In Madison’s Forest Hill Cemetery, troops from the Union and Confederate armies still face off, a hundred and fifty years after their death. Burial plots for Union soldiers are separated from another plot for Confederate prisoners of war by just a few yards. In August of 2017, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, reacting to the removal of Confederate memorials in the South, ordered the removal of a stone and a plaque at the entrance to the Confederate burial plot, but the city left a stone marker placed at the site in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
On Thursday, February 8th, the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission deadlocked on whether to remove the remaining marker, or to replace it with another. With the EOC deadlocked, the debate moves to the city Landmarks and Parks Commissions.
Stephen Kantrowitz is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He specializes in the history of race, politics and citizenship in the nineteenth century United States. He joins Eight O’Clock Buzz host Brian Standing by phone.