CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS | FOREST HILL CEMETERY, Madison, Wisconsin.
Madison, Wisconsin’s Mayor Paul Soglin orders the removal of Confederate monuments at Forest Hill Cemetery . The 140 people buried there as “valiant Confederate soldiers” and “unsung heroes.” The privately funded plaque, which rested on a granite structure, said the soldiers were buried in the Union state after surrendering in a battle and dying at Camp Randall as prisoners of war. Soglin said an “appropriate monument or plaque with the names of the deceased” would be installed, but added that it won’t give “reverence for the Confederate insurrection and treason against the United States.” For years, people were allowed to display Confederate flags in that section of Forest Hill Cemetery. The Confederacy’s “Stars and Bars” would hang on a flagpole at the burial site only on Memorial Day, but the pole was removed last September.
Volunteers had also placed small Confederate battle flags at each headstone for the holiday. A change to cemetery rules in May, however, only allows the flags of the United States, Wisconsin, and Madison, branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and United Nations
Madison receive roughly 1,000 of these southern prisoners. They were held at Camp Randall, then a training grounds and barracks established by Wisconsin Gov. Alexander Randall the year before; one statement of a Union soldier about the Confederate soldier was…
“They die off like rotten sheep. There was 11 die off yesterday and today, and there ain’t a day but what there is from two to nine dies.”
Union Monument. One of thousands across southern towns and land.
Barely a month after their arrival, President Abraham Lincoln’s call for a larger fighting force drew the 19th Wisconsin Regiment back to battle, rendering Camp Randall unsuitable for securely holding prisoners. On May 31, 1862, the majority of the Camp Randall inmates left for Camp Douglas, a larger encampment in Chicago.
By June, the last of the Camp Randall prisoners had left. The only ones who remain in Madison were 140 Confederate soldiers who died during their stay at Camp Randall, now interred at Confederate Rest. Dead Confederate prisoners were buried at Forest Hill Cemetery. Initially grouped into a mass grave, the dead were later given their own headstones and a more formally organized plot, now known as Confederate Rest. The plot is well shaded and removed from the more populated areas of the cemetery, a quiet and somber reminder of an unsung chapter of Madison history.
No one has discussed the grave marker of Belle “Star” Boyd. Belle as she was known to most was a Confederate spy from 1855-1865. Belle died on June 11, 1900 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Belle went by many names, Cleopatra of the Secession, Siren of the Shenandoah. Belles spying career began by chance. According to her 1866 account, on July 4, 1861, a band of Union army soldiers heard she had Confederate flags in her room, and they came to investigate. They hung a Union flag outside her home. This made herangry enough, but when one of them cursed at her mother, she was enraged. Belle pulled out a pistol and shot and killed the man.
Belle has published a fictionalized narrative of her war experiences in a two-volume book titled Bell Boyd in Camp and Prison. While touring the United States), she died of a heart attack in Kilbourn City (now known as Wisconsin Dells), Wisconsin, on June 11, 1900. She was 56 years old. She was buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery in Wisconsin Dells, with members of the Local GAR as her pallbearers. For years, her grave simply read:
stones stood draped with Yankee blue cloths.One by one, the new gravestones were revea
BORN IN VIRGINIA
DIED IN WISCONSIN AND WAS BURIED IN SPRING GROVE CEMETERY
ERECTED BY A COMRADE
There are literally thousands. I’m not going to make you a super long list, but take Vicksburg National Military Park for example. Every single state that contributed troops during the Civil War has a monument to their soldiers within the park.
Union Soldiers buried in the South
A Union Army historian named Bruce Frail undertook the research in Washington and turned up more than 300 pages of research on the five dead soldiers, including their names.”This really amounts to a homecoming of sorts for the families who lost their ancestors and for those of us here who looked after these graves for so long,” Cadieu said as he sttching the color guard load their rifles. “In the larger scheme of things, it not a very big thing, I suppose, but to me it’s a powerful commentary on human kindness and brotherhood – how one man ended a war and honored his enemies by giving them a proper resting place, a home.”After to a clearing in the pines, where five new grave
Five soldiers who probably pined for the same thing died anonymously far from home but found peace – an unexpected home – in an enemy’s pasture.
Cpl. Reed Alcorn served in the eighth Indiana Calvary.
Pvt. Matthew Ross was from the same unit. He hailed from Carroll County, Indiana
Pvt. David Woods He came from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Pvt. Henry Stennett was from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and enlisted at Harrisburg
The story goes that Daniel Lassiter returned home to learn of five fresh graves on his property just weeks after the guns fell silent. He learned the bodies in the graves belonged to Union troops who’d been on a foraging mission on horseback and wagon when they evidently encountered remnants of the Richmond Home Guard. Records show that more than 35 Union Army deaths occurred from running skirmishes and scattered house-to-house fighting that took place in Richmond County during the closing days of the war.
After hearing the story, it’s believed Lassiter expressed sympathy for the deaths of his former enemies and their families, citing the need for the nation to heal its wounds. He pledged that the graves of his former enemies would be marked and never disturbed as long as his family owned the farm.
Lassiter’s promise passed through several generations of his family. In 1974, a man named Roy Moss purchased the property, and he agreed to honor the graves of the unknown soldiers by leaving them undisturbed as well.
On Murphree land in Alabama a Union solder is buried, a fence was put around the grave and a slab covered it. The reason, so no one could defile the grave. Flowers were placed there on every holiday. The soldier was unknown, but we cared for the grave as if it was our own.
The “peculiar institution” loomed large over the first few decades of American presidential history. Not only did slave laborers help build the White House all of the earliest presidents (except for John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams) were slave owners. George Washington kept some 300 bondsmen at his Mount Vernon plantation. Thomas Jefferson—despite once calling slavery an “assemblage of horrors”—owned around 175 servants. James Madison, James Monroe and Andrew Jackson each kept several dozen slaves, and Martin Van Buren owned one during his early career.
Even in my home state of Alabama, arguably portrayed as racist, backwards, and forever confederate, we have over 1,000 Northern Monuments that honor the Northern troops. I understand the uprising in wanting to tear down all of the Confederate Monuments, I understand what the flag represented to the north, but it is our history and we honored both North and South.
I have not heard any plans to remove those 1,000 Union Monuments.
The homes of my ancestors was violated, burned, stole horses, mules, chickens, pigs and cows… and all contents placed in a confederate wagon, pull by confederate mules. All of these items were taken North. On the Vest plantation, Union Soldiers raped the women of all color. My great-great grandparents did not own slaves. Their workers were given their freedom years before the “War” begin.
My great-great grandmother walked the Trail of Tears, moved off their land to barren land. Those caught running away by the Union Soldiers were shot, my great-great grandparents ran off during the night making their way back home.
The southerners that march with swastikas, flags, wore hoods is not my people. The removal of monuments is wrong.
I guess my thought tonight is that my Chickasaw heritage was taken from me forcefully as was my plantation home, animals, and such Trump. My ancestors were raped and left with nothing. I am certain after this State of the Union Address soaks in…we may want that which was stolen from us. We want our land back.
No, all I want is world peace.