PACE Hosts 'Monuments and Memory' Panel April 16
SALISBURY, MD---In the past year, Confederate monuments throughout the U.S. have been covered up or removed completely as racial justice advocates have called into question their appropriateness.
One such debate continues in Salisbury as community members have called for both the removal and the saving of a plaque memorializing Confederate General John Henry Winder, placed by the Maryland Civil War Centennial Commission in 1965.
Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) examines the issue from both local and national perspectives during the panel discussion “Monuments and Memory” 6 p.m. Monday, April 16, in the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons Assembly Hall.
Panelists include Dr. Jim Buss, dean of the SU Honors College; Dr. April Logan, assistant professor of English; Angela Crenshaw, assistant manager of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park; and Dan O’Hare, executive producer of the documentary The Sign, about the Winder plaque. Interactive group discussions follow.
Originally standing on South Salisbury Boulevard, the plaque was relocated to the Wicomico County Courthouse lawn in downtown Salisbury in 1983 after it was knocked over in several traffic accidents at its first location.
Local advocates began calling for its removal in 2014, noting that Winder, a Nanticoke native, had no connection to Salisbury.
Those asking that the marker be taken down also have noted that its current placement is directly adjacent to two locations with negative connotations for the African American community: the home of the former Byrd Tavern, where slaves were kept prior to auctions in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and the site of a 1931 lynching outside the courthouse.
Gen. Winder himself also is a controversial figure. He was the commander of military prisons in Alabama and Georgia, including the infamous Andersonville, where 12,920 Union soldiers — more than a quarter of those taken there — died from mistreatment. While Winder’s subordinates were found guilty of war crimes, the general was not charged. (He died of a heart attack within months of the war’s end.)
Community members advocating to keep the Winder marker in place have said that such monuments pay tribute to history — both good and bad — and, in some cases, serve as memorials to veterans.
Admission to the SU discussion is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-677-5045 or visit the PACE website at www.salisbury.edu/pace.