2 Upstate lawmakers call for monument honoring African-American - FOX Carolina 21

2 Upstate lawmakers call for monument honoring African-American Confederate soldiers at State House

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African American soldiers in the Civil War (FOX Carolina/ October 11, 2017) African American soldiers in the Civil War (FOX Carolina/ October 11, 2017)
African American soldiers in the Civil War (FOX Carolina/ October 11, 2017) African American soldiers in the Civil War (FOX Carolina/ October 11, 2017)
WOODRUFF, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Two Upstate lawmakers said they will pre-file a bill calling for a monument honoring African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War to be built on State House grounds.

Rep. Bill Chumley (R-Woodruff) and Rep. Mike Burns (R-Travelers Rest) said they will push for approval for the monument considered during the 2018 legislative session.

"Explaining the War Between the States and the events leading up to it is much more complex than can be explained by a few paragraphs in a history book," Burns said in a news release. "This monument can help educate current and future generations of a little-known -- but important -- part of South Carolina history. These African-Americans, like many of their Caucasian contemporaries, stepped up to defend their home state during a tumultuous time in our country's history. Their service has largely been overlooked or forgotten. Rep. Chumley and I want to remedy this oversight."
Chumley added that biblical commandments inspired the proposed legislation.
"The Bible says to honor our fathers and mothers," Chumley stated. "In that same vein, we can honor South Carolinians who showed more than 150 years ago that they loved their state as much then as Sandlappers of all persuasions do today."

Chumley said a specific design for the monument will be revealed later. He said they are considering a sculpture or structure with plaques listing the names of African-American Confederate veterans.

The lawmakers said the S.C. Department of History and Archives lists 328 African-Americans who filed pension applications as Confederate veterans.

MORE: Monument sought to recognize blacks who served Confederacy

The South Carolina Secessionist Party released a statement in support of the proposed monument.

Below is that statement.

"Two South Carolina politicians have proposed a new monument to be created on State House Grounds. Representatives Bill Chumley and Mike Burns have announced that they plan to introduce a bill that would have constructed a monument dedicated to the service of Black Confederate Veterans during the War Between the States.
As we have said many times in the discussion over monuments, it is important that the story of our State be told in its entirety. In the United States we often show our gratitude and respect to important figures through monuments of metal and stone. There is no group of people more deserving of that gratitude and respect more than those who give their service and lives to the defense of their country or state. The stories of the service of Black Confederates is largely untold throughout the nation, and their service is discredited by those with an agenda to remove any trace of the Confederacy. These types of people often say that many Black Confederates served because they were forced to. While that may be true in some cases, their service is no less honorable and commendable than those who have been drafted and forced to serve in other American conflicts, including the thousands of immigrants forced into service by Abraham Lincoln during the War Between the States.
We hope that the proposal for this new monument will gain the support of politicians in Columbia and the people of South Carolina. The proposal already has the support of Mr. Walter Curry, a board member of the S.C. African-American Chamber of Commerce, who is a great-great-great-grandson of Lavinia Corley-Thompson, the only known female Black Confederate Veteran."

-- James Bessenger, Chairman, South Carolina Secessionist Party

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