Where to put Confederate statues once they've been removed

Where to put Confederate statues once they've been removed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Just as there appears to be a number of legal hoops Memphis city leaders will have to jump through in order to get rid of the Confederate monuments in the city, there also are not as many easy solutions of where to put them when, and that's if the state historical commission gives the go ahead.

An editorial in the Tuesday, Aug. 22 publication of the Commercial Appeal suggested the "relatively simple, reasonable and even honorable solution to our great civic war over Confederate statues" would be to move them to Shiloh National Military Park.

So, we here at WMC Action News 5 decided to check whether that was, in fact, a viable solution. Guess what, it is not.

According to an email from Shiloh's social media coordinator, Christopher Mekow, "Yes, our monumentation standards, established by Congress in 1894, are such that we do not erect monumentation to generals, high ranking officers, politicians, etc."

In other words, the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in Health Sciences Park in the medical district and that of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Memphis Park Downtown, are a bit too high brow for Shiloh.

Mekow went on to write of Shiloh National Park, "This park was  established by soldiers for soldiers, or the 'men in the ranks.'"

Mekow, who also happens to be Shiloh's historic weapons supervisor and park ranger, said the park has no equestrian statues of any high ranking officials on the field. "Plus, the regulations governing the placement of monuments on the battlefield, which has also been in place since December 27, 1894, are rather strict," he wrote. "Size, weight, construction materials, inscriptions, etc., all have to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior before a monument is even constructed, much less placed on the field."

He also included the first page of the Shiloh National Military Park regulations from 1899 as an example of the steps a state must go through to place a monument on the battlefield. See that document below.

However, there is one place that has expressed an interest in taking some unwanted Confederate statues.

Last week, the final home of the president of the Confederacy was offered as a new home for Confederate monuments.

Beauvoir is a beach-side estate in Biloxi, Mississippi that is now a privately run museum.

The director issued a statement last on Aug. 17 with the offer to take monuments that "any city or jurisdiction has decided to take down."

According to ABC News, Executive Director Tom Payne says Beauvoir would try to raise funds to cover the cost of relocating the monuments, which he said "could serve an educational purpose for visitors while being displayed in gardens out of general public view."

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