"The Truth" will not ALWAYS set you free
I do not doubt that the town government in Jonesborough is “telling the truth” but in the most narrow sense; that is, those in charge of this project may be behind in this project and have yet to lay the bricks that they already have at hand. Knowing that you would not simply accept that excuse without looking into the matter, they most probably did a CYA “end run” to be sure that you discovered that indeed, they were telling the truth – sort of….
Of course, I am also quite sure that if your bricks had been welcome, no such response would have been forthcoming. Your bricks would have been made and stored until the project was ready for them. The fact that the orders for bricks honoring Confederates are being returned speaks strongly to the hope by the officials that the matter will be forgotten in the press of “more important” matters and the original intent – ignoring the Confederate dead – will be the end result. They cannot keep the orders if they do not intend to honor them without running afoul of the law; hence they are returned.
I suggest that the local SCV offer its services in helping the Town along in this project. It’s very hard to ignore such a generous offer which can be “leaked” on your part to the press as an effort at “reconciliation”. Of course, as in the case of the orders for bricks, it will not be accepted. But again, it places town officials in the role of ingrates and you and your comrades in the role of benevolent and helpful patriots.
We live in an era of perception. What “is” is less important than what “appears to be. I would not allow the return of orders to be accepted – at least without a fight. First, it establishes a precedent – that is, that for whatever reason (sound or otherwise) your orders are not acceptable. Secondly, it permits the project to go forward without what you have been fighting for – that is, for bricks to be placed without any honoring Confederate soldiers to be interspersed among them. Eventually, bricks honoring Confederates might be accepted but you might find them placed out of public sight and thus consigned to oblivion. Yes, they would be there, but for all intents and purposes, the struggle to publicly honor these brave men would have been lost.
I would not accept the present “status quo”. I would move forward by offering assistance in the project and by demanding that orders for bricks honoring the Confederate dead be accepted and that those bricks be installed along with those bricks presently available for installation in an ongoing way. Anything else is simply unsatisfactory and will result, I believe, in a battle won – and a war lost.