California’s Forgotten Confederate History

Kevin Waite, writing in the New Republic:

Earlier this month, the last major Confederate monument in California came down. It was a curious one: a nine-foot granite pillar in an Orange County cemetery, bearing the names of several Southern leaders, including Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, who never even set foot on the Pacific coast.

Dead Confederates are hard to find in California. Yet the Golden State once contained far more rebel tributes than any other state outside the South itself.

Beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first, Confederate memorial associations in California established more than a dozen monuments and place-names to the rebellion. They dedicated highways to Jefferson Davis, named schools for Robert E. Lee, and erected large memorials to the common Confederate soldier.

The Confederacy’s post-Civil War spread across the United States is odd and this is an interesting look at how it happened in California.

I’ve been in El Paso, Texas for the past few months and while it is Texas, the city is on the far northwest end and >80% Hispanic so I was not expecting to see so many roads and streets named after Confederate politicians, soldiers or related terminology here.