One of the issues involved with battlefield restoration is that in fact it calls for a series of compromises. It would be very hard to restore a battlefield to its pre-battle condition, for example, because you would have to remove a lot of things, including park roads, towers, paths, and monuments. It’s difficult to restore a battlefield to its appearance at the time of the battle as well, because the battle itself changes the terrain on which it is fought. For example, I’m sure those of you who have visited Little Round Top have noted the stone fences that cross the military crest near the summit. Should those be removed? After all, they weren’t there at the time of the battle. And then there’s the monuments as well as the early efforts to ease the experience of visitors to the field, which sometimes went to excess (I’m thinking here of the loops up at Little Round Top and the Bloody Angle at Gettysburg, the latter of which is still easily visible due to the different shading of the grass there).
Let’s switch the Sickles proposal around. You are empowered to authorize the removal of a monument on NPS land on a Civil War battlefield. You must choose one. Which one do you remove, and why?