Bidding Adieu to Confederate Soldier Statue

Confederate statue outside the Red Brick Courthouse. A crate now surrounds the statue.

Historians and Civil War buffs are expected to gather today in Rockville in what some are calling the “final retreat” of a statue of a Civil War soldier in front of Montgomery County’s old district court house.

The statue, erected in 1913, will be moved to a location near White’s Ferry, a spot more than 20 miles away along the Potomac River.

The statue, the only veterans’ statue in Montgomery County, was donated to the County by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913 and honored county men who served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. The inscription reads: “To Our Heroes of Montgomery County Maryland: That We Through Life May Not Forget to Love the Thin Gray Line.”

The 16-foot-tall statue, possibly the only veterans statue in the county, weighs 25,000 pounds and sits on a 11,000-pound pedestal.

Some believe pound statue could be moving as early as this weekend. Attempts to pin down a timeframe for its transport have been unsuccessful. County Executive Ike Leggett said Friday he didn’t know when the move would take place.

David Dise, director of the county’s Office of the Department of General Services, deferred questions to Leggett spokesman Patrick Lacefield.

Phone calls to Lacefield were not returned. An email to Lacefield asking if the statue was moving this weekend received this reply: “Don’t know. Plans still unfolding.”

Tony Cohen, who supports leaving the statue in Rockville, said organizers purposefully picked Friday for the statue’s farewell.

“If it’s gone the following evening, we won’t feel like we slept through history,” Cohen said.

Matthew Logan, executive director of the Montgomery County Historical Society, also believes the statue should stay put.

“Our position is the best outcome is to leave it where it is sitting quietly almost anonymously… and bring in additional interpretation,” he said.

Only a few generations ago, Montgomery County was very much a southern sympathizing location, Logan said.

“That’s a part of our history that I don’t think should be lost,” he said.

Cohen said he’s seen the concrete pad near the ferry that will be the new home of the statue.

“The statue has a different story to tell — less about the Civil War and more about the 20th century. What came between,” Cohen said. “It’s an important distinction that’s lost in the stay-or-go part of the issue.”

The statue signifies Rockville’s transformation from a sleepy southern town into a metropolitan gateway, he said.

“That statue tells the story of a seismic shift in identity,” he said.

 

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

Comments

5 Responses to “Bidding Adieu to Confederate Soldier Statue”

  1. On July 22, 2017 at 10:12 am responded with... #

    I think that this whole thing is senseless. I do not understand why people of authority keep bowing down to political correctness and peoples feelings being hurt by something that they don’t understand and that is their own country’s history

  2. On July 22, 2017 at 6:55 pm responded with... #

    “…metropolitan gateway”. What a crock. Leave the statues alone.

  3. On July 23, 2017 at 8:25 pm responded with... #

    Embarrassed to have once called Rockville and Montgomery County home. Shame on those behind disgracing MC’s Veterans!!

    “To Our Heroes of Montgomery County Maryland: That We Through Life May Not Forget to Love the Thin Gray Line.”

  4. On July 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm responded with... #

    “Be tolerant, inclusive, diverse”, they said. “Oh! except for that hateful, intolerant Confederate stuff. We don’t have to tolerate that. But we want you to be tolerant of all sorts of things that you may not like or offend you. Just do as we say and not as we do because we are the judges of what’s right and know what’s best for society”. Politically correct rank hypocrisy, hate, intolerance, prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, ignorance, waste, futility and stupidity. Thank God I don’t live there any more although I’m sure my tax dollars still get there some how. I’m ashamed, embarrassed, disgusted and humiliated to call myself an American

  5. On July 25, 2017 at 9:11 am responded with... #

    This statue belongs to the people of the county. Let them vote in the next election whether to keep it or move it. There is no sound reason to move this wonderful statue from where it has always been.




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