A small monument erected in honor of 51 Confederate soldiers who died at the Battle of Fredericksburg is under scrutiny. Last month, a judge rejected the city's motion to dismiss a lawsuit by the Sons of Confederate Veterans after it was decided last year by the City Council that the monument must be moved.
The SCV Matthew Fontaine Maury Camp #1722 contends that the city has no jurisdiction over the monument, and thus has no right to force its removal. The monument, constructed of granite and marble, and erected in early 2009, sits on the corner of two intersecting streets. A much larger memorial is also located there, which honors all veterans from WWI to the present. Therein lies the controversy. The SCV says they obtained permission from the city zoning administrator, and that other Civil War monuments have been erected on city land, including one for the 7th Michigan Infantry and another for the Union's Irish Brigade.
However, city officials claim that staff weren't authorized to grant permission. According to the SCV's attorney, Patrick McSweeney, the council cannot change the rules after the fact. The judge requested that both sides settle out of court, but the legal dispute could grow. Ironically, the City Council approved the burial of Confederate troops from seven states in 1861.