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LETTER — Proposal concerning removal of southern icon

To The Editor:

With the recent fall of the Confederate soldier memorial statue in the Town of Farmville, it brings to mind this being one of my favorite pieces of southern architecture.

While being an American Civil War author and preservationist, I have always enjoyed pointing out this monument to visitors to the area, with its representative soldier, who faces to the south as if to defend Farmville from its foes in the final days of the war in Virginia.

What’s done is done. I have mulled over the circumstances and have come up with this proposal. Directly across the river from downtown Farmville lies the mortal remains of those disinterred from the original “burial grounds” containing about 350-400 bodies in a mass grave. These soldiers gave their lives in the Confederate Hospital Center in Farmville, in what is now called Cumberland Heights.

Coincidentally, the site also marks some of the final fighting of the American Civil War on April 7, 1865. Here, Cumberland Heights was defended from a river crossing by Union cavalry and infantry.

How appropriate it would be to have this monument replaced at the site of a military hospital mass grave overlooking one of the strategic points of the battle? 

Chris Calkins

Historian, preservationist,

Longwood College alumni