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Civil War monument serves as reminder of history, Lafayette residents say

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The remains of dozens of Union and Confederate soldiers are buried in Greenbush Cemetery in Lafayette.

It’s also home to a monument that honors their lives.

With the recent protests of similar historical markers, News 18 in Lafayette decided to see what the public thinks about having the monument in their community following racial tension in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Soldiers from both sides died, and they died here in Indiana, and they’re there,” Lafayette resident Jim Schenke said. “It’s proper that they have headstones.”

Among the hundreds of headstones in Greenbush Cemetery sits a reminder of Tippecanoe County history that honors the lives of both sides involved in the Civil War.

“It’s both sides of that war, and we have to learn from our mistakes,” Lafayette resident Patricia Patterson said. “So, I think it’s a good point in history to learn from that.”

In front of the headstones sits a monument honoring the lives of Confederate soldiers who died in a Lafayette Prisoner of War Camp in 1862. The monument also honors Union lives lost in a train crash near Stockwell in 1864.

With controversies over Confederate monuments causing a stir across the nation, some people News 18 talked to don’t seem to mind the historical marker.

“It’s good to learn from history and not repeat those mistakes,” Patterson said.

“I think it’s more than just what people are being offended about slave-wise,” Purdue junior Kasey Hilton said. “The Civil War was so much more than that.”

News 18 posted the question on social media, and those who responded seemed to be in agreement about the monument’s historical significance and what can be learned.

“It’s like a real life, right here, a very physical, tangible thing,” added Hilton. “Not just words in a textbook — you can see history, you can remember what happened, you can remember those people. Maybe not for what you agree or disagree with, but just because of who they are, and the history and the pride of our nation.”

For now, the monument will remain a reminder of Tippecanoe County history.

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