Recent years have seen a “new Civil War,” a debate over who should be honored in Statuary Hall in the United States Congress. This book, just published, is the first ever to review, in brief, the history of the relationship between Statuary Hall and both Civil Wars, the one which was fought in the 19th century and the one ongoing now.
Statuary Hall was created via legislation in 1864, during the war, and the “Statue of Freedom” was placed atop the dome in 1863. Since then each state has emplaced two statues of honorees, and, in some cases, has replaced them. The removal of Virginia’s Robert E. Lee statue a few days ago was a key moment in the current “new Civil War” over who should be honored. Statues of Jefferson Davis, Edmund Kirby Smith, and Wade Hampton, among other Confederates, remain in place, but the controversy is heating up.
The book has a short summary of the history and current controversies, but the main focus is, as part of my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time,” on short biographies, complete with photos of their statues, of 50 honorees related to the Civil War, including some which have been replaced. The book can be purchased at: