Petition Closed

Keep General Tilghman Monument and other Confederate Monuments up in Paducah Kentucky

This petition had 124 supporters

These Statues and monuments in Paducah are not a symbol of racism, oppression, nor hatred, but instead a testament to the people that fought and bled to defend their lands, honor, and families. These Monuments represent a way to pay respect to those that made the ultimate sacrifice; to lay down their lives and fight for the Confederate Army. Those Monuments are not a symbol of racism nor a symbol of oppression. They are instead a shining symbol of those who gave up everything, their mind, their body, and their homes, to fight for what they had to. Many of these monuments were placed in honor of our Confederate dead. They should remain standing as long as they remain dead.They also help to preserve the Legend of General Lloyd Tilghman, a true patriot for the cause he believed in.

Just because people were a part of the Confederate States of America, does not mean they owned slaves or were for slavery. Less than 6% of people living in the Confederacy owned any slaves. Some were even against the very idea of it. so then why were the other 94% of them fighting? To label them all as racists and slave owners is not only factually wrong but morally wrong as well. The Commander of the Confederate States of America’s Army, Robert E. Lee, was against slavery, never owned any slaves, and was known to be a just and honorable man. So calling for them to be taken down as symbols of racism and oppression, and to be replaced by those who championed and promoted freedom and liberty makes no sense. Because these monuments are already dedicated to those very such people; those who fought for the Confederacy.

Many people living here have ancestry relating to those that fought in the Confederate Army. We are not ashamed of this, nor should we be. We instead are proud of it. To be descendants of these people who fought, bled, and died for a cause they believed in; A Free and Unified Confederate States of America.

The main Monument in Paducah is that of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman. (Tilghman High School is named after his Wife). Their children donated the money for it after she died.Lloyd tried to be neutral until forced to join the Confederacy. Lloyd Tilghman was not a bad person, he was a hero in life, and a legend in death. One that more than deserves to be honored. A man who once fought bravely when he took a small group of loyal men at Fort Henry, and put up a defense valiantly against a much larger advancing Union army. Giving the rest of the soldiers time to escape. A man who had the honor and manners of a gentleman, and the pride, valor, and patriotism that of a seasoned soldier.  

Many people think the Civil War of 1860-1865 was fought over one issue alone, slavery. Nothing could actually be further from the truth. The War Between the States began because the South demanded States' rights and were not getting them.

The Congress at that time heavily favored the industrialized northern states to the point of demanding that the South sell is cotton and other raw materials only to the factories in the north, rather than to other countries. The Congress also taxed the finished materials that the northern industries produced heavily, making finished products that the South wanted, unaffordable. The Civil War should not have occurred. If the Northern States and their representatives in Congress had only listened to the problems of the South, and stopped these practices that were almost like the taxation without representation of Great Britain, then the Southern states would not have seceded and the war would not have occurred.

I know for many years, we have been taught that the Civil War was all about the abolition of slavery, but this truly did not become a major issue, with the exception of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, until after the Battle of Antietam in September 1862, when Abraham Lincoln decided to free the slaves in the Confederate States in order to punish those states for continuing the war effort. The war had been in progress for two years by that time.

Most southerners did not even own slaves nor did they own plantations. Most of them were small farmers who worked their farms with their families. They were fighting for their rights. They were fighting to maintain their lifestyle and their independence the way they wanted to without the United States Government dictating to them how they should behave.

Why are we frequently taught then, that the Civil War, War of Northern Aggression, War Between the States, or whatever you want to call it, was solely about slavery? That is because the history books are usually written by the winners of a war and this war was won by the Union. 

It was more about preserving the United States and protecting the rights of the individual, the very tenets upon which this country was founded. I personally think that the people who profess that the Civil War was only fought about slavery have not read their history books. I really am glad that slavery was abolished, but I don't think it should be glorified as being the sole reason the Civil War was fought. There are so many more issues that people were intensely passionate about at the time. Slavery was one of them, but it was not the primary cause of the war. The primary causes of the war were economics and states' rights.

Slavery was a part of those greater issues, but it was not the reason the Southern States seceded from the Union, nor fought the Civil War. It certainly was a Southern institution that was part of the economic system of the plantations, and because of that, it was part and parcel of the economic reasons that the South formed the Confederacy. The economic issue was one of taxation (being increased solely for the south from an already incredulously high 20% nationally to 47% just for the southern states, as part of a trade tariff Lincoln imposed on the southern states after his election) and being able to sell cotton and other raw materials where the producers wanted to, rather than where they were forced to, and at under inflated prices. Funny, it sounds very much like the reason we broke from Great Britain to begin with. The South was within their rights, but there should have been another way to solve the problem. If they had been willing to listen to Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the war could have been avoided. Lincoln had a plan to gradually free the slaves without it further hurting the plantation owners. He also had a plan to allow them to sell their products anywhere they wanted to and at a fair price. They did not choose to listen to the President, however, so they formed the Confederacy and the Civil War began.

Early Life of Lloyd Tilghman:

Tilghman was born in "Rich Neck Manor", Claiborne, Maryland to James Tilghman who was the great-grandson of Matthew Tilghman, and Ann C. Shoemaker Tilghman. He attended the United States Military Academy and graduated near the bottom of his class in 1836. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 1st US Dragoons but resigned his commission after three months. He worked as a construction engineer on a number of railroads in the South and in Panama, except for a period in which he returned to the Army as a captain in the Maryland and Washington, DC Volunteer Artillery (August 1847 to July 1848). In 1852, he took up residence in Paducah, Kentucky.

Lloyd's Civil war Service:

Tilghman was commissioned colonel of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry on July 5, 1861, shortly after the start of the American Civil War. He was promoted to brigadier general in the Confederate States Army on October 18. When General Albert Sidney Johnston was looking for an officer to create defensive positions on the vulnerable Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, he was unaware of Tilghman's presence in his department and another officer was selected. However, the Richmond government pointed out Tilghman's engineering background and he was finally chosen for the task. The original sites for Forts Henry and Donelson were selected by another general, Daniel S. Donelson, but Tilghman was then placed in command and ordered to construct them. The geographic placement of Fort Henry was extremely poor, sited on a floodplain of the Tennessee River, but Tilghman did not object to its location until it was too late. (Afterward, he wrote bitterly in his report that Fort Henry was in a "wretched military position ... The history of military engineering records no parallel to this case.") He also was desultory in managing its needed construction and that of the small Fort Heiman, located on the Kentucky bank of the Tennessee, and quarreled with the engineers assigned to the task. He did manage to do a more creditable job on the construction of Fort Donelson, which was sited on dry ground, commanding the river.

On February 6, 1862, an army under Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and gunboats under Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote attacked Fort Henry and Tilghman was forced to surrender. (This was not his first encounter with Grant. Tilghman was in Paducah when Grant captured that city the previous September.) Prior to doing so, he led the vast majority of his garrison troops on the 12-mile road to Fort Donelson and then returned to surrender with a handful of artillerymen who were left defending the fort. The biggest factor in the defeat of Fort Henry was not the naval artillery or Grant's infantry; it was the rising flood waters of the Tennessee, which flooded the powder magazines and forced a number of the guns out of action. (If Grant's attack had been delayed by two days, the battle would have never occurred because the fort was by then entirely underwater.) Tilghman was imprisoned as a prisoner of war at Fort Warren in Boston and was not released until August 15, when he was exchanged for Union General John F. Reynolds. Tilghman is remembered as brave and gallant in surrendering with his men, but he was derelict in his duty by abandoning the command of his garrison, which was responsible for the defense of both Henry and Donelson. (He was replaced by Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd at Donelson, whose army fought under poor leadership and was surrendered to Grant on February 16.)

Returning to the field in the fall of 1862, Tilghman became a brigade commander in Mansfield Lovell 's division of Earl Van Dorn's Army of the West, following the Second Battle of Corinth. In the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863, he was hit in the chest by a shell fragment and killed in the Battle of Champion Hill. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York City.

Orderly Sergeant ET Eggleston:

"Tilghman came to our position, in an open field, on foot. He was in particular good humor. He wore a new fatigue uniform. When he arrived near our guns our officers were mounted, and were in position prescribed for dress parade, each Lieutenant, George H. Tompkins and Thomas J. Haines, in their positions, and Captain Cowan mounted on a large grey horse, making a conspicuous target for the Federal sharpshooters. We were all tyros in war at that time. The General in a pleasant manner said to our Captain, I think you and your Lieutenants had better dismount. They are shooting pretty close to us, and I do not know whether they are shooting at your fine grey horse or my new uniform. They very promptly obeyed the suggestion.

Having to go to headquarters daily with reports, I had become personally acquainted with the affable, gallant, and genial officer. Only a few minutes before his death we were sitting on a log near a strip of woodland discussing the line of battle we then held, comparing it with the one we had shortly before occupied. He got up from the log and went to one of our guns, a 12-pound Napoleon, Corporal Tommie Johnson, gunner, and remarked to him, I think you are shooting rather too high, and sighted the gun himself. He returned to a little knoll within a few feet of the log on which I was still sitting and was standing erect, his field glasses to his eyes, watching for the effect of the shot from our gun when he received the fatal wound not from a splinter from a shell, however, but from a solid shot. It is true that a horse was killed by the same missile and I noticed that the horse was dead sometime before he General ceased to breathe, though he was unconscious.

It was some little time after the general fell before his son, a youth, could be found, and I shall never forget the touching scene when the grief and lamentations he cast himself on his dying and unconscious father.Those of us who witnessed this distressing scene shed tears of sympathy, for the bereaved son and of sorrow for our fallen hero, the chivalrous and beloved Tilghman."

CSA President Jefferson Davis, 1878:

"But neither of those more heroically, more patriotically, more singly served his country, than did Tilghman at Fort Henry, when approached by a large army, an army which rendered the permanent defense of the fort impossible, with a handful of devoted followers went into the fort and continued the defense until his brigade could retire in safety to Fort Donelson; then when that work was finished, when it was impossible any longer to make a defense, when the wounded and dying lay all around him, he, with the surviving remnants of his little band, terminated the struggle and suffered in a manner thousands of you have been prisoners of war know how to estimate. All peace and honor to his ashes, for he was among those, not the most unhappy, who went hence before our bitterest trials came upon us."

FWM published account: July 13, 1893, @ Plant City, Florida:

"General Tilghman directed the gun sergeant to train his gun, a 12-pound howitzer, and dislodge the enemy from the cabins. He dismounted from his horse and gave some directions about sighting the gun. While this was being done, a shell from one of the enemy's guns on the line exploded about fifty feet to the front. A ragged fragment of this shell struck the General in the breast, passing through him and killing the horse of his Adjutant a little farther to the rear. His death occurred, of course, very soon, and his remains were carried to the rear. That night they were started to Vicksburg, accompanied by his personal staff and son, Lloyd Tilghman, Jr., and the next evening they were buried in the city cemetery in Vicksburg. The last act of a brave man was to sight a field gun and direct the cutting of a shell fuse, so as to do the best execution upon the invaders of our country."

Private James Spencer, 1st Mississippi Light Artillery:

"General Tilghman and his staff rode up to Capt. Cowan and ordered him to open fire. The General dismounted and said to Capt. Cowan, I will take a shot at those fellows myself, and walked up to field piece No. 2 and sighted and ordered it fired and shell from the Federal Battery passed close to him while our gun was being reloaded. Tilghman remarked, They are trying to spoil my new uniform. He then sighted the gun again and as he stepped back to order fire, a Parrott shell struck him in the side, nearly cutting him in twain. Just before he dismounted, he ordered his son, a boy of about 17 years to go with a squad and drive some sharpshooters from a gin house on our left, who were annoying our cannoneers. The son had been gone 10 or 15 minutes on this mission before his father was killed."

Emilie Riley McKinley: May 21, 1863:

Gen. Tilghman was carried to Mrs. Brien's house at night by torchlight. His hair was covered with blood. His son accompanied him. They thought at first of burying him in our churchyard but carried him to Vicksburg. Poor Gen. Tilghman - he was brave to a fault. We little thought a week ago when he passed this place [probably by boat on the Big Black - a mistake by the 4th Mississippi soldier who was not correct] that he would in so short a time be dead. I saw him last Fall in Jackson directly after his return from a prison at the North, Fort Warren. He made a speech at the Bowman House [hotel] and told us how cruelly he had been treated in prison. And now poor fellow, he is gone, but his name will live forever. He fell bravely defending his fireside and home. May he rest in peace.

Colonel AE Reynolds, 26th Mississippi Infantry @ Battle of Baker's Creek Report: May 27, 1863:

"At 5.20 o'clock, Brig. Gen. Tilghman, who up to that time had commanded the brigade with marked ability, fell, killed by a shell from one of the enemy's guns, and the command devolved upon me as the senior colonel present. I cannot here refrain from paying a slight tribute to the memory of my late commander. As a man, a soldier, and a general, he had few if any superiors. Always at his post, he devoted himself day and night to the interests of his command. Upon the battlefield cool, collected, and observant, he commanded the entire respect and confidence of every officer and soldier under him, and the only censure ever cast upon him was that he always exposed himself too recklessly. At the time he was struck down he was standing in the rear of a battery, directing a change in the elevation of one of the guns. The tears shed by his men on the occasion, and the grief felt by his entire brigade, are the proudest tribute that can be given the gallant dead."

General William W. Loring: Military Report:

"During this time Tilghman, who had been left with his brigade upon the road, almost immediately after our parting, met a terrible assault of the enemy, and when we rejoined him was carrying on a deadly and most gallant fight. With less than 1,500 effective men he was attacked from by 6,000 to 8,000 of the enemy with a fine park of artillery, but being advantageously posted, he not only haled them in check, but repulsed him on several occasions, and this kept open the only line of retreat left to the army. The bold stand of his brigade under the lamented hero saved a large portion of the army. Quick and bold in the execution of his plans, he fell in the midst of a brigade that loved him well, after repulsing a powerful enemy in a deadly fight, struck by a cannon-shot. A brigade wept over the dying hero; alike beautiful as it was touching."


And so I ask.

Will you stand with me to keep these memorial's to honor the fallen,

Those that gave everything.


Today: Derek is counting on you

Derek Green needs your help with “The Mayor of Paducah : Keep General Tilghman Monument and other Confederate Monuments up in Paducah Kentucky”. Join Derek and 123 supporters today.