Con­fed­er­acy marker un­veiled in Abbeville

The State (Sunday) - - Local -

The Sons of Con­fed­er­ate Veter­ans have put up a new me­mo­rial hon­or­ing the men who signed the doc­u­ment for South Carolina to leave the United States.

The Con­fed­er­ate her­itage group paid for the mon­u­ment on pri­vate land in Abbeville on what is called Se­ces­sion Hill af­ter key speeches there led the state to de­cide to leave the Union af­ter Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln’s elec­tion in 1860.

The 20-ton (18,100kilo­gram), 11-foot (3.3me­ter) tall gran­ite marker has the names of the 170 men who signed the Or­di­nance of Se­ces­sion and an ex­cerpt of the doc­u­ment’s text.

The Sons of Con­fed­er­ate Veter­ans un­veiled and ded­i­cated the marker Nov. 10. Group mem­ber Al­bert Jack­son, who raised money for the pro­ject, said it’s im­por­tant to push back against peo­ple who think re­mem­ber­ing South­ern her­itage is racist and wrong.

“We don’t want too much. We just want our her­itage to be left alone. We want our her­itage, our mon­u­ments, our flags and ev­ery­thing else we rep­re­sent. Noth­ing more and noth­ing less,” Jack­son said at the ded­i­ca­tion.

The group orig­i­nally wanted to put the mon­u­ment in Charleston, where the Or­di­nance of Se­ces­sion was signed, but the Pa­tri­ots Point De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity and North Charleston both re­buffed ef­forts to put the marker on pub­lic land.

In­stead, Robert Hayes, who owns the Abbeville site where a se­ries of speeches was cred­ited to push­ing South Carolina to leave the Union, of­fered his land. Hayes plays Con­fed­er­ate Pres­i­dent Jef­fer­son Davis at his­tor­i­cal events and for years ran a shop in town full of Con­fed­er­ate mem­o­ra­bilia, from flags to T-shirts to bumper stick­ers with slo­gans like “If at first you don’t se­cede, try, try again.”

The marker joins a marker known as The Rock, mark­ing the spot where men gave their speeches in 1860.

“Some of us true se­ces­sion­ists kiss it and wish for it again,” Hayes said of The Rock, ac­cord­ing to The Green­wood In­dexjour­nal. “Ladies and gen­tle­men, you’re on sa­cred ground. And it is hence­forth go­ing to be more sa­cred.”

The new marker is just a few blocks away from a his­tor­i­cal marker placed two years ago to re­mem­ber the lynch­ing of An­thony Craw­ford, a rich black farmer at­tacked by a white mob af­ter he de­fended him­self with a ham­mer af­ter a white store owner at­tacked him in an ar­gu­ment.

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