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Letter: Reader suggests addition to Covington Confederate monument rather than removal

Dear Editor: 

Concerning the Confederate memorial at Newton County Courthouse Square: Many are against the removal of all monuments located in the state of Georgia, including the one on the Covington Square.

These monuments are to pay tribute to our local heroes of all walks of life that paid the ultimate sacrifice to fight for freedom of all lives. 

My family like others in this state fought for the Confederacy and I do not want to see the memories of these brave men erased! 

I grew up in Covington. My Newton County forebears have a rich history of involvement in the War Of Northern Aggression. My great-grandfather Sidney Ross Ellington (1847-1916) fought in the War of Northern Aggression and was wounded, captured and came home to father 20 children. Two of my great-great-grandfathers lost their lives within a month of one another in 1862: Pvt. Reuben Hawk “RH” Clay (birth 1825 Columbia County, Georgia, death May 5, 1862, aged 36–37) Richmond City, Virginia, USA burial Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond City, Virginia, and Thomas Phillip Jones Stark, born Jan. 12, 1836, Walton County, Georgia, death July 19,1862 (aged 26), Richmond City, Virginia, burial Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond City, Virginia.

My great-grandfather also had several brothers that were Civil War veterans: Albert Harvey Ellington, Oct. 26, 1843-Dec. 22, 1919, and William Archibald Ellington, Jan. 20, 1849 to March 11, 1918; and three uncles, James Ellington, Sept. 12, 1820- Sept. 23, 1864, “Died from Typhoid while home on Furlough”; Sidney Ross Ellington Sept. 8, 1832- July 24, 1862, “Died of Dysentery While Home On Furlough”; Stephen Benjamin Ellington, 1838 to May 3, 1863, “Killed In The Battle Of Chancellorsville.”

This is just a small part of my family. There are many more! 

I do not agree with slavery but I do admire these gallant men and all of the others who left their homes to fight for what they thought was right at the time! The Civil War was more about tariffs and taxes and less about slavery which was only one issue. States’ rights was the main issue! 

Put a plaque in front of the statues telling both sides of the story but leave these monuments in place so we can honor our ancestors the same way you want to remember yours!

George S. Ellington 

Lawrenceville, Ga.