St. Augustine wants community’s input on memorial to honor black troops

Action News Jax at 6:00 p.m.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A new push is underway in St. Augustine to honor and recognize African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

A group is spearheading a new project to put the memorial next to a Confederate statue.

Many neighbors support the idea, but not the placement.

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“I think they are just trying to put something there to equal out a balance,” said neighbor Barbara Mclain.

The memorial would be in the park on the westside of the Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum.

St. Augustine’s Historic Architectural review board is asking a University of Florida board to get input from neighbors and relatives of black soldiers.

“To me it’s like a slap in the face with that,” said business owner Nyk Smith.

Smith works at her family corner store in historic Lincolnville.

“The placement of that new statue that they’re talking about, yea sure, that’s great down there but definitely not next to the confederate monument,” said Smith.

St. Augustine’s Historic Review Board said the memorial to honor black troops who fought in the civil war will stand next to the monument of Confederate General William Loring and his ashes.

The board said the memorial will be about 8 feet tall with three granite panels.

It will list names of local men who served in what was then called the colored troops.

“They need to remove the monument and put it in the cemetery where it belongs,” said Smith.

“Hopefully something like this with them hearing what black people are thinking and feeling they would be moved to do some action,” Mclain said.

The board will now wait until April 16 to decide whether or not to move forward with the new memorial.