Letter: Why the Vance Monument should come back

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Regarding the recent letter from Jane Spence-Edwards [“The Case for Rebuilding the Vance Monument,” May 15, Xpress], I must say I agree with her completely. I do take an exception to her phrase “his misguided association with the Confederacy.” Vance was a strong Unionist. North Carolina was one of the last states to secede, and he was delivering speeches in support of her staying in the Union up until the war began. Then his decision was to follow and defend his native state.

This was not unusual for the time. Jubal Early, who became a Confederate general, voted against secession in the Virginia convention. Men like Robert E. Lee, Lewis Addison Armistead and John Newland Maffitt spent 20-30 years in the prewar U.S. military, resigned and joined Confederate service only when their state left the Union and war came. Fifteen Confederate generals were born and raised in the North. Most had lived in the South for years before the war, and they made the same decision. These men had done nothing to bring about the war and did not want to leave the Union, but they couldn’t bring themselves to fight against their home.

Considering the devastation wrought upon the South by the federal armies and navy, they were probably glad they did leave the U.S. military since they didn’t help to burn Southern towns, destroy homes and farms (perhaps those of their families and neighbors?), and lob shells into the streets of Charleston and Atlanta. What choice would we have made in their position?

I think people in our day can’t fully understand the deep bond people of those days had with their state and region. Zebulon Vance, throughout his life, worked for the welfare and defense of North Carolina. His monument should come back.

— Byron Hovey
Former resident (21 years) of Asheville
Carolina Beach, N.C.

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3 thoughts on “Letter: Why the Vance Monument should come back

  1. gyp

    Vance was for the welfare and defense of *white* North Carolina. Vance was a “redeemer” after the Civil War, and all evidence suggests he died one. This letter is offensive.

  2. Nostupid peiple

    I try think the funds to replace it should come out of mayor ester’s back pocket! City council has robbed us blind, and destroyed our town!

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