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Massachusetts’ only Confederate memorial under wraps, awaiting fate

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Relocation likely

Ron Cogswell/Flickr

Massachusetts’ only Confederate memorial—a modest marker on Boston Harbor’s Georges Island that commemorates rebels imprisoned there during the Civil War—remains covered as the state mulls its fate.

Recall that the controversy surrounding the removal of Confederate statuary in New Orleans this past June thrust the Massachusetts memorial into the spotlight. Gov. Charlie Baker quickly called for its relocation.

The state, a Baker spokeswoman told WGBH at the time, “should refrain from the display of symbols, especially in our public parks, that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts.”

For now, the marker is covered and essentially ready to go. To where, though, is the question. The state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns Georges Island, is working with the Massachusetts Historical Society on relocation options since the marker, however controversial, does sit in a National Historic Landmark.

The stone, which calls the Civil War “the War Between the States,” went up only in 1963—nearly a century after the Confederacy’s surrender and only through the efforts of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group long ambivalent about slavery, the war’s cause.

Massachusetts, of course, was a hotbed of abolition before and during the Civil War, and dispatched dozens of regiments to fight the Confederacy.

Stay tuned.