Why would Waite Rawls, president of the Museum of the Confederacy, want to consider the remote site of Ft. Monroe for part of the priceless collection of Civil War artifacts that he's desperate to bust up?
Apparently, in his mind, it has a "historical connection" to the war:
Fort Monroe eyed to house artifactsWith that twisted (and painfully feeble) logic, Bland County qualifies for the museum's assets. We too have a connection - almost as tentative - to the war, and we are in "a different region than the other two possible sites."
Richmond — The Museum of the Confederacy, which has been considering spreading the bulk of the world's largest collection of Civil War artifacts among three new locations, has proposed that one branch be sited at Fort Monroe after the Army departs in 2011.
[Museum president and CEO S. Waite Rawls III] said yesterday that Fort Monroe was selected as a potential site because of its historical connection to the Civil War: Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee supervised construction of the fort and Confederate President Jefferson Davis was a prisoner there. The site also was selected for its potential as a tourist destination after the Army departs, and because it is located in a different region than the other two possible sites, broadening the museum's reach.
Historians - unlike museum presidents - know full well that Ft. Monroe played little part in the Civil War. In fact, after the first few months of the war, it played no part at all, except as a supply depot, a never-used defensive fortress, and as a prison. For that "connection," it is to receive this priceless collection? There are hundreds of sites in Virginia alone that have a greater significance.
The more I read about this travesty - the Museum of the Confederacy is being destroyed as an entity because it now proves to be politically incorrect in this age of McCarthy-style enlightenment - the more I come to believe that the people making the decisions for the museum haven't the first clue as to what they are doing, much less what their charge as overseers of this historical treasure is.
A portion of the Museum of the Confederacy - a repository created by devoted daughters of the Old South with the intention of preserving for posterity the memories of their loved ones who fought and died for a cause they believed in and were willing to give their last full measure to defend - is to be relegated to a former dungeon. And God knows where else.
Speaks volumes about what we've become.