Commissioners voted “no” on the proposed relocation of the General Alexander P. Stewart statue lead by the National Association of Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of Chattanooga. The vote came after a protest held by the NAACP on Sunday to voice their opinion on the matter.
On Monday, the vote to decide if the statue would stay or go was added to the schedule for Wednesday’s regular meeting. During the meeting, the public got a chance to speak and share their thoughts.
“…Not put this statue in a place that is more appropriate where the story of General Stewart can be told with context,” says Yusuf Hakeem, executive board member of the NAACP. “…we’re asking, with your consideration, to move it, whether it be to Chickamauga Battlefield or to a museum…”
Though the vote did not go their way, NAACP is not going to stop petitioning for the relocation of the statue.
“We’re gonna go back and look at legislation and see how this thing works, and what the proper protocol is in terms of bringing it back to vote,” says Dr. Elenora Woods, president of NAACP’s Chattanooga branch. “… we’re gonna come back. We’re not gonna stop. We cannot stop. If our ancestors stop, then where would we be today?”
Stewart was originally from Rogersville, TN. He was a general in the confederate states’ army during the Civil War. He was against secession, was a major in the Tennessee militia, and joined the Confederate Army as a major in 1861. Stewart then led his division in an offensive attack during the battle of Chickamauga. After the war, Stewart was the first commander of Chickamauga Park.
If you would like to support relocation of the statue, you can sign the petition at naacpchattanooga.org.
We will continue to track this story as it continues.