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Controversial Confederate Plaque Will Get New Home In Museum

Eric Douglas
The monumment in Ruffner Park that was donated by the Kanawha Riflemen Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The Charleston City Council voted on Monday to donate a plaque honoring the Kanawha Riflemen, a company of Confederate soldiers, to a West Virginia history museum. The resolution didn’t specify which one but mentioned the Craik-Patton House Museum  in Charleston as a possibility.

City workers removed the nearly 100-year-old plaque from Ruffner Park on Kanawha Boulevard on June 29, 2020. It listed the names of 92 members of the unit and was dedicated to honoring “those who served in the Confederate Army.”

Credit Eric Douglas / WVPB
Across Kanawha Boulevard from Ruffner Park, an historical marker explains the significance of the park and the confederate monument.

The monument was a gift to the city from the Kanawha Riflemen Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1922. It was built at a time when Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation were in effect.

The Kanawha Riflemen was formed by George Smith Patton, one of the namesakes of the Craik-Patton House, and the grandfather of World War II Gen. George S. Patton.

The resolution also requested that the Charleston Historic Landmarks Commission prepare a proposal for a new monument and other historical markers that discuss the history of Ruffner Park. 

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