative. and how do you get it back to where -- because with those people, can you not have a conversation. how can you have a civil conversation which you all accomplished in richmond? >> thank you. >> i think that getting back to the civil conversation is recognizing that at the end of the day there are individuals that no matter what you say will
completely disregard the public record. can you literally put a stack in front of them, any of the historians on the table, can you lay out historic documents that though these things. we have the bulk of all of the minutes, notes, and records regarding all the monument that's went up on monument avenue as well as many of the historic records of the lee memorial association, united daughters of the confederacy that they don't have, and the like. we have -- this is parity of our archive. so to be able to go back and look at those documents, you again to see this sort of mix. but we're not really, again, we're not talking about what was even then democratic process.
>> i know we're running short on time. two more questions. this gentleman and then this gentleman. >> what is being done by the kpligs to recognize the totality of people's lives. i'm thinking about lee after the war and also morey who is known as a path finder to the seas. taught at the naval academy and just an academic? it seems you have to look at the totality of people's lives. not just their service to their particular state. that tends to be getting overlooked. >> that's a very good question. in fact, murray unlike the other confederate generals that line memorial avenue is not presented in a uniform at all. he is, in fact, with his monument, it does reflect a whole career where the confederacy is a footnote for murray. it's one of the footnotes. one of the things he does.
lee, jackson, ap hill, all the others are in uniform. they are in terms of look being at their uniform and their work, that is not necessarily what is being honored in the course of the work. again, when you look at the proceedings, it's about them as military leaders. yes, all day long you can, remember, in any museum, we got basically 150 to 250 words in that panel to tell you what is going on. at most what can you hope for as you're talking about them as art, about the individuals depicted and the community's response over time is that you have a very short period of time to figure that out. i will say current tla is not my job. my function on the monument avenue commission is complete. what happens next is really up
to city government and the next group of folks that come forward. i hear what you're saying. it's going to be an interesting challenge to find that space. >> shouldn't you be considering the people around the state? >> yes, sir? >> your comments about the battle of liberty park in 1874. raises an interesting question that touches on the essence of this debate. many military historians regard lieutenant general james longstreet as the most accomplished tactical and strategic genius of the american civil war. he, as you know, was commander of the african militia and the metropolitan police of new orleans during that battle. he was unhorsed, wounded by a spent bullet and captured. he was acting under the
authority of the grant administration which he joined in 1868. >> and your question is? >> the question is why has it never been a monument to general james longstreet of the confederate army? and what does that tell us about this debate? >> i think that tells you quite bate abo a bit about the debate. the individuals that were late noern as the re-adjusters, the confederate generals, officers, et cetera that, would eventually support reconstruction and would support black enfranchisement, you will find that for the most part there are no monuments to them and the pantheon of confederate memory. there just aren't. you have to think through that a bit. but again, i think it's telling. thank you all for your time and attention thank you so very much.
>> american history tv continues all next week here on c-span 3. we're showing the c-span series 1968, america in turmoil. starting monday at 8:00 a.m. and continuing through friday. monday the vietnam war and the tet offensive in 1968 which changed the war's direction. tuesday the 1968 presidential election when former vice president richard nixon faced democratic nominee hubert humphrey and alabama governor george wallace who ran on the american independent party ticket. wednesday civil rights and race relations. thursday it's the rise of liberal politics with a special look at the democratic convention in chicago. and friday conservative politics and richard nixon's rise in the republican party. >> this sunday on oral histories we continue our series on women in congress with former
democratic congresswoman pat schroeder. >> when i first got elected i was in this idealistic mode, how long do you think it will be until almost half of the house is female. i asked the library of congress or somebody what they thought and they said probably 300 years. i'm beginning to believe maybe they're right because it has been very incremental. very incremental. >> and in the weeks ahead we will hear from sue myrick, eve have a clayton, helen bentley, barbara kennelly, nancy johnson and lynn woolsey. watch oral histories sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. this weekend, tc-span city'
tour we'll take you to new mexico. we'll explore the literary life of the oregon mountains and along the banks of the rio kbrand. saturday at 12:00 noon eastern, jo hunter explores the impact of the manhattan project on new mexico. impact of the manhattan project on new mexico in his book, "j robert oppenheimer." >> when oppenheimer brought nuclear physics west first to berkeley and cal tech, and then to new mexico, he changed particularly new mexico. it brought this state that was poor, had very little infrastructure, and put in the middle of it this federally funded facility that just transformed the state. >> then, author martha andrews discusses the roles of western frontier women in her book,
"ought of the shadows: the women of southern new mexico." on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. we visit the white sands missile range museum. >> the testing that's been done out here, people think it's been mostly military testing. but it really -- it's involved a lot of civilian uses, as well. a lot of the rockets that are fired out here, even today, are sounding rockets. used to do upper atmospheric research. that's still a big program out here. >> then, a tour of ft. seldon, a u.s. military outpost located near the rio grande river, established to keep peace in the region. watch c-span's tour of new mexico, saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates, as we explore america. up next, american civil war museum historian john coski
talks about the history of the confederate battle flag and how the perception changed in the years since the war. he also looks at how the battle flag has been used over time including in pop culture and advertising. this hour long talk is part of a conference on confederate icons hosted by the shenandoah valley battlefield's foundation. it's hard to get photographs of people when you're as short as we are. we enjoyed getting our picture together up front here. because it worked out well for both of us. i don't think john is as short as i am. i wouldn't threaten him with that. john is the chief historian at the museum of the confederacy. he earned his ba from mary washington college, ma and phd in history from the college of william &