Confederate Rest stone is ‘too big’ for Stu Levitan; it’s got to go


We’ll see you at 5 this afternoon (07-23-18) in Room 351 of the City County Bldg on Martin Luther Drive. That’s when the Landmark Commission meets. 

Your stones are too small, Stu

Say it ain’t so, Stu Levitan

So the professional city staff serving the Madison Landmarks Commission says to keep the monument at Confederate Rest where it has resided these past 112 years at Forest Hill Cemetery.

Preservation planner Amy Scanlan “finds that removing the monument would not comply with Madison’s historic preservation ordinance.” She recommends the appointed members of the Landmark Commission object to the Common Council’s vote in April to remove the memorial stone. (Story here.) Landmark Commission file on Confederate Rest here.

WSJ at Confederates Rest

Gosh, this is a big stone! Almost too big!

But now Commission chairman Stu Levitan has switched sides. He wants the stone removed! We spoke to Levitan, himself an eminent Madison historian. Wha’ happened, Stu?

He says the stone is too big. “It’s very mass is celebratory,” he told your Humble Bloggeur. The Stone Is Too Big. 

Color your Squire dumbfounded! I would judge, having stood next to it, that the stone is a little over 5 feet high. We asked how big should it have been? That, Stu parried, is not an “equation” he would consider. But Stu knows Too Big when he sees it.

We posed to Stu the conundrum faced by the Madison stone mason, who was tasked with carving 140 names into the stone, plus the inscription: “Erected in loving memory by United Daughters of Confederacy to Alice Whiting Waterman and her boys.” That many angels may be able to dance on the head of a pin but try carving 140 names legibly into granite.

In any event, half the stones at Forest Hill are bigger.

Celebratory? If the stone celebrates anything it celebrates Mrs. Waterman, the Madison woman who cared for the potters field in which the captured Confederate soldiers were buried, having died at Camp Randall after the capture of Island #10 on the Mississippi River in 1862.

Program for 1906 unveiling

Mrs. Waterman’s volunteerism attracted the attention of Gov. Lucius Fairchild, who lost an arm at Gettysburg, and then Gov. Cadwallader Washburn, who fought with U.S. Grant at Vicksburg. The lady died in 1897 in the home of Union Captain Frank Oakley. The latter enlisted the help of another veteran of the Union side, Major Hugh Lewis, to solicit funds from Confederate veterans. Major Lewis lost his arm at Gettysburg, as well. The money raised was sent to Captain Oakley in Madison, who contracted with a local stone mason. 

The stone was dedicated with brass bands and speeches on June 1906, led by the Lucius Fairchild post of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

The monument to Mrs. Waterman and “her boys” wasn’t too large for those survivors of the Union fight against slavery and secession. 

But Stu had one more strike against the stone: those Union veterans, he charged, voted for Gen. George B. McClellan over Lincoln!  Stu bases that insight into the private ballot box on the supposition that Union soldiers voted the same as a majority of Madisonians in 1864. This has got to be the first time a Madison liberal has punished someone for voting Democrat!

The monument to Mrs. Waterman is, itself, a part of Madison history, sanctified by the sacrifice of those who lost a lot more than Stu Levitan. Yes, erect an explanatory plaque but don’t erase history.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Take my word for it, Stu Levitan is a better historian than he is showing today.

For extra credit:

Two Union veterans unveiled the Confederates Rest cenotaph

Veteran of Wisconsin’s Iron Brigade asked former Confederates to fund monument at Forest Hills

You’re invited for punch and munchies after Confederate Rest removal ceremony 

 

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About David Blaska

Madison WI
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41 Responses to Confederate Rest stone is ‘too big’ for Stu Levitan; it’s got to go

  1. steve says:

    another way Stu could have made his complaint would have been to say that the soldiers’ names were written too big. Sigh…….

    Like

  2. Fred Milverstedt says:

    Stuart’s reasoning is extremely weak, almost as though he had to come up with something–any thing–to placate his crowd. There are many monuments in both cemeteries, Protestant and Catholic, that are much larger than the Rebs’. When the crowd gets around again to tearing things down, maybe they can take on a few of those. In the meantime, should the Confederate monument have to go, I recommend it be stashed in Stuart’s basement.

    Like

  3. Cornelius Gotchberg says:

    Lefties (most, not all, but including Hizzoner Soglin) would prefer to not discuss the timeline for them becoming triggered by in-yer-face racist/White Supremacist monuments/statues.

    Why? To say the very least, the decades it took for them to gin up their slobbering outrage and manufacture their suffocating offense does not depict an overly I’m Dialed In crowd.

    Anywho, there happen to be some real real “reprehensible” statues SanFranNan wants removed from the halls of Congress in our Nation’s Capital, statues she’s passed every work day (a reference I use advisedly) for the last 30 plus years.

    It gets worse.

    05/02/1948, former Baltimore Mayor, the late Thomas D’Alesandro Jr.:
    Today, with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of (Robert E.) Lee and (Thomas “Stonewall”) Jackson to REMIND US TO BE RESOLUTE AND DETERMINED IN PRESERVING OUR SACRED INSTITUTIONS” (bolds/caps mine)

    Funniest thing: Not only is SanFranNan from Baltimore but, and this is where it gets good, her maiden name is D’Alesandro.

    Hey; you don’t think…nah…couldn’t be…could it?

    https://nypost.com/2017/08/24/nancy-pelosis-dad-helped-dedicate-confederate-statue/

    Ah Lefty; so MUCH hypocrisy, so little time!

    The Gotch

    Like

  4. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Dave, Dave, when will you learn? Citing support for the monument from the likes of Fairchild, Washburn, Oakley and other Union vets only shows how blind you are to the pervasiveness of racism. Yes, they fought to free the slaves, but they were still racist in their private lives–after all they were privileged white males who lived in the 19th century. How could they NOT be racist? Clearly you need a refresher course in revisionist history–a course Mr. Levian apparently passed with flying colors.

    Like

  5. madisonexpat says:

    George McClellan wants to assert the possibility that the Romanovs hacked his election and threw it to Lincoln.

    Like

  6. Coward. Nothing more craven than sacrificing your principles and what you know is correct by “evolving” your views because of a mob. Coward.

    And “too big”?! C’mon, you have to fit 140 names on that stone. Maybe you should just have a QR code engraved in a stone and people can use their cell phones to get the truth!

    Like

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      To the (all-too-accurate) charge of cowardice you might want to add the charge of prevarication. How do these people live with themselves?

      Like

  7. Tom Paine says:

    Terrible idea to move it. Madison should never “re-write” history by moving, changing or destroying stones in cemeteries. I strongly oppose the Taliban-like, ISIS-patterned behavior. Already, too many ancient remnants have been destroyed by them in their effort to “purify” society.

    At some point in the future, shall Madison remove all the grave markers for the Spanish American War veterans for their participation in the US “War of Imperialism”? My grandparents are buried at Forrest Hill. My grandfather was a Spanish American War Veteran. He enlisted for simple, patriotic reasons and he agreed with Teddy Roosevelt.

    Leave the Confederate Rest stone where it is. There rationale for moving is not justified. We can never judge the past by today’s standards and values. If you disagree, then, for “equal” and fair treatment, we should remove all traces of any objectionable person or cause from public view or use.

    Let’s start by removing the name “Brule” from Wisconsin because it refers to Etienne Brule’s early travels to the Great Lakes Region. He should not be honored or remembered. He participated with the Huron tribe in cannibalism; he also was eaten, himself, by Indians. Or, should we remove all references to Ojibwa names in Wisconsin. They participated in battles of genocide against members of the Great Sioux Tribes.

    For anyone who identifies as a “historian,” it is shocking to think they have succumbed philosophy of Big Brother that Orwell presented in 1984. Levitan and Madison should not be seduced by the illusion of VIRTUE through historical revisionism. Reject the Stalinist imperative to move the stone.

    Like

  8. Tom Paine says:

    Terrible idea to move it. Madison should never “re-write” history by moving, changing or destroying stones in cemeteries. I strongly oppose the Taliban-like, ISIS-patterned behavior. Already, too many ancient remnants have been destroyed by them in their effort to “purify” society.

    At some point in the future, shall Madison remove all the grave markers for the Spanish American War veterans for their participation in the US “War of Imperialism”? My grandparents are buried at Forrest Hill. My grandfather was a Spanish American War Veteran. He enlisted for simple, patriotic reasons and he agreed with Teddy Roosevelt.

    Leave the Confederate Rest stone where it is. There rationale for moving is not justified. We can never judge the past by today’s standards and values. If you disagree, then, for “equal” and fair treatment, we should remove all traces of any objectionable person or cause from public view or use.

    Let’s start by removing the name “Brule” from Wisconsin because it refers to Etienne Brule’s early travels to the Great Lakes Region. He should not be honored or remembered. He participated with the Huron tribe in cannibalism; he also was eaten, himself, by Indians. Or, should we remove all references to Ojibwa names in Wisconsin. They participated in battles of genocide against members of the Great Sioux Tribes.

    For anyone who identifies as a “historian,” it is shocking to think they have succumbed philosophy of Big Brother that Orwell presented in 1984. Levitan and Madison should not be seduced by the illusion of VIRTUE through historical revisionism. Reject the Stalinist imperative to move the stone.

    Like

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      The answer to your question about Spanish-American war veterans is a resounding YES. Yes, sometime in the future (the near future, probably) there will be a movement to erase any monument to that war or to those who fought in it. After all, as one of the spoils of that war we took charge of the Philippines and instantly became masters of oppressed indigenous peoples. Fanatics know no bounds and they are never satisfied. Living in Madison provides nearly daily proof of that. And they regard the Stalinist label as a compliment. Why else would they have erected a monument to the Stanlinists who fought in the Spanish Civil War?

      Like

    • Fred Milverstedt says:

      I suspect this has been floated before, but why not change the name of the city? James Madison owned slaves.

      Like

      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        @Fred Milverstedt;

        Maybe not the city, but a little over a year ago, some blossoming SJW floated the idea of changing the names of Thomas Jefferson MS and James Madison Memorial HS (GO SPARTANS!! Class of ’73).

        No doubt Mensan Brain Trustee @richard lesiak thinks that’s a good idea.

        As a resident of Wisconsin Dells, his HS mascot the Chiefs is raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist!!!

        The Gotch

        Like

      • Batman says:

        Fred M. wrote:
        “I suspect this has been floated before, but why not change the name of the city? James Madison owned slaves.”

        Patience Fred, patience.

        Like

  9. Pingback: Confederate Rest stone is ‘too big’ for Stu Levitan - RightWisconsin

  10. Cornelius Gotchberg says:

    The way I see it, we haven’t gone far enough. You’s want cleansing? Let’s do it up right!

    If memory serves, the Progressive Eugenicist desire to…um…regulate reproduction and the population wasn’t restricted to a certain segment of humanity, and I could make strong case they were far more diabolically hateful, bigoted, discriminatory, elitist, classist, and raaaaaaaaaaaacist over a far greater spectrum than any fringe group of White Supremacists or the Ante-Bellum South.

    Why? Because they sought a Greater Good, and they had the approval of their own consciences.

    Not to over-simplify, but back at the turn of the 20th century, the newly minted BIG GUBMINT Administrative State was coming off a clear victory of disabling the EVIL Corporate Trusts. A goal achieved no longer motivates and, feeling their oats, what next? Hey, howse about improving humanity?

    Natural selection improved society over time, but a glacially slow pace; could these whiz kids jump start that with “Scientific Selection?”

    C’mon, you could improve flora-n-fauna by selective breeding, am I right? Why not extend those efforts to humans? Heck, what could possibly go wrong?

    Anywho, right here on campus, the U.W. Madison (GO BADGERS!!) was in the thick of the Eugenics craze.

    Selective breeding, forced castrations & sterilizations, work camps, elimination of “inferiors,” ad infinitum ad naseum, Eugenics had everything nascent totalitarian Proglibocrats could want, and then some.

    U.W. academics Charles Van Hise, Edward Ross, John R. Commons, and “Progressive Political Economist and Social Gospel Advocate” Richard T. Ely were of…um…similar mindset; all but Ross would be considered for a Bucky Mt. Rushmore.

    Have their books, awards, scholarships, plaques, their freakin’ memories, been the subject of any weepy hand-wringing? Not that I’ve heard.

    Van Hise Elementary School has “sister” Velma Hamilton Middle School, which may soften some of the historical stigma, of which most aren’t aware.

    And I’ve heard no call for renaming Van Hise Hall on campus yet; you?

    The Gotch

    Like

    • richard lesiak says:

      nonsense

      Like

      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        @richard lesiak;

        The Gotch supplies a history lesson, admittedly not flattering to Lefties (fact-based reality rarely is), and youse say “nonsense?” Where’s you’s gratitude?

        “The two most common elements in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” Harlan Ellison

        Youse possess the latter in never-ending abundance!

        The Gotch

        Like

        • richard lesiak says:

          I repeat ….. nonsense.

          Like

        • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

          @richard lesiak;

          I repeat…..STUPID!!!

          The Gotch

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          Too many words, Gootch, too many words.

          Like

        • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

          @AnonyBob;

          “Too many words,”

          Noted, but it’s a necessary evil. It’s difficult to make up for a surfeit of forgone edifying opportunities without a modicum of verbosity, am I right?

          The Gotch

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          No.
          See how easy that was?

          Like

        • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

          @AnonyBob;

          “See how easy that was?”

          To paraphrase Marie Curie: “The way of progress is neither swift nor easy.”

          Accounting for yer…um…abilities, it seems you’ve settled on the right approach.

          The Gotch

          Like

  11. wadwizard says:

    When any Madisonian expresses an opinion on this matter, I suggest that it is fitting for that individual to first reveal if his ancestors lived in the US during and before the Civil War. Dave’s arguments for continued decent treatment of the Southern deceased and their markers, based on the honor and respect afforded them by their former Northern foes, don’t carry much weight with those whose non-American ancestors fought on neither side of the conflict, and who therefore have no “skin in the game”.

    Like

  12. Batman says:

    Y’all are being a bit harsh on Mr. Levitan. Don’t forget he risks being accused of a hate crime for acting against current Lefty orthodoxy and that can be quite scary. Not for Batman of course but for mere mortals yes.

    There, now I will receive new comments in my inbox.

    Like

  13. AnonyBob says:

    I’d like to hear a more detailed explanation of Levitan’s position on this. Not accusing Dave of being inaccurate or too selective in his interpretation of events (which has happened), but reading the hysterical overreactions here makes me curious about his side of the story.

    Like

    • Batman says:

      What is your position annoying one?

      Like

    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      @AnonyBob;

      “reading the hysterical overreactions here makes me curious about his side of the story.”

      These are hysterical overreactions?? HeyZeus Alou! You must lead a painfully sheltered life!

      And why would youse give a toss? Your regular spittle-flecked slobberings continually remind everyone that youse don’t live here.

      Two other non-resident Lefties (@richard lesiak & @hankdog/old baldy) consistently attest that they don’t care what happens in The 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Off Reality because their double-wides are up on cinder blocks somewhere outside Dane County.

      Mercifully, they and (groan!) youse still deign to supply us the benighted with malformed commentary notwithstanding, am I right?

      The Gotch

      Like

  14. madisonexpat says:

    What the hell is the argument to remove it? Who benefits?
    Small Paul et al. has to make the affirmative case to reverse 100 years plus of this memorial that not one in a hundred Madisonians ever heard of before now.
    It harms no one and tells an interesting story worth retelling and worth being written in stone.

    Like

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      As i recall, the movement to remove the monument came smack in the middle of the nationwide frenzy to tear down statues of Confederate heros. Madison liberals felt left out, so they had to scramble to find something–anything–that would allow them to add their puny voice to the sanctimonious anti-Confederate outcry. As usual, their “me too” virtue signaling had little to do with whether a stone marker should or shouldn’t remain in a cemetery; it had everything to do with creating an opportunity for “moral preening” (to borrow a phrase) by Madison liberals.

      Like

  15. Batman says:

    I’ll bet Soglin wishes he could remove certain comments he made about Fidel Castro even more than his disingenuous call to remove the monument.

    ““His success was defined by U.S. standards,” Soglin said. “He would not allow a free press or elections. On the other hand, he was a popular leader who inspired generations of Cubans.”

    Will ya will ya please accept the key to our city Mr. Castro because I think you’re fatigues are cool and I like your beard.

    Like

  16. Batman says:

    your not you’re

    Like

  17. Pingback: Defending the UW-Madison against the barbarians at the gate | Stately Blaska Manor

  18. Leo says:

    Paul Soglin was fond of calling the Vietnam War “immoral.” With that in mind, shouldn’t all vietnam vets buried at Forest Lawn also be removed to soothe the sensibilities of Madison’s
    ;liberal community in 2018?

    Like

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