CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Although the United Daughters of the Confederacy on Monday expressed sadness that the Confederate Monument at the Caddo Parish Courthouse will be moved, they say they’re pleased the statue will be moved to the Pleasant Hill Battlefield site in south DeSoto Parish.
On July 20, the UDC and the Caddo Parish Commission signed a settlement agreement in which the UDC gave ownership of the land on which the Memorial sits to Caddo Parish. In exchange, Caddo Parish agreed that UDC owns the monument and that the Parish would foot the bill for the removal, transportation and re-installation of the monument.
The agreement stipulated that the UDC was required to notify the Commission of their preference for the relocation of the monument by August 30, which it did. Caddo Parish Commission Attorney Donna Frazier told the commission on September 3 that the UDC had notified them of their preference.
The group asked that the monument’s new location at the Pleasant Hill battlefield site, where what is considered the bloodiest battle of the Civil War west of the Mississippi, was fought the day after the battle of Mansfield. The Union regiments suffered a significant number of casualties and many were captured. A reenactment of the Battle of Pleasant Hill is held on that field annually and is one of the few reenactments held on the actual field of battle.
The Commission is now in the process of drafting Requests for Proposals (RFPs), which will allow the bid process to begin, according to Krystle Grindley, communications director for the Parish. When the RFP draft is completed, it will be reviewed by the parish attorney, administrator and engineer, and then published for vendors to bid on the removal and relocation processes.
In its statement released Monday, the UDC said:
“The Shreveport Chapter of The United Daughters of the Confederacy are delighted with the agreement that we have reached with Caddo Parish that recognizes our legal ownership rights of our monument.
“We are saddened that our monument will be moved from the parish courthouse, but it will be going to a place of honor and alongside graves of Confederate heroes to fulfill its purpose as a tombstone for soldiers from Caddo Parish who died on distant battlefields.
“The UDC has always strived to locate our monuments in places where they would be honored and safe from harm. Given that the Caddo Parish Courthouse is no longer a secure site, we are grateful that our monument will soon be moved to a new permanent location that we chose on private land and near a civil war battlefield site where it will once again be protected and revered for generations to come.
“As for a timeline for the move, it depends on how quickly a qualified contractor can be selected through the parish’s bid process. Since the parish is paying all costs associated with the relocation of our monument, we are unsure as to a completion date but hope this happens soon.”