Tennessee

Daughters of Confederacy: We had to accept Vanderbilt money

FILE - This Sept. 30, 2003, file photo, shows the exterior of a dormitory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., is inscribed with the name Confederate Memorial Hall. The private university announced on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, that it has struck an agreement to pay $1.2 million to United Daughters of the Confederacy to remove the name from the building. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Ricky Rogers, File)

FILE - This Sept. 30, 2003, file photo, shows the exterior of a dormitory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., is inscribed with the name Confederate Memorial Hall. The private university announced on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, that it has struck an agreement to pay $1.2 million to United Daughters of the Confederacy to remove the name from the building. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Ricky Rogers, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Tennessee chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy says it had no legal choice but to accept $1.2 million from Vanderbilt University in exchange for relinquishing the naming rights to the private school's Confederate Memorial Hall.

The Southern heritage organization in a Tuesday statement said it "is disappointed that an institution such as Vanderbilt University would attempt to whitewash, sanitize and rewrite American history."

The group's attorney, Doug Jones, said that a successful 2003 lawsuit to block the dorm's renaming resulted in a ruling that Vanderbilt couldn't change the name of the residence hall without paying back a 1933 donation of $50,000 — adjusted for inflation and interest.

Once Vanderbilt decided to pay, Jones said the group had "no legal option or alternative" than to accept the money.