35 years of MARTA History

Petition started to remake Confederate Memorial carving on Stone Mountain

A petition has been posted on www.change.org to remove the Confederate Memorial carving from Stone Mountain in Stone Mountain Park.

The petition, started by McCartney Forde I, asks Gov. Nathan Deal and state senators and representatives of Stone Mountain to remove the carving from the north face of the mountain and replace it with a memorial that honors Georgia veterans who were killed, wounded or taken prisoner in each of the wars American soldiers fought in.

“The reason this is important is the three men embossed on the face of arguably the most famous landmark in the great state of Georgia are icons for what is widely considered the darkest period in our nation’s history,” Forde wrote in the petition, “a war that divided our great nation and pitted brother against brother. A war that was waged in the name of slavery, racism, and oppression–the polar opposites of the founding principles of this great nation.”

The carving portrays three Confederate leaders of the Civil War: President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and their favorite horses, “Blackjack,” “Traveller” and “Little Sorrel.”

The carving was conceived by C. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The Venable family, owners of the mountain, deeded the north face of the mountain to the UDC in 1916. The UDC was given 12 years to complete a large Civil War monument.

Gutzon Borglum was commissioned to do the carving, but he abandoned the project in 1925 and went on to begin work on Mount Rushmore. American sculptor Augustus Lukeman continued the project until 1928, when work stopped for 30 years. In 1958, at the urging of Gov. Marvin Griffin, the Georgia legislature approved a measure to purchase Stone Mountain for $1.125 million.

In 1963, Walker Hancock was selected to complete the carving, and work began in 1964. The carving was completed by Roy Faulkner and was considered complete on March 3, 1972.

Forde also wants the Confederate Hall to be remodeled into a facility that honors veterans.

“Some might argue that this monument honors so-called heroes of the Civil War, but in reality it is a monument that perpetuates the perception of Georgia as an icon of racism, slavery and oppression,” Forde wrote. “Continuing to allow this monument to stand, along with Confederate Hall, in its current state is tantamount to a statue of Adolf Hitler in Jerusalem.

“The thousands of men and women from Georgia that have given their lives and livelihoods in the name of freedom for all Americans deserve a majestic reminder befitting their service and sacrifice,” Forde added. “There is no better place than the face of Stone Mountain.”

As of May 3, the petition had 556 signatures and needs 24,444 more. The petition can be found at visit www.change.org/petitions/remake-the-confederate-memorial-carving-on-stone-mountain-in-georgia.

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2 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    The memorial represents the history of the CONFEDERACY,
    not the United States. Such memorial is a valid premise to honor the thousands of those soldiers that gave their lives. and should NOT be removed. This does not detract from the Union, nor any other premise. Fortunately, the Union was preserved and we have become the greatest nation ever.
    This does not warrant the removal of recognition of those soldiers of a different time and condition and does not necessarily say “we were slave mongers”, which in reality was more promoted and advanced by northern
    slave traders. Continue to honor THOSE people of that different time, not associated with the later histories of our great nation!

  2. retired says:

    At a time when Ga is financially depressed and school, city,county and state budgets are millions of dollars in the red I think tax dollars could be better spent at this time. This is an issue to be revisited at a later time.

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