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Updated: Wisconsin mayor orders removal of Confederate memorials

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the removal of Confederate monuments at a Wisconsin cemetery (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

A mayor says a plaque honoring Confederate soldiers has been removed from a cemetery in traditionally liberal Madison, Wisconsin, and a second memorial is also coming down.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced the memorials’ removal Thursday, saying the Civil War was “a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery.”

The plaque removed Wednesday is called “Confederate Rest” and lauds “the valiant” Confederate soldiers buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery.

Soglin says the second monument lists names of Confederate soldiers buried at the cemetery and will require heavy equipment to remove. He says another marker with their names will be reinstalled but without language celebrating the Confederate insurrection.

Soglin’s decision comes as cities nationwide are removing Confederacy-related monuments following last weekend’s deadly confrontations at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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12:10 p.m.

A mayor says monuments to Confederate soldiers are being removed from a cemetery in traditionally liberal Madison, Wisconsin, because the Civil War was “a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery.”

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin made the announcement in a statement Thursday. It isn’t clear whether the monuments have already been removed.

The mayor says removing the monuments at the Forest Hill Cemetery will produce “minimal or no disruption to the cemetery itself.” Soglin’s decision comes as cities nationwide are removing Confederacy-related monuments following last weekend’s deadly confrontations at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In his statement, Soglin also calls the Civil War “an act of insurrection and treason.” He says another Confederate monument in the city is being removed, but provided no details.


The original story, posted at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday:

MADISON  — The Madison mayor says public monuments to confederate soldiers are being removed from a cemetery in the state’s capital city because the Civil War was “a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery.”

Mayor Paul Soglin made the announcement in a statement Thursday and said public monuments would be removed from the Forest Hill Cemetery.

Madison was home to not only a major Union training facility we now know as Camp Randall, but also a Confederate prison camp.

Forest Hill Cemetery, Soldiers’ Lot, holds 240 Union soldiers. The cemetery also has a section named Confederates Rest devoted to 140 Confederate soldiers, a majority of whom died while held in prison at Camp Randall. The portion of the cemetery is the only tribute to the Confederacy in the area.

The mayor says removing the monuments at the Forest Hill Cemetery will produce “minimal or no disruption to the cemetery itself.” Soglin’s decision comes as cities nationwide are removing Confederacy-related monuments following last weekend’s deadly confrontations at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In his statement, Soglin also calls the Civil War “an act of insurrection and treason.” He says another Confederate monument in the city is being removed, but provided no details.

Also from the statement:

“I agree with other mayors around the country also speaking out and taking action. We are acknowledging there is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. In Madison, we join our brothers and sisters around the country to prove that we, as a people, are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile, and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves.”

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