Confederate monument was erected to honor the soldiers from Chatham County

by Stephen McGregor

Pittsboro, NC – If one takes the time to actually read the inscriptions on the Confederate monument, its apparent that it was erected to honor the soldiers from Chatham County who served during “our not so Civil War”.

Chatham County historic courthouse

Throughout our nation’s history, politicians have sent (and continue to send) our sons (and now daughters) off to fight in wars for a variety of reasons and causes. Some citizens may be inspired to volunteer to fight for a cause, others serve because their siblings and other family members are serving in uniform, while others had no choice, because they were drafted. No matter the initial reason for joining, soldiers did not and do not fight in combat for “causes”.

When bullets start flying, soldiers fight for each other. They fight to protect their Brothers (and Sisters) in arms, men and women with whom they serve, who they respect and trust. They protect each other’s back and they honor the fallen.

The men who are honored by the monument in Pittsboro are no different than any soldiers who fought for any cause throughout our nation’s history. Although some may say the monument honors “traitors”, it does not.

“In the aftermath of the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson on December 25, 1868 issued pardons to all Confederate soldiers who fought in that conflict. The president extended “unconditionally, and without reservation …. a full pardon and amnesty for the offence [sic] of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late Civil War, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws”. Reference

Many politicians and citizens embroiled in the monument issue have not served in the military. Anyone who has served or had immediate family members who served, look at the on-going protests with a different personal and historical perspective.

Why not leave the monument stand as a reminder of the injustices that led to our nation’s Civil War and the blood and treasure that it took to protect and defend the Constitution and preserve our Union?

To those who have erected the “Battle Flags of the Army of Northern Virginia” around Pittsboro to protest the monuments removal, realize that the fate of the monument is now in the hands of lawyers and the Chatham County Courts. Realize too, there are many in our community who support your right to protest, just as we support your opponent’s right to protest in favor of the monument’s removal.

While property owners have the right to fly the “Stars and Bars”, the flags are upsetting to some citizens of Chatham County and do not help your case. Students of history realize that your ancestors fought under those colors. Unfortunately, those colors were co-opted by organizations that espouse racism, white supremacy and prejudice. I pray that is not the reason why you erected the flags!

I pray, too, that in the weeks and months ahead, the protests remain non-violent, law enforcement will maintain the peace and the judge who hears the Confederate monument case, will base their decision on the facts, consistent with NC law.

This We’ll Defend!

A Concerned Veteran