The monument destructors, beginning with the destroying of a Rebel rifleman’s statue in Durham, North Carolina, are hard at work in Knoxville, splashing (appropriately) blue paint on one Confederate monument. Which they have petitioned the city to remove.
Fortunately Fort Sanders will be spared any mob action, as its red clay walls were removed by time and nature more than a hundred years ago. There are, however, several plaques commemorating its one-time existence which might be ripped away by the ahistorical.
But that is all. Why you might ask?
“The short answer is East Tennessee was a heavily pro-Union part of the South,” said Aaron Astor, a history professor at Maryville College. “Obviously there were many Confederate sympathizers, but East Tennessee was decidedly pro-Union — and it maintained its pro-Union sentiment after the war.”
And thus it is in the novel, with Parthenia Leila Ellis, the pro-Union widow of a Confederate officer, a major character who witnesses the repulse of Longstreet’s army in its attack on Fort Sanders.