Statement regarding proposal to Renovate the civil war cemetery on campus

June 29, 2020

The Center for Civil War Research opposes the recently announced plans to renovate and add headstones to the Civil War cemetery on the University of Mississippi campus. These renovations, particularly the addition of headstones, would result in a historically inaccurate and romanticized interpretation of the cemetery that is not consistent with modern interpretive practices. The proposed headstones and relocated Confederate monument together would glorify racist Lost Cause mythology rather than tell the story of the Civil War at the University of Mississippi  

The cemetery functioned as part of a Civil War hospital that operated on campus. Gravesites of both Union and Confederate soldiers from many states were marked with wooden boards, long since lost to the elements. We have no way to accurately identify the occupants of the cemetery, let alone determine their location on the grounds. There were never headstones on the campus cemetery and to add them would misrepresent the history of the site.

The Center for Civil War Research has an educational mission “to promote a more thorough understanding of the American Civil War, its history and its scholarship.” The proposed additions to the cemetery do not promote understanding, nor do they accurately interpret the history of the Civil War on the University of Mississippi campus.





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