Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Attorney General Investigation of Carnton Plantation and the Carter House
Sons of Confederate Veterans demand resignation of prominent board member
The Sons of Confederate Veterans announced today that they have confirmed an ongoing investigation by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office into historic nonprofit properties in Franklin, Tennessee. The properties and associations under investigation are Carnton Plantation and the state-owned Carter House, both managed by the Battle of Franklin Trust.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans and other interested parties had asked the state to look into allegations of mismanagement at these properties, and the SCV had hoped that any investigation might quietly take place, so as to minimize any further negative publicity into these historic properties. Sadly, the SCV has been provided with a widely circulated email from a prominent board member – Robert Hicks, author of Widow of the South – that seems to be a thinly veiled threat against any board member who might cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation. Mr. Hicks further calls the SCV "scum" and "losers" for helping to raise the questions that the state is now investigating.
Gene Hogan, National Heritage Chairman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, stated, "While the SCV might dismiss the defamatory remarks aimed toward ourselves, we cannot ignore the context in which the remarks were apparently made, sounding so much as a warning to anyone who might question the management and financial questions swirling about these public benefit corporations." Hogan continued, "Tennesseans have a right to know that their historic properties are being properly managed, and their funds properly accounted for, and the Attorney General has a right to any information that might shed light on any alleged impropriety. Because Robert Hicks’ main goal seems to be in keeping the Attorney General from finding a "smoking gun", the SCV requests that Mr. Hicks immediately resign from any boards affiliated with Carnton Plantation, the Carter House, or Battle of Franklin Trust. If he refuses to resign, we call upon the respective boards to demand his departure, the public good requiring it."
Mr. Hogan further stated, "Also, we call upon Marianne Schroer – wife of TDOT Commissioner John Schroer – to personally speak to the media regarding these allegations. We believe that nonprofit funds should be spent on historic preservation, rather than on highly paid consultants and lawyers speaking on her behalf."
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an international organization of male descendants of Confederate soldiers and the nation’s largest military history and genealogy society, and a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Formed in 1896, the SCV owns, operates, and manages many historic properties, including Winstead Hill Memorial Park in Franklin, the General N.B. Forrest Home in Chapel Hill, and Beauvoir – the last home of Jefferson Davis and the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, both in Biloxi, Mississippi. Its headquarters are in Columbia, Tennessee, at historic Elm Springs.
Following are the complete remarks of board member Robert Hicks upon learning that the Attorney General had launched an investigation. Mr. Hicks is a longtime member of the board(s) and is author of the book entitled Widow of the South. His email:
The consolation prize in all this is that there is nothing that will prove to be a smoking gun in any of it. Oh, it will cost thousands of dollars and many man-hours to put it all together. Both money and time that is paid for by visitors to the sites who, themselves, have spent their own hard-earned money to visit these sites.
But I don’t believe that the dark forces behind this complaint to the AG care. They simply want to cause trouble, confusion and chaos. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing who give lip service to our values – Southern values – but who are the antithesis of Southern values. When you threw your lot in to live here in the South, I bet you wanted to appropriate the highest of our values, not from the scum. You won’t find anything honorable or noble with these folks.
The good news is that they will fail and eventually fall on their faces. They will huddle in their dens and rage, fantasizing and pretending they will win. But in the end they are nothing more than losers to a man, if you can call them men.
Be of good cheer on this Good Friday. Know that others have suffered far greater than we ever will and know that through His triumph we have triumphed. He is Risen, Indeed.