In April 1878, former-President Jefferson Davis prepared a letter to be read at the laying of the cornerstone of the Macon, Georgia monument to Southern dead. He wrote “Should it be asked why, then, build this monument? The answer is, they [the veterans] do not need it, but posterity may. It is not their reward, but our debt. Let the monument teach . . . that man is born for duty, not for expediency; that when an attack is made on the community to which he belongs, by which he is protected, and to which his allegiance is due, his first obligation is to defend that community . . . Let this monument teach that heroism derives its luster from the justice of the cause in which it is displayed, and let it mark the difference between a war waged for the robber-like purpose of conquest and one to repel invasion — to defend a people’s hearths and altars, and to maintain their laws and liberties.”
“Who Owns These Monuments?”
“An address on “Who Owns These Monuments?” delivered by Dr. Joseph Grier of Chester, South Carolina at the dedication of the Richburg monument on May 7, 1939, best sums up the issue of responsibility.
“Whose monument is this? He said, “It is the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s because it is their labor of love, representing a long period of loyalty, devotion and sacrifice, culminating in the erection of the splendid memorial.
Secondly, it is the community’s, because it will stand by the roadside for centuries in the same place and all may see it and draw inspiration from it.
Thirdly, it belongs to the Confederate soldiers whose names ate inscribed on it, because it is erected in their honor.
And Fourthly, to God, because patriotism and devotion to duty and willingness to sacrifice are a vital part of religion, and as we feel the impact of these things, we are swept toward God.”
(A Guide to Confederate Monuments in South Carolina . . . Passing the Silent Cup, Robert S. Seigler, SC Department of Archives and History, 1997, pg. 21)