SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio professor believes that learning the truth about the Confederacy in Texas may lead to common ground surrounding the Confederate monument controversy.

The 40-foot tall Confederate monument at Travis Park has been the center of a heated debate. People question if it’s a way to honor fallen Confederate soldiers or if it memorializes racism.

St. Mary’s University Professor of History Teresa Van Hoy questions why anyone has to choose a side.

“What historians can offer, first of all, is to calm the heated polemics. We can offer the actual sources,” Professor Van Hoy said. “People can hop on Google and they can Google official records of the War of Rebellion. Everything on the Union Army and the Confederate Army.”

Van Hoy has studied thousands of pages of the War of Rebellion and says that it sheds light on where Texas stood in the leadup to the Civil War.

“A lot of San Antonians don’t realize that San Antonio voted against secession. So, as a historian, I find it one of the delightful ironies that, in the middle of San Antonio, we voted against secession and we have this Confederate statue,” Professor Van Hoy noted.

She said that the decision to secede was done behind closed doors. While some Texans supported the Confederate States of America, many others still stood behind the Union. She says that it’s a part of history that could help navigate us through the current debate.

“The people who grieve the suffering of the soldiers of the Confederacy and are on their loss. Their sorrow is real and noble,” Professor Van Hoy said. “The people who grieve the damage done by the Confederacy, their loss and sorrow is also real. I think that there’s common ground that we can build on.”

© 2017 KENS-TV

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