When this monument was first dedicated almost one hundred years ago, a fountain of water flowed from it. That stream has been scotched for many years now. The granite is no longer pristine and bright. History has not been kind to this memorial.
History has not been kind to the memory of the Confederate dead of Trigg County.
The issue of slavery has been brandished by recent revisionists to besmirch the honor and valor of those 600 Trigg Countians who served from this county. Few of them owned slaves, and those who fought did not fight for slavery, and none of those who died, died for slavery. In the words of Major General John B. Gordon, “As for the South, it is enough to say that perhaps eighty percent of her armies were neither slave-holders, nor had the remotest interest in the institution. No other proof, however, is needed than the undeniable fact that at any period of the war from its beginning to near its close, the South could have saved slavery by simply laying down its arms and returning to the Union.”
The cause for which they fought was the homeland of the South, the integrity of local government, the right to be free not only as an individual but as a sovereign state – a belief that the constitution, the 10th Amendment, afforded them that right. Summons the gray ghosts of those departed soldiers to formation here today. Inquire of them as to the purpose of their service. None – not one would say their purpose was to defend the deplorable institution of slavery – inherent as that practice was to the way of life of the South at that time.
So we return again to that distant moment of this marker’s inception when pride was in the air in bracing whiffs. We rededicate this monument today, as it was dedicated in the beginning, to the valor, honor and devotion to home of those many who fought and those who died for the Confederacy. In full condemnation of slavery, an issue no doubt enfolded in that national affray, we salute the larger cause for which they marched off to war.
We give reverent tribute to the cause of freedom, independence, and gallant defense of home and hearth – those lasting virtues that endure. Nothing, not even the fickle slant of history can stain their memory or muffle the drumbeat of duty. God preserve their memories, and God bless their souls. To them and to all future generations who wish to live free, we rededicate this monument by remembering the insightful words of Stonewall Johnson, “Duty is ours; consequences are God’s.”