I am against removing the statues of John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan from the old courthouse square. To remove or destroy statues would be the beginning of a very slippery slope. Where does it end? What is the demarcation point?
I propose that we leave the statues where they stand, but add another. The two statues of Confederate generals should be balanced by a statue of an African-American Union soldier. The soldier represented should be from the 116th Infantry Regiment U.S.C.T. that was organized and trained at Camp Nelson in Jessamine County and made up of numerous men from Fayette County.
The 116th participated in the Battle of Petersburg and was present at Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. They were also one of the first regiments to enter Richmond, Va., after its capture. It would be a strong symbolic statement that would counterbalance the Confederate statues. After all, Kentucky sent many more than twice as many troops to fight for the Union as the Confederacy.
Let us not destroy or hide our statues but give people a fuller breadth of Lexington’s diverse and important history.