Of Statues and Soldiers…

Why are angry mobs allowed to destroy Civil War statues?      If they have to be taken down, properly and carefully by local government authorities—why not store them temporarily at a museum or some other place appropriate.     Smashing them to rubble is foolish…no, let me say stupid…and knee-jerk reactions to political correctness.   Gratuitous pandering, perhaps.

Except for one thing—there seems to be NO thought or reasoning to these actions, only public showing-off.       This kind of destruction of public property is against the law, for one thing, and morally wrong for a few hot-heads to decide for entire communities that historic statues need to be not only removed…but demolished.

Most villages and towns have a statue of a civil war soldier in its town park, or round-about in the highway, or city hall.     The statue stands proudly with his rifle, standing vigil of pride and gratitude to the soldiers who died fighting for their side in the Civil War.     North of the Mason-Dixon Line, approximate borders between states (Ohio and Pennsylvania in the North, Kentucky and West Virginia, etc. in the South.

It boggles the mind thinking about the problems involved in removing Southern statues…and by extension perhaps Northern statues as well?   That action would likely cause great unrest, being that the Union troops were on the winning side, therefore perceived to be the “right” side.     The fact is that the Civil War, was fought over state’s rights to maintain slavery….simplified, but that’s how it was…hyperbole and “regional history” aside.

The Generals and other high-ranking bigshots are usually the ones mortalized in statues:  the southern generals Robert E. Lee,  Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson,  James Longstreet…etc., etc., etc.     But the rank-n-file soldiers were young volunteers, then draftees, pressed into service by their respective sides, especially in the latter years of the war.  They had    little choice, and high-minded rhetoric about noble causes and patriotic duty hardly affected the lowest level Johnny Reb…who went to war because he had to.



Johnson’s Island confederate cemetery on Lake Erie, Ohio….photos of Southern soldier statue (Part One)

Here are two photos of the statue at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, taken by Bob Dreger in 1981.   The cemetery is a protected U.S. site, where more than two hundred Confederate military officers are buried.    I do need to clarify that Bob Dreger was the photographer, in 1981.  The copyright  is ©Sometimes, 2017.

This island is far North, half way to Canada.   It was important because all of the prisoners were Confederate military officers (Lieutenant and higher) who were separated from the rank-and-file soldiers incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio, and transferred to Johnson’s Island.

Later today I will try to post several more photos from this same batch.

This is the first part of this post on SOMETIMES, photos of the statue itself, including the pedestal, or base, which clearly explains the presence of a Southern monument this far North.   Johnson’s Island is located off of Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie.   The island itself is privately owned, with controlled access.     Visitors to the federal cemetery do have access to the cemetery grounds, however.

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U.S.Civil War. Statue of Confederate Soldier, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Photo by Bob Dreger, ©Sometimes, 2017
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Base of Confederate Soldier statue on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Civil War Prison. ©photo by Bob Dreger, Sometimes 2017)

No…not Donald & Ted

1856 political cartoon published with wikipedia entry.


Anyone who by chance has missed the great History Lesson involving the decorum and elite “City-on-the-Hill-ness” of the U. S. Presidential Ruckus Election process (Republican Version) will want to read this Wiki article.   It’s great, and very reminiscent of what we see on our television sets every day lately.

Ah–no, not exactly.   No one ever actually hit anyone (YET anyway,) but with the way the crowds at Trump For President rallies are acting it might be inevitable.

In a nutshell (get it…NUT shell? tee hee)  these two representatives of the American Way circa 1856– Senator Charles Sumner and Representative Preston Brooks got into it over an insult made to someone’s cousin, and the gentlemen resorted to fisticuffs and actual caning (hitting with a walking cane.)  Ha!  Dueling was “in” back then before the U.S. Civil War, but gosh…it’s a good thing they didn’t go THAT far.

It was a very nasty occurrence, what with bystanders eventually getting into the brawl and the hallowed halls just rang with hollering and smacking sounds!   There was undoubtedly some blood involved, as well.

Well, fortunately for the participants there was no Internet…no Twitter…no CNN…no Megan Kelley…and no one published nude pictures of anyone’s wife in the newspapers of the day.  (As if THAT was ever considered decent and fair–even in politics.)

Well… I will not undertake writing my own take on the Caning of Charles Sumner, except to say that I think it was hilarious outrageous and just completely WRONG!  Sort of typical, though…in keeping with our shoot-’em up mentality here in the land of the free and home of the…well, ya’ll know the rest of it.