Anger, sadness, disbelief, and fear for what will be left of American heritage, history, and culture in fifty years. Yep, that sums up my feelings upon reading this
Public Statement from the Board of Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc.
May 23, 2017
The Board of the Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. is sad to announce that the museum, located on Nash Farm Battlefield, which was funded and maintained by our group, will close effective June 1, 2017. The main reason is that the current District 2 Commissioner, Dee Clemmons, has requested that ALL Confederate flags be removed from the museum, in addition to the gift shop, in an effort not to offend anyone. For anyone who studies the American Civil War, or War Between the States, they realize there were two parties that fought in this war. We have always prided ourselves with being an unbiased museum that told the entire story of the battles that took place on this property, as well as being a voice of the people in Henry County and Georgia during this time. These stories were told mainly through primary sources, sometimes secondary, but never tertiary sources. To exclude any Confederate flag would mean the historical value has been taken from our exhibits, and a fair interpretation could not be presented to each guest. Confederate flags were on this hallowed ground, as were the Union flags. To remove either of them would be a dishonor.
Additionally, Commissioner Clemmons stated that this property, which the county spent in excess of $8 million dollars, has no historical significance per the current board. Interestingly, the Department of Interior has recognized this property as core battlefield and there is a primary source where a request is made that the government pay retribution for the damage to the property during the battle. This is clear proof of the historical basis of this property; yet, more could be provided if necessary. This property has the blood of Union and Confederate soldiers in the soil and needs to be preserved as the battlefield that it is.
The Board of the Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. complied when Commissioner Clemmons requested, soon after her taking office, that the entrenchments be removed from the property. When she had the Second National Confederate Flag removed from the flag pole where it has been flying since Henry County purchased the property, again we complied and did not create a disturbance in hopes that the museum would be left alone. The final order from Commissioner Clemmons is one that we cannot and will not comply with. We were told that we are at the “pleasure of the (Henry County) Commission”. Her directive is something we cannot comply with in good consciences.
To date, the museum, in its seven years of operation, has seen visitors from all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. Heritage tourism dollars have added money to the tax base in Henry and Clayton Counties, helping to fund many projects, including roads and schools. Prior to the recession, it was not uncommon to see over 2,000 students in a year; however, the yearly school day now has just shy of 500 students who visit not only the museum, but many different hands on stations to help to engage every student. Never have we had a teacher or student complain about the variety of flags or uniforms being presented in these educational settings. In fact, most teachers applaud our efforts to help them in the classroom.
The Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. has not only been active on an educational aspect, but has helped Henry County in many ways to manage this beautiful battlefield. We have worked with the Boy Scouts, Eagles Scouts, the Audubon Society, Master Gardeners, Civil War Trust, and other community groups. Our volunteers have put up split rail fencing, painted, cleared barbed wire, mowed, graded roads, picked up debris, fixed many “broken” things around the property, and so much more. Our mission was to assist Henry County, not only with the historical aspect of the property, but to make this a property the entire community could be proud of. To be honest, majority of the people in District 2 are proud of Nash Farm Battlefield.
There will be many who will think the Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. should have stood up to this censorship. Currently, the museum operates out of the old Nash farmhouse, which is owned by Henry County, and all utilities are paid by the county. The relics that were displayed, with the exception of a small amount that Henry County owns, were on loan to our group. When our key volunteer and donor made the decision to pull his relics, the Board had no other decision than to close the museum. We could have kept the doors open sporadically and showed beautiful display cases that were empty. When you engage in a conflict, your goal is to gain ground. The Board felt the only decision we had was to close the museum. This has not been an easy decision as many of our volunteers have donated much time, money, sweat, and tears to this property. The Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield was created after the Steering Committee was dissolved by the Henry County Board of Commissioners over 10 years ago. That is over a decade of work that some of our volunteers have contributed to this property.
As a Board, we ask that you contact not only Commissioner Clemmons, but also all the other Henry County Board of Commissioners, to let them know how you feel about the current political climate that affected the closing of Nash Farm Battlefield Museum. It is important that you voice your opinion to these politicians so they know there is public support for the historical aspect of this property.
Thank you to all the groups and individuals who have supported Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. over the years. Our volunteers have been honored to work to preserve history and work diligently to improve the community. We can only hope that this property and its history will be sustained for future generations.
Respectfully Submitted by the Board of Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc.
One way to destroy a nation is to destroy its history. Think about this, we have been told that he Confederate flag belongs in museums, well, now, those same Cultural Stalinists are going to insist they must not be in museums. What is next you might wonder. The answer is simple, the American flag, the Founders, our national anthem, and so on are next. This is the price we have paid for not standing up to he bullies and thugs of the Left before. And we will continue to pay that price until enough of us say ENOUGH!