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Ohio Has A Monument Honoring Robert E. Lee, The Only Such Monument North Of The Ohio River

The state of Ohio, a proud Union state, a northern state, is home to four Confederate monuments:

Camp Chase, Columbus

A monument here in Columbus at Camp Chase marks the site where 2,260 Confederate soldiers are buried.

William C. Quantrill’s Grave, Dover


Confederate Capt. William C. Quantrill’s grave is marked with a memorial in Dover in Tuscarawas County. Quantrill burned down Lawrence, Kansas before being killed by Union troops in Kentucky.

Johnson’s Island

200 Confederate officers are buried on Johnson’s Island in Lake Erie, and a 19 foot statue of a Confederate soldier was put up by the Daughters of the Confederacy as a memorial to the dead Confederate soldiers.

Robert E. Lee Monument, Franklin

Via Ancestry

Perhaps most egregiously, a marker lauding Robert E. Lee sits on city owned land in northwestern Warren County, at the intersection of Old Dixie Highway and Hamilton-Middleton Road. The plaque is attached to a boulder and reads: “Erected and Dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Friends In Loving Memory of Robert E. Lee and to Mark the Route of the Dixie Highway. ‘The shaft memorial and highway straight attest his worth — he cometh to his own.’ — Littlefield/Erected 1927.”

From what I can tell through research, and according to this Confederate blogger, this is the only monument to Robert E. Lee north of the Ohio river.

The dedication, again, in 1927, was apparently … something:

The Cincinnati Enquirer advanced the 1927 dedication ceremonies for the “marker,” noting that among those present would be the president of Ohio’s United Daughters of the Confederacy, Ohio’s director of highways, and — on behalf of the city — the publisher of the Franklin Chronicle. A male quartet would sing “Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny” (Lee’s home state was Virginia), an official from Virginia’s Washington and Lee University was to give an address, and the audience would sing Lee’s favorite hymn, “How Firm a Foundation.”

“Carry Me Back To Ole Virginny” lyrics:

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There’s where the cotton and the corn and taters grow,
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the spring time,
There’s where the darkey’s heart am longed to go.
There’s where I labored so hard for old massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn,
No place on earth do I love more sincerely,
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.
Carry me back to old Virginny,
There let me live ’till I wither and decay,
Long by the old Dismal Swamp have I wandered,
There’s where this old darkies’ life am passed away.
Massa and misses, have long gone before me,
Soon we will meet on that bright and golden shore.
There we’ll be happy and free from all sorrow,
There’s where we’ll meet and we’ll never part no more.

The monument was hit by a car in 1981:

In the book The History of Franklin in the Great Miami Valley, contributor Dorothy Scholl tells of the surprise many in the area felt when a motorist knocked the Lee monument off its foundation in 1981. Until the resultant news coverage, few had any idea what the monument was about as they zipped past it. Scholl talked to Judge J.T. Riley, a prominent resident, who said that Franklin businessman Barry Brown spurred the monument’s creation, in part because “Lee did as much as anyone to heal the wounds left by the fighting of the Civil War.”

Featured image via J. Stephen Conn