- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - An 11,000-pound boulder serving as a memorial to Boone County residents who fought for the South in the Civil War has moved to its new home at the Battle of Centralia historic site.

The hunk of granite, known as Confederate Rock, was removed early Saturday from the lawn of the Boone County Courthouse, where it has sat since 1975. The rock was donated to the city of Columbia by the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s John Sappington Marmaduke chapter, and it originally sat outside the University of Missouri’s Ellis Library until black students complained of its presence and it was moved to the courthouse, the Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/1JtGFtS ) reported.

The shooting rampage at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in late June has sparked a debate over the use and meaning of Confederate symbols. The Boone County Commission decided to move Confederate Rock away from the courthouse in response to an online petition seeking its removal from government property.

Moving the rock to the Battle of Centralia site makes sense, both politically and historically, said Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson.

“It fits within what they are doing at the battlefield,” she said.



The battlefield was where 400 Confederate soldiers killed about 150 Union soldiers on Sept. 27, 1864. The site is open for tours and regularly is visited by U.S. Army officers studying unconventional warfare.

“I think it is a proper place for it,” Jack Chance, president of Friends of the Centralia Battlefield, said of the rock. “I really object to trying to hide history because it doesn’t suit somebody’s feelings or because it offends somebody.”

Confederate Rock now sits at the head of the footpath leading to the battlefield.

“That is its final resting spot, I hope,” Chance said.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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