Partially hidden by a tree, on the southwest side of the Madison County Courthouse and across the steps from the American and state flags, is a monument of a confederate soldier looking out toward Big Spring Park.
A petition calling for the removal of the monument from the courthouse grounds is closing in on 500 signatures.
The petition is sponsored by: Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance, North Alabama Peace Network, Indivisible-Athens and REACHsv, among others.
“Understanding Civil War history is important, but this monument does not represent the true history,” the petition reads. “It represents the ‘Glorified Cause’ that dominated twentieth century thought in Alabama, ideas that have been debunked by serious scholars.”
The groups are calling for the monument to be moved to a museum or confederate soldiers’ cemetery.
The monument was built in 1905, in honor of General John Hunt Morgan, who is said to led confederate troops deep into the north before being imprisoned.
The issue has appeared before the Madison County Commission, who is named in a list of agencies who will receive the petition should it reach its goal of 800 signatures.
That was in 2015, when it was shot down.
We reached out to Commissioner Bob Harrison, who said “the statue represents a dark time that no one is proud of,” yet he believes the monument should stay where it is.
“That point in history is not to be ignored,” Harrison said when reached by phone on Wednesday. “I don’t relish it, but it is not to be ignored.”