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St. Augustine Mayor: City’s Confederate Monument Is Not Part Of ‘Lost Cause’ Myth

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UF-controlled monument honoring Confederate General William Loring in St. Augustine.

Those wanting to join a committee looking into how to “re-contextualize” St. Augustine’s only city-controlled Confederate monument have until the end of the month to apply.

At the same time, a local pastor who organized a protest of the city’s decision not to tear the monument down is promising more demonstrations.

But St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver says the city’s monument is not the same as others that have been taken down around the country.

“Those are the monuments that have been taken down elsewhere — specifically the “lost cause” monuments.” When you move to St. Augustine, what we have is a memorial on our plaza that was contemporaneous with the end of the Civil War that has the names of the Confederate dead from St. Augustine,” she said.

“The lost cause” myth is a term referred to by some historians and academics that seeks to present the American Civil War from the perspective of Confederates in the best possible terms, according to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Shaver said rather than honoring a specific Confederate figure, the St. Augustine monument that was erected before the Jim Crow era is strictly a war memorial — not glorifying slavery.

The monument memorializes the 44 Confederate soldiers from St. Augustine, but Shaver said she’s since learned there were union soldiers from the area too she would like to see those soldiers honored on the same ground.

Another St. Augustine Confederate monument honoring Confederate General William Loring sits on University of Florida-controlled land.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.