Nashville’s Confederate Cleansing

In the novel, Knoxville’s Union-sympathizing Confederate widow Parthenia Leila Ellis’s slain husband Clayton bought his fancy Confederate uniform—with the gold braid “chicken guts” of a major on its coat sleeves—from a tailor in Nasvhville.

In the latest attempt to appease the 21st century’s ahistorical sensitive, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University recently decided to play “let’s pretend” and remove the word Confederate from one of its campus buildings.

“In 1935 the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) constructed Confederate Memorial Hall as a residence for girls at Nashville’s Peabody College. Originally residents who were descendants of Confederate veterans and agreed to become teachers were granted free room and board. The school and dormitory were acquired by Vanderbilt University in 1979. Earlier this month university chancellor, Nicholas Zeppos, announced that the name ‘Confederate’ will be sandblasted off of the building.”

It’s only the latest chapter in Tennessee’s contentious civil war history, in which the Eastern half of the state tended to be Union and the Western half Confederate.

“Tennessee had finally seceded, in June, 1861,” Leila relates in the novel, “though it took two elections and several months in between for the Secesh to put it over. In between, [Knoxville’s] Gay Street often hosted recruiting efforts for both armies.”

Via Poore Boys In Gray.

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About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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