America's Civil War

Lost Cause and Effect

and tablets at Gettysburg National Military Park commemorate Confederate military units of the Army of Northern Virginia or the states from which soldiers of that army came. During my years working at the park, I often heard people proclaim that the U.S. government had attempted to prevent any monuments to the Confederates at Gettysburg or that when they were allowed they deliberately marginalized the Confederates by forcing the placement of monuments at a distance from where the fighting had taken place. Neither is true, but the opinions persist nonetheless, principally because people do not understand how commemoration on the Gettysburg battlefield evolved. This evolution informs our understanding of where Confederate monuments are and when they went up.

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