Men of the Division,
Commander Stone asked me to write you and address a serious matter facing our brothers in Tennessee. By extension of our common heritage, it also affects us.
As many of you are probably aware by now, last night, the city council of Memphis, Tennessee voted unanimously to remove the memorials to Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis in a city park. They did so to thwart state law, which similar in ways to ours, prohibits the removal of such objects barring certain circumstances, on public property. To maintain compliance with the law, the city council sold the parcels of land to a non-profit for a pittance, run by a member of the same council, so that they memorials were technically on private land and not public. Under this scheme, the memorials were removed by heavy equipment under the cover of darkness and with full police protection.
You should note two things about this event other than the obvious desecration of our heroes:
(1) By all accounts, the bodies of General Forrest and his wife still lie in the grave beneath his memorial. That was my first concern and I scoured the news yesterday and today to try and figure out if the bodies were previously removed and if not, what plans the city had to handle the remains with proper dignity. Regardless, it is clear that despite the fact that human remains are involved, the city and the savages supporting the removal of General Forrest's legacy know no decency or end to their crusade against us and our ancestors. The point is, occurrences like this should not shock you anymore. This is the new normal. First it was just courthouse paintings and flags. Then it was equestrian statues in big cities. Now it is actual grave sites. Even with laws in place to protect our memorials, they are still being removed. The question is: "where will they stop in their war against our heritage?" The answer is: "They won't stop." They are literally digging us up now. You need to understand that.
(2) This method of selling the land to sympathetic parties in backroom deals will be employed across the nation and probably in North Carolina to remove memorials honoring Confederates and other heroes from our history. I sincerely hope that it will not become a widely adopted strategy by the left, however, it is genius in its level of evil and extortion. Even if such transactions are not lawful, like that in Memphis where a conflict of interest is clearly problematic, it puts the onus on parties like the SCV to bring suit and incur the cost of pursuing justice. With our limited resources and potential lack of standing in unsympathetic judicial forums, we will quickly be drained of money and the ability to fight.
I don't have a solution for this problem. General Forrest's protectors in Tennessee did everything they could and they won fair and square. The statue was to remain in the park in accordance with state law. However, when the left did not like the result, they changed the rules. Now, not only is General Forrest gone but a memorial to Jeff Davis is gone as well. We went from victory to double defeat overnight.
Obviously, the Tennessee Division and IHQ will be fighting this removal, however, the damage is done and it is uncertain that the statues, already sitting in an undisclosed location, will ever be restored. These are low times for us and they may get worse. It is more important now than ever to stay the course, attend your camp meetings, participate at the Division level, and make the NCSCV a stronger brotherhood. We can only depend on ourselves and it is up to us to ensure that our heritage survives this second period of reconstruction. We have to stick together.
When it's all said and done, the only thing that truly matters is God's will. Let us have faith that he will not allow the forces of evil against us, who promote a godless and despotic existence, to triumph in the end.
North Carolina Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans