Victory in Tennessee! Confederate Memorial in Nashville Preserved by Unanimous Vote of the Tennessee Historical Commission
February 20, 2023
In the words of Lt. Gen. Thomas Jonathan Jackson (Stonewall), one must “. . . move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory. . .” This is exactly what General Joseph E. Johnston Camp 28 in Nashville did as an intervening party before the Tennessee Historical Commission in the waiver request by the Nashville Metro Board of Parks and Recreation seeking the removal of the Confederate Memorial placed by the Frank Cheatham Bivouac UCV Camp 35 and dedicated on June 19, 1909, from Centennial Park in Nashville.
The matter was heard before the THC on Friday, February 17, 2023. The Tennessee Division JAG Officer, H. Edward Phillips represented Camp 28 before the Commission. During the hearing, evidence was produced underscoring the fact that renowned artist George Julian Zolnay (1863- 1949), a Hungarian immigrant, who sculpted the Confederate Memorial, also sculpted the “Gold Star Monument” dedicated in 1923 to the Nashvillians killed in action in World War I (one of his last professional commissions), and that with each of these memorials being located in Centennial Park, preservation must be favored. Phillips also noted that these objects including the Parthenon, on which Zolnay also worked, were part of the 2008 application by the THC to place Centennial Park on the National Historic Register and therefore supported the legal presumption under Tennessee law favoring those memorials listed on the Register be preserved.
Camp member Frank Heathman provided testimony related to his ancestor Sgt. Jesse Cage, Co. E, 7th Tennessee Inf. Regt., who was a member of the Frank Cheatham Bivouac, and whose name is among the 540 Bivouac members listed on the Memorial. Compatriot Heathman discussed the reasons these memorials were established in the first instance – to honor those veterans who served during a bitterly fought war and for the preservation of our founding principles.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans supports expanding the footprint of history rather than taking away monuments and memorials placed by our forbearers. The history of our nation spans centuries and we believe there is room to tell the story of all deserving Americans.
Please continue to support all Heritage Defense Initiatives and funding, as it does make a difference. We move forward in victory when we work hard and are committed to our local communities.
- S. Jason Boshers
- Edward Phillips
National Public Affairs Officer