What To Do With Lt. General A.P. Hill’s Remains?

I’ve tried to stay out of the monument debate as long as I could — mainly to retain my sanity and avoid making enemies on either side. That was at least until a Civil War general’s remains became involved.

On June 6, I saw a photo posted on Twitter by fellow ECWer Edward S. Alexander. He was chronicling what was going on in Richmond, and shared a picture of Confederate Lt. General Ambrose Powell Hill’s monument splattered with brown and white paint. Odds are that this statue will be coming down soon. (Just a note: If you are feeling compelled to leave a comment for or against the removal of Confederate monuments, this blog post isn’t the place to do it.) The A.P. Hill Monument is different than the other monuments coming under fire because the general’s remains are stored in the statue’s 24-foot pedestal. (I have also read that the general’s remains are buried under it.)[1]

A recent photo of the A.P. Hill Monument. (Courtesy of Edward S. Alexander)

Alexander did a wonderful job covering the events surrounding Hill’s death in this past ECW post. He will be discussing Hill’s three burials during the Seventh Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium. You will have to wait until August to get the juicy details of the bizarre journey Hill’s body made after being killed in April 1865.

Hill’s remains ended up being moved to Lot N-35 of Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery in 1867. Twenty-five Confederate generals are currently buried here, the most than any other cemetery in the nation. Hill was unceremoniously buried in an unmarked grave at Hollywood. The only indication that he was buried in this location were the words “Lt.-Gen. A.P. Hill” inscribed in the curbing in front of his grave. During the late 19th century, members of the Pegram Battalion Association, some of which had served with Hill during the war, felt this was an unworthy way to honor the general, and set out to do something about it.[2]

Initially, they planned to place a statue over Hill’s grave at Hollywood, but Major Lewis Ginter spearheaded the movement to relocate Hill’s remains to the intersection at Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road. One newspaper called this located “a very beautiful one at the corner nearest the city of Major Ginter’s country place.” The Ginter Real Estate Development Company — owned by Major Ginter — conveniently donated the land. The statue and pedestal — costing $15,000 — would be far enough away from the other Confederate monuments erected on Monument Avenue to avoid it being dwarfed by them, while also serving as a centerpiece in the neighborhood.[3]

General Hill’s statue. (Harper’s Weekly, June 11, 1892)

In July 1892, members of the Hill Monument Association, with the consent of Kitty Morgan Forsyth (Hill’s widow, who had remarried after his death), exhumed Hill’s remains. “I was not favorable to the second disturbance and removal of the General’s remains,” family member G. Powell Hill, wrote, “and I believe such were the feelings of a majority of his surviving relatives, as we believe it was wholly unnecessary and furthermore, we think it would have been far more desirable had the monument been erected over the grave in the most beautiful God’s Acre in his native State, and where he has been sleeping for nearly a quarter of a century.” This statement indicates there was some division among family members regarding the relocation. After four hours of digging, Hill’s bones were removed. Funeral Director Langdon T. Christian placed them in a container for safekeeping. That evening, Hill’s remains were stored in a sarcophagus in the granite pedestal that would serve as the base for an 8-foot tall bronze statue, designed by William L. Sheppard, not yet completed. (A maquette of the statue is on display at the American Civil War Museum.)[4]

 The placement of the A. P. Hill Monument has been debated for years for obvious reasons, including the hazard it poses to traffic. (Forty-three crashes were reported at this intersection in 2019.) Efforts were made to return Hill’s remains to Hollywood Cemetery in 1966, to no avail. In 2009, the Sons of Confederate Veterans proposed to move them to Richmond’s restored Oakwood Cemetery, where thousands of Confederate soldiers are buried. Now, it only seems practical to relocate Hill for the fourth, and hopefully last, time. But to where?[5]

Funeral Director Langdon T. Christian. (Lyon G. Tyler, Men of Mark in Virginia, Vol. 2, 1907)

Of course, Hollywood or Oakwood are options. Another suitable location is Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper, Virginia, where Hill’s mother, father, two sisters, and a brother are buried. Besides, his family originally wanted him buried there. The question is, will one of these cemeteries take him? If Hollywood, Oakwood, or Fairview won’t, surely some other cemetery will.[6]

Unpopular as this may be to some, it’s time for Hill to be moved from its current location. Some family members, while appreciative of the effort to commemorate the general, according to G. Powell Hill, would have rather seen him left buried at Hollywood. The city of Richmond must act now to ensure Hill’s remains are properly cared for when his monument is removed.

Lt. Gen. Ambrose P. Hill. (Library of Congress)

I’m not one to propose something without including a solution. So here it is: I suggest setting up a committee of historians and archeologists to advise how and where Hill’s remains should be moved — handling the details of exhumation, the logistics of transportation, selecting a suitable location, and deciding on the most appropriate type of memorialization. Hill saw service in the U.S. Army after graduating from West Point in 1847, so the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide a government-issued headstone free of charge if this is deemed to be the most appropriate way to mark Hill’s new grave. I, for one, would be more than willing to sit on this committee to see to it that Hill’s remains are properly taken care of. I’m sure other historians would be willing to as well. I’ll leave others to debate the fate of his monument.

It may seem like a colossal undertaking to relocate Hill’s remains. Try reading about one man’s effort to remove Confederate Brigadier General Bushrod Rust Johnson’s remains from an Illinois cemetery to Tennessee. (Noble K. Wyatt’s tale is at the end of the revised edition of Charles M. Cummings’ Yankee Quaker Confederate General: The Curious Career of Bushrod Rust Johnson.) The challenges Wyatt faced during the 1970s were far more daunting considering the obstacles he had to overcome and the limited resources he had available.[7]

A postcard of the A.P. Hill Monument, circa. 1910. (Author’s collection)

Richmond’s Monument Avenue Preservation Group (not the Monument Avenue Preservation Society) and others are fighting tooth and nail to resist the removal of the statues from Monument Avenue. We can’t predict the future, but there needs to be a plan to ensure that Hill’s remains don’t end up being desecrated, aren’t stowed away in a storage unit, or aren’t lost. I’m far less concerned with the fate of a monument than I am with a man’s remains. Let’s make sure this is the last and final time Ambrose Powell Hill is moved and permit this soldier to rest in peace.

 

Footnotes

[1] G. Powell Hill, “First Burial of General Hill’s Remains,” in Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. 19, edited by R.A. Brock (Richmond, VA: Published by the Society, 1891), 183.

[2] James I. Robertson, Jr., General A. P. Hill: The Story of a Confederate Warrior (New York: Random House, 1987), 321-22.

[3] “The Hill Monument,” Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, VA), April 7, 1891; Brian Burns, Lewis Ginter: Richmond’s Gilded Age Icon (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011); S.A. Cunningham, ed., Confederate Veteran Magazine, Vol. 17 (Nashville TN: S.A. Cunningham, 1909), 509; Robertson, Jr., General A. P. Hill, 323.

[4] Robertson, Jr., General A. P. Hill, 323-24; Mary H. Mitchell, Hollywood Cemetery: The History of a Southern Shrine (Richmond, VA: The Library of Virginia, 1999), 114; The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA), March 18, 1892; “The Hill Statue,” The Big Stone Post (Big Stone Gap, VA), March 11, 1892; Hill, “First Burial of General Hill’s Remains,” 186.

[5] “Confederate Group Offers to Move Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill’s Body,” Style Weekly (September 2, 2009), https://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/confederate-group-offers-to-move-lt-gen-ap-hillts-body/Content?oid=1378709; Wyatt Gordon, “Removing one Confederate monument in Richmond is not just about racism—but safety,” Greater Greater Washington (April 3, 2020), https://ggwash.org/view/76932/removing-one-confederate-monument-in-richmond-is-not-just-about-racismbut-safety; “Why Richmond, Why?!? Shrinking Space Around A.P. Hill Statue,” Richmond-Time Dispatch (November 5, 2012), https://www.richmond.com/why-richmond-why-shrinking-space-around-a-p-hill-statue/article_fcba590c-3a3d-11e2-a237-0019bb30f31a.html.

[6] Hill, “First Burial of General Hill’s Remains,” 183-84.

[7] Noble K. Wyatt, “The General Goes Home,” in Charles M. Cummings, Yankee Quaker, Confederate General: The Curious Career of Bushrod Rust Johnson (Columbus, OH: The General’s Books, 1993), 418-36.

About Frank Jastrzembski

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Frank Jastrzembski studied history at John Carroll University (B.A.) and Cleveland State University (M.A.). He's written dozens of articles and two books on Victorian officers. Visit www.frankjastrzembski.com to view a complete list of his publications. When he is not writing, he travels with his wife, explores old cemeteries, plays wargames, and hunts for vintage military and political memorabilia.
This entry was posted in Leadership--Confederate, Memory and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to What To Do With Lt. General A.P. Hill’s Remains?

  1. Jim kurtz says:

    A very interesting complication, nothing is simple .remains need to treated with respect

  2. Robert Denney says:

    Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife’s remains are currently in limbo after his equestrian statue was removed to storage in Memphis, TN.

    • Mark St Clair says:

      It is a crying shame the underhanded way the mayor city& county have given millions of dollars of valuable real estate that The general and his wife lay in the ground. The land was a park and was “sold” to a government insider for $2,000 00. The rush was so hasty that they took the grave marker and damaged the grave site where they lay. Surely we can do better. Mayor Strickland & city & county council should be ashamed as all they were doing is pandering.

  3. Mike B says:

    I find it interesting that you prefer that your readers do not post comments about statue removals, etc. When this garbage idea surfaced in the recent past, most of the authors of this blog had something to say about statues and their desicration and removal. If I remember most of the authors were for removal.

    • Sarah Kay Bierle says:

      We’re glad to have readers share their thoughts and opinions for discussion in the comments. Some of the ECW writers have been adding articles to the blog about monuments this week if they have wished.

  4. William Anderson says:

    Under the current climate of public sentiment (some say hysteria), the monument and remains will be moved eventually regardless of whether or not any groups or individuals complain. I agree it would be a good idea for someone or some group to start to plan for that eventuality to ensure a proper resolution. Sooner is better than later.

  5. Charlie Herbek says:

    Alas we are now concerned about the desecration of human remains by anarchists.
    And what of the next escalation in desecration, that of all Confederate soldiers. The two cemeteries in Fredericksburg are terribly vulnerable. However, we must remember that these attacks are designed to provoke angst and dissension amongst the good people of this country for ulterior purposes. Remembering that alone must keep us from, out of justifiably, righteous indignation, responding more assertively. The manipulators are following a time honored and perfected playbook and designed this entire agenda for general, emotional upheaval, making the entire country’s situation even worse. Good people of all races must not allow themselves to be used
    and falsely turned against each other.
    For you see that is the end state they seek and that alone.

    • Thomas Smith says:

      You people seem to forget they were traitors who took up arms. Also you people are not trying to recognize all of the unknown enslaved buried with no honor. Still the same racist mentality prevails

      • Thomas Reinheimer says:

        They were not traitors. Your opinion is one of historical ignorance.

      • Alex Mackay says:

        “If you bring these leaders to trial it will condemn the North, for by the Constitution secession is not rebellion.” ….”Lincoln wanted Jefferson Davis to escape, and he was right. His capture was a mistake. His trial will be a greater one. We cannot convict him of treason. Secession is settled. Let it stay settled.” –Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase

        “A congressional committee proposed a special court, to be headed by Judge Franz Lieber, to try Jefferson Davis for treason. After studying more than 270,000 Confederate documents, seeking evidence against Davis, this court discouraged the War Department: ‘Davis will be found not guilty,’ Lieber reported, ‘and we shall stand there completely beaten’.”

        Burke Davis. The Long Surrender. New York, NY: Random House, 1985, p. 214

      • Stephen T says:

        Quite. They took up arms against the United States which is the definition of treason in the Constitution. I suppose their legal defence would be that the confederacy was an independent nation. But it was never recognised as such by any sovereign nation and ceased to exist in 1865, so that defence does not stand. They were t prosecuted for pragmatic political reasons, not for legal ones.

      • John Pope says:

        May I remind you sir that President Andrew Johnson on December 25,1868 issued pardons to all Confederate soldiers. It was, “unconditionally, and without reservation … a full pardon and amnesty for the offence of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late Civil War, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws.” Also, I wholeheartedly encourage you to find those graves of unknown enslaved, buried with no honor. I will personally give you a few dollars to assist in your quest for proper burial, recognition, and honor for the injustice they endured. I am sure you are the man to carry out this quest for justice for these poor forgotten souls, as you are without a doubt the least racist person in your own mind that can be found. Good luck in your quest!

      • Stephen T says:

        @John Pope

        Johnson’s pardon of the rebels was an explicit acknowledgement of their treason. You cannot pardon an innocent man!

  6. Douglas Pauly says:

    I imagine the animals who are rioting over such items will have no problem desecrating those remains. Just sayin’.

  7. Louis Marschalko says:

    https://youtu.be/BcL0bkAAzTo
    Unreconstructed 1.

  8. Craig Forester says:

    I understand that venerating members of the Confederacy could certainly be construed as being
    In poor taste due to the institution of slavery. That being said removing these monuments does seem to be in order. That being the case I think we should likewise destroy and bulldoze every mosque in America due to the violence and hatred coming from Islam. It is likewise a racist institution and it needs to be wiped clean from America. All Muslims need to be sent packing out of here as well. In the spirit of getting rid of enemies of humanity it is the least we can do

    • MikeD says:

      Lest ye forget Mohammad was a slave owner and permitted slavery within Islam.

    • Nick says:

      A noble idea; remember also that Christianity expressly permits slavery and many notable figures held slaves. What’s more, the majority of terrorism in America is domestic and caused by white Christians, so if you’re taking out the mosques, do take out the churches as well.

    • Stephen T says:

      Muslims are human beings. A few are evil, some are good most are neutral, like people everywhere. Calling them enemies of humanity is pure hate speech of the sort deployed by the Nazi regime against Jews. And we all know how that ended. Calm down.

      • Harl says:

        Yeah, every September 11 my wife and I never forget the wonderful Muslims. Once upon a time London was our favorite city to visit. I can’t get my wife to go anymore because she’s afraid of getting acid thrown in her face or getting run over on London Bridge by one of those “neutral” Muslims. We just can’t get enough of these kind, thoughtful people.

      • ebook4111 says:

        Your knowledge of Islam demonstrates your ignorance. Spend some time learning before you make accusations about hate speech.

      • Stephen T says:

        @Harl You are convulsed with hatred and paranoia. Seek help.

      • Stephen T says:

        @ebook411, could you express that in less elliptical terms sonny?

    • Debbie says:

      Charlie, removing and relocated are two entirely different things for goodness sakes. Relocating Hill to a more appropriate and respectful burial place makes it much easier for those that wish to honor him to do so. The middle of a 4-lane busy intersection makes that task virtually impossible.
      He’s been moved twice before so there’s precedent for relocation. Let’s give the man a proper resting place and respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority of residents that live in the area that do not want to live in the shadow of a monument that glorifies human bondage and oppression. It’s time.

  9. Rollen Reed says:

    Why are we doing this most people were taught that the southern states was a bunch of slave owners when in fact it had been under scrutiny , from the north for more taxes which were called tariff taxes ( Morris) right before the civil war south didn’t want pay ,slavery was just a distraction if not y then had they not provided food money and land after freeing them.

  10. Patrick says:

    You must be joking . If you really want to know about the south read Jefferson Davis memoirs. All these generals who served in the Confederate army was traitor’s . Why do you think they had to give and oath to not raise arms against the US. He gave up his rights to any marker for the government to pay for when he decided to serve in the Confederate army. This war was appalling vat the least Americans fighting Americans no glory in it . That flag memorials statues . Cut a whole in the base dig him out throw him in a hole .

    • Mike Maxwell says:

      Proper care and concern for human remains: one of the unheralded cornerstones of civilized society…

    • robertceltic says:

      By Patrick’s ignorant statement, he probably feels the same about our founding fathers in their fight for independence. Southerners fought for the same principles. Lincoln trashed the constitution, bill of Rights and the declaration of Independence like no previous president.

      • Stephen T says:

        The difference is, they won. The confederates were crushed. To the victor the spoils, including the right to say who were the traitors.

  11. How about we bulldoze the Washington Monument or the Jefferson Memorial? How about Mt. Vernon? These two founding fathers, slave owners couldn’t bring themselves to rid slavery. How about the White House? This beacon of freedom, home to what used to be the most powerful leader in the world, again, built by slaves. Let’s tear them all down! If we remove our history, no matter how vile it may be, we are only bound to repeat it. We need to embrace our past, learn from it, and remember the sacrifices made to become the country and people we are today. Being blinded by extreme views and ideas will destroy this country, prompting another civil war, we don’t need that, the world doesn’t need that.

    • Kathleen Dolon says:

      I agree co,pletely.

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      Be careful. That all might be next!

    • Nick says:

      I agree that more people should be aware of just how much of the young country was built by slaves. The cost benefits of nearly free labor are addictive. For decades, Europeans who came to Washington were confused and ashamed to see open air slave pens and slave marches in the capitol of a country that did so much lip service to liberty.

      It’s important to distinguish that remembering our past is not the same as glorifying the bad actors of the past. The Confederate army did commit treason to support a set of economic freedoms that were fully supported by slavery. Hill had been at peace for 30 years before a group of would be rebels decided to glorify his taking up arms against the US. This wasn’t seen as heinous why? Not recognizing Confederate insignia as hurtful was a problem then as it is now.

      As noted, secession is not rebellion, but taking up arms against the US is treason. Our founding fathers committed treason against the crown, but they won their war. They certainly would have been hanged otherwise. Had the CSA won the civil war, there would be a great many more statues erected and celebrated in the South, asks a great many more who would have died unjustly in servitude.

    • Todd Berkoff says:

      The Washington Monument, White House, and Jefferson Memorial do not glorify or commemorate the Confederacy, slavery, slave holders, racism, segregation, or Jim Crow. However, the monuments/bases in question do just that.

      • Mike Maxwell says:

        And the Headstones in many cemeteries… and the former Plantation mansions now run as B & B… Once the Lost Cause removals are completed, there are the goals of the 1619 Project to be addressed…
        And the hits just keep on coming…

  12. Bobby Hulsey says:

    A travesty trying to wipe out history. Most Americans learned and were taught the horror of slavery. Should we dump these anarcist and antifa into landfills or should it be taught that in the 21st century there were groups trying to overthrow the Republic.

  13. Ella says:

    How is what the descendants want even a question? They prefer for the corpse to stay where it is,
    at least in part, because that means they don’t have to deal with it. If the monument is removed, they clearly don’t get to have their first choice–and in that case the obvious solution is that A.P. Hill’s corpse (and other corpses in limbo) become their families’ problem. I’m sure there’s a cemetery somewhere that will take them.

    Frankly, if I was the person put in charge of the corpse, it would receive a direct cremation and private ash-scattering. But that’s me. If the descendants want the corpse interred with a monument then *they* can find a cemetery to take Hill and *they* can fund the monument.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got a novel idea. Leave them where they are!

  15. Wilson says:

    I believe some if the statue should be removed and put in museums but I also believe that some should remain up to remind us of the historical period so that we can learn from our past and won’t repeat it. If we hide or remove them we will forget and repeat history! There are numerous statues honoring people that made wrong decisions or judgments but they also made overall great decisions for our country and citizens as well. Stop and look – We are judging many and everyone with today’s standards when it was the norms during those time periods in our history bad or good. We are being too emotional and is clouding our judgments. Let’s us not make the wrong decisions that might come back later in hunt the next generation of Americans!

    • MikeD says:

      It doesn’t matter if they are relocated to private property or musuems, the mob rule will eventually see to it that they are destroyed. Removal of confederate soldiers graves will be on their todo list.

  16. Virgil J Jacas says:

    Remains should be treated with respect ALWAYS !!!

  17. Donn says:

    Let’s re-write history to our liking. Who decides? Hmmm

  18. Eric Blair says:

    Newsflash Mr. J: You dont get to be the boss of what kind of responses people want to make to your commentary. Now then, Nazi Germany….a despicable regime which led to the ruination of that country. In the aftermath, the swastica is banned and there are no statues of Hitler or his henchmen. Likewise, in the aftermath of the Civil War the Stars & Bars SHOULD have been banned as well as any statues on public property of the treasonous Confederate leaders. It’s a simple concept. We SHOULD NOT honor the traitors who plunged this nation into horrific bloodshed and destruction. This current movement is LONG overdue. Even as a young person II could never understand why the Confederate flag was permitted to fly above many state capitol buildings. At the war’s end many people thought that Robert E. Lee should have been hung immediately after surrendering at Appomattox. I agree. And, while we’re at it, let’s remove all the statues of Benedict Arnold…..oh, that’s right, nevermind….there aren’t any.

    • Eli says:

      You can’t even spell “Swastika” right. And you know what’s making a rise in Germany right now but the way,…….. Neo-Nazis!?!?! *Gasp*. How could this be? They made sure they censored the people from all of that garbage right? Weird, it seems like history is repeating itself or something.

      • Stephen T says:

        Sorry to disappoint you, but the NSDAP is not going to regain power in Germany.

    • David Lester says:

      Comparing Nazi Germany to the Confederacy shows your lack of knowledge of true history..Maybe you should go to the National Archives and visit the Library of Congress along with various state archives…Its all the same with you butthurt little socialist…Everyone is a Nazi that you don’t like..The actions of these disgruntled little protesters..looters and arsonist are the closest thing I’ve seen to the behavior of Nazis..Look at what happened to the WW2 monument in Washington..Vandalized..And that very monument was dedicated to the very ones who fought and conquered Nazism..All these young socialist are very ignorant as to what true history is..They are receiving an indoctrination instead of an education at these worthless leftist colleges.

      • Stephen T says:

        The Confederacy was still bestial regime, whose own Vice President declared proudly “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition”

      • David Lester says:

        The vice president to whom you are referring to is Alexander Stephens , and yes I’m very familiar with his cornerstone speech..It’s one of the very first things most novice historians point out in every single argument..I don’t know why they don’t do a little “true” research of their own instead of reading and making quotes from books that others have written..When you read from other authors books you’re making a decision on someone else’s writings instead of doing you’re own research from writings of the time and place by the men , politicians and soldiers who lived in that particular time in history..To study history with a modern mindset will never get you anywhere close to understanding what happened and why in past times..You have to study the mindset of the people from that particular time in history to get a truer picture of what happened..I for one was blessed with a history professor who was a true teacher..He taught us not to take the word of one individual and take it as the gospel..He pointed us in the direction that the true history was and let us as students form our own opinions and conclusions from history..Thats why I’ve spent countless hours in the Library of Congress , National Archives and several state archives..Ive not visited but 3 northern state archives but look forward to visiting more when time allows..I will get to the point hete and say yes I’m quite familiar with Stephens speech that he made that you quoted and yes he did blatantly said it just as you stated..But to pin the whole issue of racism and white supremacy squarely on the shoulders of the South is shallow minded and incorrect..If you look at mid 19th century America that was the mindset of the entire nation..They looked upon as a white mans country..Nothing else..Lincoln had the same mindset as well that is evident from his early campaign trail through his presidency..During the war he gathered together several prominent black men in Washington and stated plainly that we suffer from your presence and encouraged them to leave the country and settle elsewhere..He stated that the superior position belonged to the white man..Im not singling Lincoln out to alone on this issue but it was the sentiment of the entire country..i for one know that Lincoln’s primary concern was saving the Union by any means necessary even if it meant going beyond the Constitution..I can see his reasoning in this and understand why he did some of the things that he did..I’ll finish this by saying…Yes..Stephens made that quote..But just don’t pin the whole issue on the south..It went way beyond just the south..It was a sentiment that the whole nation shared along with other countries as well..Racisms ugly head knew not just the south but large portions of the world as well….

      • Stephen T says:

        Well that was quite a lot of condescending waffle spiced with some lazy and wrong assumptions about what I must think about racism but have not actually said anywhere. I simply quoted Stephens’s own words, which even within the context of his own times, were inflammatory.

        I did that for two reasons. Firstly they skewer the revisionist narrative that slavery was not the pivotal issue of the war. Second, they let us see with clear eyes the wrong headedness of a sentimental “lost cause” narrative. You are quite wrong that I am judging 19th Century figures by the standards of the 21st. I am letting the historical figures speak for themselves. One can find a superabundance of contemporary figures who condemned the ideas that Stephens represented or would not have objected to my calling it “a bestial regime”. I do not need to supply that condemnation. Stephens’s contemporaries supplied for me.

      • David Lester says:

        You were the one who was so quick in pointing out Stephens cornerstone speech referencing to the issue he stated as to the black man not being equal to the white man..As far as these “contemporaries” that you referenced to I’d like you to name a few of them who stated or believed that the black man was equal to the white man..I’ll go as far in asking you to name some radical Republicans or abolitionist whom believed the black man was equal to the white man..White supremacy was the mindset of the entire nation..To single out Stephens or the south on this and completely ignore the same sentiments that was shared by Lincoln and every US politician is blindly ignoring historical fact and is hypocritical..You reference to these “revisionist”..The true revisionist are the ones who believe that the Federal soldiers who enlisted to fight in the war did so to go marching off to free the slaves which is entirely untrue..When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation he did so with great reservation because he was afraid that many Federal soldiers would fling down their rifles and go home..The Emancipation Proclamation was very unpopular in the Federal ranks as they stated “war for Union has been abandoned”..And multitudes of Federal soldiers stated that they would lay down in the woods til moss grew on their backs rather than fight a war for Negro slavery..The true facts are that the Federal soldiers reason for fighting was to restore the Union..The southern soldier fought because his state was invaded and called upon to fight for their home state..This whole conception that the southern soldier who marched off to war did so to where the wealthy plantation aristocracy could keep their slaves..Thats entirely untrue..I ask..Would you march off to war so some character could keep their slaves?..Look at Sam Watkins reference to this in his memoirs stating that when the Confederate government issued the order that any officer or soldier who owned 20 or more slaves to go home..It infuriated the soldiers he served with and there is where the coin was phrased “rich mans war..poor man’s fight”..and they cursed the southern Confederacy..I wish there were somewhere besides this forum that I could go into greater length on this subject..This forum I don’t think is the place to go into such lengthy detail..But there is a lot of untrue misconceptions that has taken place over the years on both sides of these issues…But as I stated this forum I believe is not the place for a lengthy argument over these issues as it being space to upload comments..If you know of a site that discussions at greater length can be had please let me know…

      • Stephen T says:

        @David Lester

        The inflammatory part of Stephens’s statement was of course his assessment of the black man’s natural state as being held in slavery to the white. I refer you to the statements of thousands of abolitionists for contemporary condemnation of those ideas. His assertion of the inferiority of blacks was of course widely accepted across north and south but your concentrating on that part of it to the exclusion of the second is disingenuous.

      • David Lester says:

        I’m well aware of Stephens stance on the position that the Negro race’s natural place was in servitude..He wasn’t the only one with those thoughts as many held the same thoughts..John Calhoun stated that “supervised slavery was better than “industrial slavery” referring to the conditions to which workers were exposed to in northern mills..Some even cherry picked verses from the Bible to back up these ideas of which I personally think is a bunch of nonsense..But to lay the issue of slavery 100% on the backs of southerners is being short sighted..Look at the New England slave trade and how many slaves were brought to this country because of it..Yes..the ruling class of the South of whom had the politicians support of course tried to hang onto it longer than the North as the South was an agricultural society..The North no longer needed slave labor in large quantities as they were becoming industrialized..But as I’ve stated Lincoln’s chief concern was restoration of the Union with or without slavery..I refer you to the original 13th Amendment that was presented to the Confederate States in March of 1861..Lincoln in short stated that he’d make slavery permanent if the South would come back into the Union and accept the higher tariff..Of course they didn’t do it..But if the war was only over slavery why not just accept the terms Lincoln offered and it would all be over without firing a shot..And may I point out again this took place in March of 1861..The South didn’t fire on Sumter til April of 61..The war was never over just slavery alone as it was one of the main issues but there were other factors that weighed in as well to the war coming to be…I personally believe that there wouldn’t have been a war just over the question of slavery alone..One example I use is John Brown..Look at what happened when he was captured at Harper’s Ferry..The government turned him over to Virginia to be tried in court..The government really didn’t want to get involved again on the issue of slavery because they knew it was a powder keg that wasn’t easily settled..When war broke out and Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers was issued the battle cry was the Union and of course vengeance for Sumter..Those soldiers would never have marched off to war for slave liberation as a lot of revisionists like to claim..And so with the South..Those soldiers would never have marched off to war to go keep the wealthy planters slaves on the plantations..My concern and interest have always been with the common soldier who did the marching..the fighting under great depredations..It was a rich mans war..Poor man’s fight..

      • Stephen T says:

        Again you have misrepresented my position. I never said that the North went into the war to liberate slaves. In fact I stated that Lincoln distanced the war aims from abolition, in order to keep the fragile pro war coalition intact. In the end of course the government was forced to be more explicitly abolitionist to forestall foreign intervention. None of this is remotely germane to the fundamental point that the a Confederacy was founded to perpetuate slavery and its ‘heroes’ were in the service of that wretched cause. To commemorate their struggle in the 21st Century is distasteful at best. Let the statues of artistic merit be installed in museums where appropriate historical commentary can be supplied with them.

  19. Danny Coffey says:

    This is to the new generation of socialist. You’re probably under the age of 40 I guess you want to see death to America. The Confederate army and the civil war is part of American history. It’s something that has happened in the past although not pleasant leave it alone. Just because you’re whining and upset it’s a part of American history that’s just the way it was. Those people had their beliefs the Confederated states. leave The monuments alone it’s in the past.

    You people have no right to tear down a part of American history. You’re just a bunch of whining little socialist they want to see death to America. LEAVE THE MONUMENTS AND STATUES ALONE. If you can’t stand the Confederate army the Confederate States I suggest you move out of the United States of America and find another place to live. You people are just inconsiderate whining little my new socialist people you. With very low IQs

  20. Ronald Gallardo says:

    Interesting, wish we were all concerned about the remains of our ancestors. Mine were not so lucky, the sacred grounds and burial sites of native Americans have desecrated without much care or discussion. And currently as Trump builds his wall several sacred burial sites are being bulldozed unceremoniously without any fore thought. So I can understand your feelings but what about the thousand of other non-white burial sites which have been destroyed???

    • Mike Maxwell says:

      Interesting, Ronald.
      But, you are correct: “Eye for an eye” …until we all are blind.

    • John Pope says:

      My heartfelt condolences to you and your ancestors. As conquerors of North America, we were, in some ways, more savage than the Natives. For that I think we are all very sorry.

  21. JJohnson says:

    It’s a sad world we live in when people get an ass hurt over an inanimate object. There’s more to life than worrying about tearing down history and I feel their time would be better spent helping ALL … not destroying.

  22. Manny says:

    How about burying his remains at Fort AP Hill, in Virginia? Some (most?) military bases have cemeteries, so it would be an appropriate place for him. The name of the base MAY eventually be changed but it would still be appropriate for him. Probably couldn’t have the monument but that is a different argument. This is just about burying the remains.

  23. Kirk Marusak says:

    I have been following the Civil War since my parents took me to Gettysburg in a trip there in 1971. I moved to the Washington area for a graduate degree and secured a job. I moved to Manassas partly due to my love for living in a Civil War battlified town. I was once a Confederate Civil War reenactor. Learning history about the Civil War is wonderful. All people have to separate enjoying Civil War history from what reality of the cause of succession. A.P. Hill Army Base is 45 minutes from my home.

    General A.P. Hill remains along with his statue should be moved to Holywood Cemetery. I think General A.P. Hill should be remembered in history for leading Confederate troops into battle to ensure the institution of slavery was preserved in the South. There were many soldiers that did not deserve to die under his command. His attitudes were like most southerners who supported the Confederacy. A.P. Hill.did not think of black.people as human beings or worthy of the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today.

    At the same time, I believe all deceased individuals should be buried. I do not believe in destroying his statue, but they should remove his statue where it currently stands in Richmond. A.P. Hill does not deserve to be honored for his bravery or glorified. There are plenty of individuals in world history that are not entitled to be celebrated. History gives us an opportunity to learn and grow. It also gives future generations the opportunity to learn from.past mistakes so they are not repeated.

  24. Mike Maxwell says:

    Julia Grant was a slave owner…
    It is amazing that the one-party City of New York has managed to leave Grant’s Tomb alone all these years. But, once the Correct-Think Vigilance Committee is informed that Mrs. Grant is buried in the same Shrine as General Ulysses… who knows WHAT might happen…
    And the question becomes: “What is to be done with General Grant’s remains?”

    • Todd Berkoff says:

      Your comment is absurd. Grant’s Tomb (or the remains of Mrs. Grant/Former First Lady in it) does not glorify or commemorate slavery. The monuments to Confederate generals/Confederate leaders, put up mostly by the UDC during the Jim Crow South, do just that. That is the difference. Its about time the Lost Cause is lost to history.

      • Mike Maxwell says:

        To be honest, I HOPE my comment is absurd. But once floodgates are opened, it is difficult to predict where the water will flow…

      • Robert Denney says:

        Regarding Mr. Maxwell’s comment: “To be honest, I HOPE my comment is absurd. But once floodgates are opened, it is difficult to predict where the water will flow…”.

        Mr Berkoff: recent events indicate the flood gates are indeed open!

  25. Chris Mackowski says:

    Just a reminder to please adhere to our commenting guidelines and keep the conversation civil:

    https://emergingcivilwar.com/mission-statement/social-media-commenting-guidelines/

    We have taken down a few posts that have used vulgarity. WordPress’s filter has also flagged a few posts that have included URLs, which we’ve tried to review as we’ve had time, so if you don’t see a comment right away, please understand that we may not have had the chance yet to review things. We are having an exceptionally high volume of traffic on the blog today. (And, it IS a beautiful Sunday afternoon, after all, and some of us have lawn work to catch up on….)

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  27. 0owen1 says:

    paragraph 4 of the blog states that hill’s body was interred in an unmarked grave at hollywood cemetary. the curb marking is of doubtful accuracy. so, given that it isn’t known who is buried under the hill stature, much of this ado is about nothing.

  28. Chris Grimes says:

    The Civil War is far more complicated than just “slavery” . It had been brewing since 1845.
    It should be noted years after the war, Robert E. Let’s son sued and the Supreme Court ruled in his favor that the Union’s seizure of the Lee Family Home, today’s Arlington National Cemetery was illegal. Lee’s son agreed to compensation. He could’ve required the removal of EVERY body. I think I would’ve. . The bodies were originally buried there for spite by the local Washington D.C Garrison Commander.

  29. Alton Bunn says:

    General Hill’s remains should have stayed at Hollywood cemetery and a busy road intersection is no place to inter someone. It seems to me the move was done to benefit Maj Ginters development company and constitutes an indignity done to him. I agree that something needs to be done ASAP and I favor him being buried with his family in Culpepper.

  30. Elizabeth Simon says:

    Thank you, Mr. Jastrzembski, for bringing this up and for offering to lead a discussion group. Surely the civil and humane thing to do is to remove the remains–and the statue, if possible–to one of the cemeteries mentioned. If Americans can’t agree, at a remove of more than 150 years, to honorably inter the pitiful remains of a man who did what he thought was right to the best of his ability, then we learned absolutely nothing from the Civil War. And if A.P Hill made a mistake in the cause he supported, who among us is qualified to cast the first stone?

    • billhenck says:

      I concur with Ms. Simon. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If a community wants to remove a statue and follows the law, at least a reasoned decision will have been made. What is happening now, however, is anarchy. And anarchy always carries with it a butcher’s bill. I applaud Emerging Civil War for trying to have a discussion regarding these issues; in our current “cancel culture” environment, that takes moral courage. The people who run this website have full time jobs that could be endangered simply for allowing debate.

      • Stephen T says:

        Many castigated civil rights protesters in the 1950s and 60 as “anarchists” They acted because there was no civil remedy for restoring their rights. Has they not acted and shamed the federal government that uttered pieties about the “free world”, perhaps their rights would still be in abeyance?

      • Elizabeth Simon says:

        I agree that peaceful civil disobedience has been necessary during our history to ensure the rights of citizens. Sometimes solidarity and the serious intention not to back down in the face of power is the only way to bring inequity to the attention of enough people to make progress. But I don’t believe that violence and destruction of property are necessary adjuncts to protests. Violence just makes enemies and often harms those who would have been allies.

      • Stephen T says:

        I agree with you that criminal damage is not desirable but sometimes it becomes inevitable, when all peaceful means have been exhausted. One of the ironies here is that the Revolutionary war, was as much a civil war as the war between the states. To paraphrase Franklin’s own words, two thirds of Americans were for the Crown or simply didn’t give a damn who won. I wonder if later ages would have given Benedict Arnold’s remains much respect, or tolerated statues to him, had he been in buried in the US rather than England?

      • Elizabeth Simon says:

        I still have to respectfully disagree–criminal damage never becomes inevitable. And regarding your Benedict Arnold digression, the Franklin quote applies very nicely. I don’t think anyone gives a toss about a statue of Arnold–after all, the boot monument is still there to commemorate a positive contribution before he took such a wrong turn.

      • Stephen T says:

        The boot memorial ridicules him. I doubt the protestors would object to statues that ridiculed or depreciated the major defenders of slavery

  31. Paul Albright says:

    AP Hill is a Hero to many of us. And a US Veteran, by act of Congress. I believe that an armed guard should be stationed at his gravesite. As well as armed guards stationed at the monuments of all of our American Historical Heros. The leftists and white guilt ridden liberals have to be stopped from trashing any more of our rich heritage

  32. Anthony Dodson says:

    My name is Anthony Dodson and I am a avid Civil War history enthusiast. I love History in general and believe that those who fought on either side of that horrible war that cost over 600,000 lives and untold amounts of money and property should be honored. General Hill should have been buried on Holy ground with those he served with and ably led. A statue or memorial might seem like a big deal or nothing to you. However what is the goal in removing them? The Erasure of our history, of our past? Who wishes to do such a despicable thing? If we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it. I for one hope we never have to repeat those horrible years from 1861-1865. Please respect our history. It is because of that history we are who we are today.

    Please if both sides of this debate would show respect then I am sure an understanding can be reached. Of course if you are interested in erasing our history then no understanding will be enough for you. I hope you do not drag the rest of society down to your level. Destroying history is a crime against humanity. It is a crime against all the generations that have came before. It is a crime against the millions of brave soldiers who wore the Blue and the Gray. Most of all it is a crime against future generations who will not know where they came from if we allow our collective history to be changed or removed.

    Please stop this nonsense. History is what it is. If you want to change something then work to change what is to come not the past. That had already been written.

    • Nick says:

      I can assure you no one intends to erase history. But is it right that those who led others for an unjust cause continue to be glorified, to continue to inspire others to follow in their footsteps? Hill should not be forgotten, but this was never a good context for his remembrance.

  33. Jorge Luis Serrano says:

    Ii can’t believe what this country is turning into- this happened over a hundred years ago – I grew up in the good state of Tenn. I’m a proud Hispanic American citizen and I have yet to see a statue that has offended me

  34. Curtis Thomasco says:

    Thomas Smith. If you are going to eternally vilify the losers (traitors in your view) you are promoting eternal division. For better or worse they are part of Reunited America now. That is a very very hard line stance you are taking. I i’ve seen multiple images over the last two weeks of confederate graves being desecrated. One at the Petersburg national military Park in multiple cemeteries in Mississippi. Many white southerners grapple with the guilt of knowing that their ancestors fought for a terrible cause. Nonetheless it is only proper that people be allowed to mourn their loss. If your goal is to take that away from them that is a very dangerous sentiment

  35. Robert Lee says:

    This is wrong on so many levels, is Pelosi behind this, this is history you disrespectful Demorats

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  37. Brian T Wslsh says:

    Why move him at all? My research indicates General A.P. Hill owned no slaves and was a vocal abolitionist.

  38. David Corbett says:

    Another victory for the Antifa/Black Lives Matter Taliban. The elephant in the room is that Richmond is fifty percent black and overwhelmingly intolerant of any history. There’s your answer.

  39. Ani says:

    People should be as concerned about countless lost and ill maintained slave cemeteries. Or in locating and identifying killed in action burials interred in inappropriate areas across the globe. It’s shameful that we have veteran burials that are literally eroding into the ocean, and your suggesting that a team of archaeologists and historians should band together to make sure that one dead white guy remains are not mishandled or lost. If anything, he has received more thought and honor than millions of soldiers who fought for better causes.

  40. Robert Denney says:

    Regarding the debate between Stephen T and David Lester, I am reminded of a meeting between Frederick Douglass and A Lincoln late in the war when it was apparent the Union would win. Lincoln asked Douglas: What do you want? Douglass replied: I want equality for our people. To which Lincoln replied: you realize there is not a white man in America who believes a negro is his equal.

    To me that statement is the capstone that the war was always about the Union, and that the issue of slavery was just used for military and political advantage.

    • Stephen T says:

      That an extraordinary conclusion to reach. You have taken a remark of Lincoln’s regarding racial equality – which can come as no surprise to anyone as there are many public documented utterances of him that corroborate it – to claim that the slavery was not a pivotal issue that precipitated war. Like Mr Lester, you want to concentrate on widespread held views in the 19th Century on the moral and intellectual inferior of blacks to side step the question of slavery.

      Of course if you take this view, there is not much to distinguish north from south or the cause of the confederacy from that of the union. Both were racists and the north tried for a long time to deny any aspect of abolitionism in its actions. Though eventually had to for both domestic and foreign reasons. No doubt this is why revisionists like this line of argument. But if we concentrate on the public utterances of the South’s ruling class, the criticality of the slavery issue in secession become undeniable.

      • Robert L Denney says:

        Seems to me the first and second sentence of the 2nd paragraph supports my point entirely. Thanks for filling in the details.

      • David Lester says:

        I’ve never side stepped the issue of slavery..Im very well aware of the Confederate States stance on slavery and their aim of continuing the practice of slavery..But what I contest is the notion that when war broke out that all the men that enlisted did so solely for the purpose of going to war so the planter aristocracy could keep their slaves..I pose the question to you..Would you enlist in an Army and go to war so some Joe Blow could keep their slaves?..No, I don’t think you would and neither would I..In my opinion the Confederacy should have had the good sense and foresight to have abolished slavery before they fired on Sumter..If they had done so in my opinion they would have more than likely gained European recognition and we wouldn’t be having this debate..But the ruling class of the South was the planter aristocracy and of course we all know who the politicians cater to..It was that way back in the mid nineteenth century and the same today ..As I’ve stated..I stand in defense of the common soldier who was left to fight a war for the best interests of the wealthy..The damnable politicians were the ones who screwed things up to such a state that war became inevitable..Tecumseh Sherman remarked these sentiments to his brother John Sherman(I believe his name was) that you politicians have things in a damnable fix…

      • Stephen T says:

        @Lester “But what I contest is the notion that when war broke out that all the men that enlisted did so solely for the purpose of going to war so the planter aristocracy could keep their slaves”

        I do not recall ever making that claim. Why would I make it when the confederacy introduced forced enlistment within a few months of the war starting, which meant that the motives of many ordinary soldiers were irrelevant as they were pressed men. Once could just as well argue that many millions of Germans who served in the armed forces in the Second World War were not homicidal anti-semites but the regime that sent them to war was. It is the motives of the ruling class that are being judged here.

  41. Larry De Maar says:

    I believe that Frank Jastrzembski gives us the answer in his wonderful article, Fairview Cemetery. The family’s original intent should be honored. Bud Robertson’s book on Hill stated that the family wanted him buried next to his parents (Page 321).

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