City of Madison poised to trash a grave stone

Where else has a gravestone been uprooted?

(outside Jewish cemeteries in Nazi Germany, of course)

Forget it, virtue signalers, it’s Madison — where an issue never dies, it only festers.

The fate of the grave stone listing the 140 dead Confederate prisoners of war buried in Madison’s Forest Hill cemetery will never be settled, we have come to believe.

The Madison Common Council for a third time, next week Tuesday, September 25, will consider what to do with the grave marker. But only to refer the matter to a public hearing a week later, on Tuesday, October 2. At THAT meeting the council very well could, by simple majority vote, yank the stone.

In Loving Memory

Madison is just so offended!

Allen Arntsen


How is Madison suffering, Ald. Arntsen?


It will do so after a newbie alderoid, Allen Arntsen, appealed the decision of the city’s Landmarks Commission which, in August (that, here), over-ruled the Council’s two earlier attempts at whitewashing history (the last by a 14-4 vote). Keeping the grave stone “in its present location is contrary to the general welfare of the city of Madison,” Arntsen alleges.

So the public will have another crack at explaining to the supernaturally “woke” alderoids that the monument is no triumphant general aboard a rearing steed, sword menacing quaking former slaves. Located far from city center, on no prominent square but in a quiet corner of a peaceful cemetery.

It is only the very first permanent grave marker for the captured soldiers who died in captivity at Madison’s Camp Randall in 1862. The stone replaced the second generation of wooden boards that were deteriorating in Wisconsin’s harsh weather by the turn of the last century. The individual white markers one sees today were put up three years AFTER the marker in question.

Nor was the stone spirited into Madison in the middle of the night by Klan night riders. Just the opposite. Two Madison veterans, in particular, solicited their former enemies in the south to erect a suitable marker. One of them was Major Hugh Lewis, who lost an arm at Gettysburg. The other was Captain Frank Oakley, in whose Mansion Hill home the redoubtable Alice Whiting Waterman served as housekeeper until her death in 1897. 

It was Mrs. Waterman who, at first alone, cared for the neglected graves. Along the way she attracted the support of Wisconsin governors, beginning with former general Lucius Fairchild, who lost his arm at Gettysburg. In the late 1880s, Fairchild was elected national commandant of the Grand Army of the Republic, the organization representing veterans of the Union cause in the late Civil War.

Well below the names of the dead, the organization collecting the money inscribed:

Erected in loving memory by United Daughters of Confederacy
to Alice Whiting Waterman and her boys. 

That’s it. That’s what passes for Hate Speech in Madison WI these days. No justification for slavery or insurrection. No “fought with valor” or “unsung heroes” or “Lost Cause.” In point of fact, those words passed under the nose of Captain Oakley, who, at the time, was the U.S. marshall for the federal court in Madison. The Daughters sent the money and the inscription up to Oakley so that he could contract with a local stone mason. (Much smarter than shipping a stone from Alabama.)

It is reasonable to think that, when the Daughters of the Confederacy solicited funds to carve the stone, many of the contributors were daughters, sisters, and other family members of the dead soldiers. 

So, the City of Madison is poised to create its own history. Madison would become the very first to remove a grave marker. 

It is well possible that the organization as a whole is guilty of white washing the South’s guilt. But it did not do so on the stone at Confederate Rest. 

Stu Levitan these days says the is too large. “It’s very mass is celebratory.” He should try carving 140 names on a smaller stone. In any event, it is smaller than that erected over the grave of Charles Van Hise, president of the University of Wisconsin, father of the progressive “Wisconsin Idea,” an enthusiastic eugenist. (More here.)  

Blaska’s Bottom LineIf the city is going to dispatch a forklift to remove the stone at Confederates Rest, might as well put Charlie Van Hise on the flatbed truck while they’re at it. Call it a two-fer.

More here, if you can stand it.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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12 Responses to City of Madison poised to trash a grave stone

  1. Reginald says:

    I don’t see why a gravestone needs to be removed.

    The argument against the statues is that they’re often in prominent locations (like a town square) and are glorifying Conferdate leaders as heroes.

    This is an out of sight, non-flashy gravestone for POWs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Batman says:

      Because of virtue signaling by the (insecure) woke Reginald.


    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:


      “This is an out of sight, non-flashy gravestone for POWs.”

      Just like with the slow, steady growth of the smoking ban, Lefty doesn’t impose its agenda all at once. They use baby steps so you’s don’t realize the steady creep of the steady creeps; like catching wild pigs.

      “‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again.

      ”You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.

      ”Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

      NOT ON MY WATCH!!!!

      The Gotch


      • Bob Allen says:

        I really like the feral pig analogy. I’m from Texas and have trapped those nasty creatures. Thanks


        • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

          @Bob Allen;

          Backatcha! I lived in Houston for a spell, drank a LOT of Pearl & Lone Star, and have been from Texarkana to Amarillo to El Paso to Laredo to Brownsville to Orange and a hell of a lotta places in between.

          Texans WISH them there destructive hogs were that easy to trap in numbers, am I right?

          The Gotch


    • David Blaska says:

      Good point: not in a town square or prominent location. Small, out of the way, quiet cemetery. Geez!


  2. Batman says:

    Great story!
    Are you implying we have some captured pigs on this blogsite (hypnotized by the free corn) oblivious of their surrendered ability to reason clearly?


    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:


      The Gotch will not be dragged into triggering a micro-aggression that sets off another very troubling thread from those to whom you may be referring.

      The Gotch


  3. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    The fact that two Union veterans saw fit to solicit contributions for a Confederate marker speaks volumes about how incapable we’ve become of honoring values like forgiveness, reconciliation, or respect for our fellow man–even those who were once our enemy. The virtue-signalers who want this monument deleted from history are no different from Stalin’s flunkies who obliterated any trace of their leader’s’ enemies from the history books. The tortured “reasoning” behind Levitan’s statement–“Its very mass is celebratory”–reeks of the moral bankruptcy of Madison liberals, whose professed love of civic virtue is really a love of self above all else.

    It’s only a matter of time before the same crew who managed to erase the names of Fredric March and Porter Butts from the history of UW-Madison train their sights on Van Hise (and every other white male whose name appears on a campus building). These fanatical ideologues refuse to countenance the slightest sign of deviation from the party line and are experts at cowing their opponents into silence. How many of these outrages have to occur before someone with a conscience retaliates?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reginald says:

      The other thing is that people were conscripted to fight in the war. If they refused, they could have been tossed in prison or even killed. In some cases, even kids were conscripted. Having a gravestone for some of the soldiers is not the same thing as a statue in the townsqaure glorifying Conferdate generals. It would be nice if the progressives who want to destroy this gravestone were capable of nuance.


      • Gary L. Kriewald says:

        They’re quite capable of nuance when it suits their ends (see Levitan’s remark). When it doesn’t they’re all too eager to see the moral universe in black and white–in every sense of that phrase.


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