Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.
A Monumental Decision

Debate over the Confederate monument in Morganton

The face of the Confederate soldier who has stood watch over downtown Morganton on the Historic Courthouse Square for more than a century.
A hard look into the debate about removing the Confederate Monument from the Historic Courthouse Square in downtown Morganton.

Did monument honor Confederate veterans or symbolize white supremacy?

What did the monument mean to the people of Burke County when it was erected near the end of the First World War in 1918.
A bitter and brutal, four-year civil war that rips a nation apart finally, mercifully, ends, and in its aftermath, the losing side raises monuments to the soldiers who fought for its cause.  Seems like a simple, cut-and-dried scenario, but in the case of the American Civil War, it’s anything but that …

Confederate soldier has loomed over Morganton for 105 years

The Confederate soldier has stood atop the monument since 1918.
For 105 years he has stood dead center in downtown Morganton, a symbol of righteous defiance for some, and a constant reminder of brutal oppression to others. The statue of a Confederate soldier cast in bronze was placed atop an existing granite plinth in 1918...

Does state statute prevent moving the monument?

Dr. Leslie McKesson. left, and Dr. Robert McAdams.
Moving a public monument that has caused distress in a sizable portion of the population and that nearly inspired a violent riot doesn’t sound like a difficult thing to accomplish for local governments. Unless, of course, a complicated state statute supersedes local authority …

Body of lynched Black man dropped at foot of monument in 1927

The Confederate memorial statue on the grounds of the Historic Courthouse Square.
The clash between opponents and supporters of the Confederate memorial on the Historic Courthouse Square in Morganton in 2020 was an ugly scene. That wasn’t the darkest moment in the monument’s history, however...

Burke County's political leaders respond to monument issue

The Burke County Board of Commissioners, from left, Scott Mulwee, Johnnie Carswell, Randy Burns, Phil Smith, and Jeff Brittain.
In mid-September, a letter from The Paper was sent to the five members of the Morganton City Council, Morganton council candidate Dolores Huffman, the five Burke County Commissioners, N.C. State Rep. Hugh Blackwell, and N.C. State Sen. Warren Daniel asking where they stand on the monument issue. This is how they responded.
The Paper asks passers-by downtown about the Confederate Monument on Morganton’s Historic Courthouse Square ...
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Tommy Sain
Opinions about the Confederate monument on the Historic Burke Courthouse grounds vary greatly.  But a number of downtown business owners and workers, agree the memorial doesn't have a huge effect on their livelihoods.
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The Confederate monument which was removed from in front of the Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro.
Burke County is not alone in debating the merits of having a Confederate monument standing proudly in a very public place in the downtown of its county seat. Hundreds of counties and municipalities …
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The Confederate monument stands on the northwest corner of the Historic Courthouse Square.
The Paper conducted an informal online survey of subscribers seeking input and preferences regarding the community-wide discussions about the Confederate monument.  The survey ran from the …
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Confederate flags

Welcome to Burke County: What message do giant Confederate flags convey to visitors?

A large Confederate flag adjacent to the Hildebran exit on I-40 in eastern Burke County.
Travelers entering Burke County on I-40 from either direction are greeted first by official county welcome signage. Within a mile, travelers encounter gigantic Confederate flags.

Giant Confederate flags gave me pause about moving to Burke County

<center>Angela Kuper Copeland</center>

Not many months ago, I interviewed a student about his first year at the Morganton campus of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. As he reflected on his junior year, he admitted to …

Should the Monument be moved?
Shown above are the co-leaders of the Burke Coalition for Reconciliation. Seated are Allen Fullwood and Carolina Avery. Standing are Molly Hemstreet and the Rev. George Logan
An Editorial Reflection from Burke Coalition for Reconciliation Burke Coalition for Reconciliation (BCfR) started in January 2021 with one speaker addressing the county commissioners. Two months …
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Dr. Kenneth Carrico
'I believe that there is a better way than destruction of a memorial. I respect the emotions and opinions of others, but I simply wanted to express mine, regarding an option I had not heard voiced previously." — Dr. Kenneth Carrico
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Letters to the Editor

Monument should be moved from our courthouse lawn

TO THE EDITOR: I applaud The Paper for examining the issue of Confederate monuments in our midst. The issue of  Confederate monuments being located in prominent locations in southern towns has …

Sons of Confederate Veterans proclaim support for monument

TO THE EDITOR: The current campaign against our county’s stoic defender, and the many noble soldiers he represents, is nothing but the hateful, hypocritical, and dishonest ramblings of a minor, but …

Elected officials failed to take stand against white supremacy symbol

TO THE EDITOR: Recent coverage by staff at The Paper regarding the continued presence of the Confederate monument in downtown Morganton has been laudable and informative – especially their …
Barring improbable circumstances, the Confederate monument on the Historic Courthouse Square is not going to be moved. Our five Burke County Commissioners have made it plain they have zero interest …
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The Confederate Monument which stands on the Historic Courthouse Square in the middle of downtown Morganton.

Local officials asked to take stand on Confederate Monument

The Confederate Monument, located on the north side of the Historic Courthouse Square, quite literally dominates downtown Morganton. The soldier who stands atop that monument looks down on every …

Burke woman views Confederate monument as a memorial to devastation

<center>Marty Queen</center>
Morganton’s Confederate monument, standing tall on the square of the Historic Burke County Courthouse, is a source of pride for some White folks. Others, like former schoolteacher Candace Yount, …