Howard County removes Confederate memorial overnight

Aug 22, 2017

There’s been another removal of a Confederate monument in the Baltimore Region. This time, it’s a monument on the grounds of the courthouse in Ellicott City. 

Credit Howard County Executive Allen Kittleman/Facebook

It happened overnight Monday. On his Facebook page, the Republican County Executive, Allen KIttleman, said the more appropriate place for the memorial is in a museum, along with other artifacts and information on the Civil War. The removal of the memorial was ordered after the completion of the historic review process, which began August 16, but required a 5 day public notice period before a decision could be rendered. Kittleman said after receiving approval, he took immediate steps to remove the memorial.

“It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that memorials such as this are hurtful to many residents in our community and elsewhere,” said Kittleman.” “Given these feelings and the tragedy in Charlottesville, I felt compelled to remove this memorial from public property.” 

County Council Chair Jon Weinstein encouraged the Howard County Historical Society to add the memorial to its Civil War collection. Kittleman said Preservation Howard County, an organization dedicated to saving Howard County’s rich history, supports moving the memorial to a museum. County Council Chair Jon Weinstein encouraged the Howard County Historical Society to add the memorial to its Civil War collection. According to Kittleman, Weinstein said the events last week in Charlottesville, renewed the urgency in removing the memorial. 

Credit Howard County Executive Allen Kittleman/Facebook

“We cannot and should not erase the past,” added Kittleman. “We must learn from it. A museum offers context for us and for future generations to better understand our shared history.”

As for the history, Howard County’s Executive even provided that background:

According to Maryland Historical Trust records, the memorial was dedicated on September 23, 1948, at a time when Howard County had a commissioner form of government. Howard County Circuit Court Judge William Henry Forsythe Jr., whose father’s name is on the memorial, appears to have been responsible for accepting and placing the memorial on the grounds of the court house. No county officials played a role in the dedication.

Howard County's action follows that of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's decision last week to have four Confederate monuments from across the city removed. There's no word just yet as to where they will ultimately land. Mayor Pugh says cemeteries where Confederate soldiers are buried, have expressed interest in having them.