I come from a long line of Yankees. Not one of my direct ancestors, as far as I can discover, lived any further south than Noble County, Ohio. Very few of my distant cousins did either. I have found nearly 30 Civil War soldiers in my family, all of them wore the Union blue.
All of the above is by way of establishing my bona fides before I comment on the page A4 feature article in the Indianapolis Star this past Sunday.
First a little history: Indianapolis was the site of a Civil War POW prison called Camp Morton. Many of the Confederate soldiers held there died during their incarceration, and they were buried in Greenlawn Cemetery downtown. That cemetery was eliminated in the early 20th century, and the Confederates remaining there (some burials had been claimed by Southern families) were moved to Crown Hill.
A large memorial placed at Greenlawn in 1912 was moved to Garfield Park on the south side in 1928. I don't know why the soldiers went north and the memorial went south. Anyway that memorial is in need of restoration, and the local Sons of the Confederate Veterans group want to help Indy Parks do that. This action is apparently controversial; you know-the Stars and Bars and slavery and all that.
As a Unionist and a genealogist and an historian, my take is that you can't rewrite history, and you can't deny descendants from honoring their ancestors. If my great-grandfather had fought for the Gray, and I wanted to honor his service by placing a marker for him, I would be really torqued if someone said I couldn't do that.
Just being on the "wrong" side of history doesn't make the average participant invisible or a sinner. Do we hate all the Native Americans who killed our relatives? Do we hate the Tories who opposed Washington's troops? Do my ancestors hate the folks on the other side of the Battle of the Boyne?
So anyway, I say let their descendants honor their Confederate ancestors, even though they are up here in Yankee country. If you are a Southerner by ancestry and want to donate money to help, look up the Star article on line. And that's my position on that.