Long-winded rant time, since this is a thing that always catches my opinion-screaming bone for some reason:
More education on/around existing statues would be the summation of my opinion. Perhaps with more statues to the opposing 'side' getting erected as well*.
*In a really cool twist and on a cultural sidenote, I think it'd be neat to see Confederate monuments in the North (there might be some, but I mean...somewhat commonly) and monuments to Union figures spring up all over the South (don't think there's very many of those
) to cement the idea of national unity the war settled. But that's probably a pipe dream from the start on both angles.
Statues to the general 'Confederate' soldier I think should be left up and treated no differently than would a work dedicated to soldiers from any other American War--however unjust or despicable American participation or actions in those wars were. We can and should be able to divorce Americans from their leadership (until unless the statue is blatantly referential of something screwed-up. Like...something dedicated to the My Lai Massacre participants shouldn't fly, but I dunnow if any of the Confederate statuary has that sentiment to it at all), and from a wider standpoint, the 'Confederates' were
Americans. To use an example, we didn't tear down the cavalry memorial at Little Big Horn because of the...questionable...nature of US engagement in that war. We engaged with those who were on the opposite side of the battle and expanded the story to include and revere their fallen as well. That, I think, is the principle this statuary should operate under--it was erected with distinctly racial undertones and as a promotion of the Lost Cause, but this does not make the generalized American who died condemnable itself (again, barring specific reference or such).
Statues to Confederate leaders should also be adjusted to be more referential of their status as Americans and emphasize their correct or incorrect actions as appropriate and as would best serve a full picture of the Civil War. Lee and Davis, as notable examples, could be better built-up for the manner in which they advocated peaceful reintegration of the South with the Union rather than the portrayal as servants of a 'Lost Cause' as I'm given to understand most stuff does now (and, by extension, we could use existing statues to point out how the statuary sprung from this malformed mythology of a Lost Cause that had as its goal white American rapproachment with each other at the expense of former slaves and how screwed-up that was). Heck, we could use some emphasis on figures like Albert Pike (
who I don't think has a monument Huh, he do. I done learned something today!
) and the Confederates probably necessity-driven, less-egregious-than-the-North's diplomatic engagement with and representative apportionment in their government to Native tribes. Meanwhile there's the statues to Forrest and I'm sure other Confederate figures that could be better added onto with emphasis of their association with groups like the KKK or generally shitty opinions on black people--especially as windows into how pervasive such was and how that played-in and was exploited by the Lost Cause myth as well with plenty of apologism and acceptance from northern individuals.
Essentially...The existing statues and monuments mostly got erected to promote the Lost Cause (when they weren't 40s-60s or later creations opposing civil rights), but they still commemorate Americans--we could do well to emphasize how ahistorical and ignorant the Lost Cause myth is and how unjustified the Confederate cause was, but we can use the monuments created to do that--and keeping them public provides a greater emphasis than removing them or placing them into museums would.
Plus, we could build statues of Grant alongside of Lee, perhaps with inscriptions showing Appomatox, or of Lincoln alongside Davis, or any number of combinations which can specifically and just thematically emphasize the common American status of those involved in the war.