By Ted Shockley
Northampton County should keep its Confederate soldier statue and build next to it the likeness of an African-American Union solder.
That’s what an African-American retired physician and former elected official told the Northampton County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night.
Dr. Arthur Carter of Nassawadox referenced research in his idea, saying a book by historians Barry W. Miles and Moody K. Miles showed most of Eastern Shore’s Confederate soldiers were white, and most of the local Union soliders were black.
Instead of removing the Confederate monument on the courthouse green, Carter said the county should place beside it the African-American likeness of a Union solder.
“That would show the world that we have a better way,” Carter said.
Further, it would preserve and enhance the county’s historic green, which he complimented.
At the site, there also should be the names of the Eastern Shore’s 1,367 Confederate soldiers and 943 Union soldiers, Carter suggested.
Carter’s suggestion came amid a public debate statewide and regionally about Confederate monuments on public property.
County supervisors said they have been approached individually about the Northampton Confederate monument, which dates to 1913.
Nobody else offered suggestions about the monument at the meeting, while two members of the public complimented Carter’s idea.
“I think the board needs to address this issue one way or another,” said County Administrator Charles Kolakowski.
Supervisors will hold a public hearing in October on the future of the Confederate monument, allowing everyone a chance to make a suggestion.