Historian outlines Lauderdale County Confederate monument’s history

Historian outlines Lauderdale County Confederate monument’s history

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Confederate monument has been at the center of conversations for the past few months.

One local historian went through the history of how the monument has come to be.

The monument that almost wasn’t is how historian Lee Freeman describes the confederate monument in Florence.

“They started fundraising in 1876 and only got enough money to finish it in April of 1903,” said Freeman.

The monument that commemorates fallen confederate soldiers during the civil war greets you as you walk into the Lauderdale County courthouse.

“It took the ladies aid memorial society that built the monument 30 years to actually raise enough money to get it built,” said Freeman.

Now, the almost 120-year-old monument’s history is the center of a debate.

Freeman says it’s impossible to separate the monument from the war it represents.

“It was on a political level fought over slavery. There’s just no doubt about it. If you read the documents to the war, it’s about state’s rights, but it’s about one particular states right. How they can preserve slavery,” said Freeman.

Freeman says the dedication ceremony of the monument also has a checkered history. That’s due to a remarks made by Doctor H. A. Moody.

“The reverend did make racist remarks during the dedication,” said Freeman.

Protesters have pushed for the removal of the monument for several weeks.

Freeman believes history shouldn’t be destroyed, but rather memorialized in a proper place.

“If they want to move it and shift it to the city cemetery as a historian, I am fine with that because the city cemetery, the soldiers rest area specifically which is primarily confederate soldiers and some union graves, I’m fine with that because that is one of the locations that they considered putting it in in the 19th century,” said Freeman.

“I really do believe if the community doesn’t know where it’s been, it won’t have any idea where it’s going.”

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