Massachusetts’ Only Confederate Memorial, A Grave Marker, to Be Removed

Will be hidden away in storage for now.

On Georges Island in the Boston Harbor, a headstone memorializing 13 Confederate soldiers who died while being imprisoned at Fort Warren on the island has stood since 1963. It is the state’s only Confederate memorial. Four months ago, the granite marker was boarded up at the site until its fate could be decided. Finally, it has. It’s going to storage to await it’s complete exodus from the state.

Governor Charlie Baker argued for the headstone’s removal amid the nationwide debates over Confederate statues. In the meantime, he had it covered with wood planks to be out of sight of visitors. He said the grave stone was one of many “symbols… that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts.”

After the Columbus Day holiday, which has also come under fire as troublesome U.S. history, the Confederate memorial will be moved into storage “pending final disposition to an appropriate museum location,” the Boston Globe reports.

One plan is to hand the headstone over to the United Daughters of the Confederacy which are responsible for its dedication five decades ago. No word if that is acceptable to the UDC, but the president of the organization has said, “Join us in denouncing hate groups and affirming that Confederate memorial statues and monuments are part of our shared American history and should remain in place.”

This is the memorial as it appears now:

Fort Warren housed Confederate military prisoners during the war between the states. According to Wikipedia, “Confederate military officers held at Fort Warren included Richard S. Ewell, Isaac R. Trimble, John Gregg, Adam "Stovepipe" Johnson, Simon Bolivar Buckner, Sr., and Lloyd Tilghman. High-ranking civilians held at Fort Warren include Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens and Confederate Postmaster General John Henninger Reagan. The prison camp had a reputation for humane treatment of its detainees.”