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Perspective

In Gettysburg, the Confederacy Won

Some of the monuments in this small Pennsylvania town aren’t telling the truth about the battle that was fought here.
A statue of Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
A statue of Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Matt Rourke/AP

Almost every day, I ride my bicycle past some of the over 1,300 statues and monuments commemorating the Civil War in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where I live. They are everywhere. None of them are of black people.         

The Battle of Gettysburg, fought over three days in July of 1863, is often considered the turning point of a war fought over the fate of slavery in America. Black people ultimately were the reason why over 165,000 soldiers came to this Pennsylvania town in the first place. But on the battlefield, as far as the physical memorials, they disappear.