Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Solomonic solution in Eutaw

Tommy Stevenson's March 5, 2005, Tuscaloosa News article on Alabama's Confederate monuments includes this fine anecdote, which I reprint verbatim, as Stevenson wrote it:

Like most of the other Confederate monuments, the one in Eutaw was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederancy. But the young-looking, beardless stone soldier in the Mesopotamia Cemetery did not mount his pedestal until the late 1960s, said second generation Alabama Supreme Court Justice Bernard Harwood.

“My father [Robert B. Harwood Sr.] was from Eutaw and was on the Supreme Court when the UDC dedicated the monument,” Harwood said. “But when he got to the cemetery, there were a whole lot of the ladies all up in arms and saying there couldn’t be a ceremony and the statue had to come down.”

It seems the statue of a soldier holding his rifle at rest in front of him was facing south, rather than north, and some of the women were outraged that he was not looking in the direction of the enemy.

Harwood said his father, who was accompanied by another Supreme Court justice, quickly huddled with some of the cooler heads in attendance and reached a compromise.

“They said this was a statue of a soldier headed home, and that when he finally gets home, he will turn and face the north,” Harwood said. “My father said that seemed to satisfy everyone, and they went on with the dedication.”


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