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1219NPS In Talks To Buy Disputed Lee Statue

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  • rotbaron@aol.com
    Dec 30, 2003

      "Park Service In Talks To Buy Disputed Lee Statue "

      Sharpsburg, Md. (AP) - The National Park Service is negotiating to buy a
      38-acre tract containing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for the
      Antietam National Battlefield, the park's superintendent said Monday.

      Critics have complained that the statue, dedicated by landowner William F.
      Chaney in June, is historically inaccurate and mars the rural views that
      battlefield preservationists treasure. Leaders of the Save Historic Antietam
      Foundation say Lee never stood on that hill, although he might have passed through the
      area before the Sept. 17, 1862, battle.

      The 24-foot bronze statue of Lee astride his horse, Traveller, would likely
      remain in place for the time being if the park service were to acquire the
      38-acre parcel, Superintendent John Howard said.

      "The monument is there now, and with funding the way it is, it wouldn't be
      hugely high on our priority list to move," Howard told The Associated Press.

      Chaney's attorney, R. Bruce Poole, said a federal purchase of the property
      would render moot the foundation's appeal in Washington County Circuit Court of
      the local Board of Zoning Appeals' approval of the statue. The possibility of
      a sale prompted postponement on Friday of a hearing on the issue.

      Poole said Chaney, a distant relative of Lee, would retain ownership of 2.5
      acres, including the Newcomer House Civil War Museum he installed inside a
      farmhouse after outbidding the park service for the land in 1999.

      POSTED BY: Tom Shay

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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