St. Augustine To Take Public Input On Confederate Monument Monday

Aug 25, 2017

The Confederate Monument in St. Augustine's Plaza de la Constitution lists local people who died in the Civil War.
Credit William Lees / Florida Public Archaeology Network

The St. Augustine City Commission is setting aside some time at its meeting Monday night to hear what residents think about the Confederate monument in the Plaza de la Constitution.

Mayor Nancy Shaver said it’s not a statue of an individual but a Civil War memorial that was erected in 1879 that lists the names of the Confederate dead from St. Augustine.

“Actually, the funds for it were raised by bake sales from mothers, sisters and widows," she said. 

The U.S. Civil War began at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, and ended May 13, 1865, with the Battle of Palmito Ranch in Texas. More than 620,000 people were killed in the fighting.

Mayor Shaver said St. Augustine’s historic central plaza also contains memorials to those who fought and died in several wars, from World War I up through Iraq and Afghanistan. 

And, she said, there should probably be one more. 

“There were 320 African-Americans who died on the Union side," she said, "and we do not have a monument to the Union War dead who came from St Augustine." 

Shaver said history is important in a city that’s 452 years old, which is why city leaders plan to take residents’ opinions into consideration when deciding how to preserve it.

Contact Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.