Confederate Statues, Memorials and Monuments at Gettysburg

Aug 18, 2017

The statue of Confederate General James Longstreet on the Gettysburg Battlefield

Scott Hancock is an associate professor of History and Africana studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He has some strong opinions on whether or not Confederate monuments and memorials should remain on the Gettysburg battlefield.

He chats with WBGO Journal host and news director Doug Doyle in this in-depth interview.

Hancock came to Gettysburg College in 2001. His scholarly interests focus on the African American experience from the mid-seventeenth century to just before the Civil War.

Scott Hancock is an associate professor of History and Africana studies at Gettysburg College
Credit Gettysburg College

Hancock says Confederate statues, markers, monuments and memorials deserve separate discussions.

"As far as the Confederate's memorials being removed and relocated in various places across the South, I say it's about time....They have taught a very narrow and twisted version of history, memorialized that version of history ,and I think it's about time we start trying to tell a more accurate and complete version."

Hancock says he's not trying to erase Confederate history.  He says those claims are inaccurate.  He says many of these markers are worth having a discussion about.

"There are some markers that note who fought where, how many died and were wounded, so those are teaching the facts of the battle.  And I think that's a legitimate use of markers and some of the statues, but there's also monuments, memorials, particularly some of the state monuments like Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and some of the others where there are glorifying a cause and a battle, so they're remembering the battle  in a particular way.  And I think it's legitimate to ask if they way in which they are depicting the battle, the way in which they're glorifying the battle is teaching history in a way that's productive, in a way that's accurate and beneficial and personally I think some of them don't do that."

Hear the entire interview by click above.