In a recent article, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey expressed his concern over placing a secession monument at the Riverfront Park in North Charleston. It was stated that the Sons of Confederate Veterans proposed the idea to Summey. However, Jeff Antley, the group’s 10th Brigade Commander over Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, says that was not the case.
“The mayor’s office approached us about installing the monument at the future Hunley Museum site, and in the process the mayor offered to put the monument temporarily at the Riverfront Park. Dealing with the city council and some of the other issues that he’s expressed are correct. So, all he did was ask that instead of doing it at the temporary location in the Riverfront Park, that we wait for the Hunley Museum to be completed,” says Antley.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a not-for-profit organization, has more than 35,000 members.
Antley says the mayor retracted the idea of placing the monument at Riverfront Park, and Antley and the Sons of Confederate Veterans do not see it as a loss, as it may have appeared.
“We don’t consider this a defeat or a loss because we were approached with the idea. We were thrilled and excited that the Hunley site wanted the monument. The Riverfront Park denial seemed to have gotten into a thing that we had sought it and then it was denied, and that’s not the case at all,” says Antley.
Now that the monument will not go into Riverfront Park, Antley explains what’s next: “We get things in writing and all the particulars need to be worked out and we have to go before the Hunley Commission, and the Hunley Commission controls the Hunley, although North Charleston is building the facility. Then, the monument would have to be incorporated into the overall site plan of the museum, and that’s going to take awhile,” says Antley.
Antley says they wanted to install the monument by December 20 this year, however, they realized that is not going to be likely.
December is the beginning of a five-year sesquicentennial celebration, 150 years after the American Civil War, that kicks off in Charleston with the “Secession Ball,” which around a thousand people are expected to attend. Antley chairs the Sons of Confederate Veterans Sesquicentennial Committee.