Confederate monument to be removed from Virginia’s capitol

RICHMOND, Virginia, — Work to move the last city-owned Confederate monument to Richmond is set to begin this week after a judge denied a request to delay the removal of the General AP Hill statue from its prominent location in Virginia’s capital, said an official.

Last week, Richmond Circuit Court Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. denied a petition by four indirect descendants of Hill, who was killed in the final days of the Civil War, to halt relocation plans. the city.

Although the process of removing the monument from a busy intersection is due to begin on Monday, it is unclear if it will be fully removed by the end of the week, Deputy City Manager Robert Steidel at WRIC-TV.

The city, the former capital of the Confederacy, began removing its many other Confederate monuments more than two years ago amid racial justice protests following the killing of George Floyd. Among the notable monuments removed was a towering statue of General Stonewall Jackson, which was removed from a concrete pedestal in 2020 along the famous Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond officials decided to transfer the monuments to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. But efforts to remove Hill’s statue have been complicated as the general’s remains were buried under the monument in 1891.

The indirect descendants and the city have agreed that Richmond’s plan to move Hill’s remains to a cemetery in Culpeper should be allowed to go ahead. But these descendants argue they control the statue and want it moved to the Cedar Mountain battlefield near the cemetery, rather than the museum. Cheek spoke out against them in October.

At the most recent hearing, Cheek denied their motion to suspend the removal of the Hill monument while the descendants appealed to the Virginia Court of Appeals.

The city has spent at least $1.8 million removing other city-owned landmarks, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Cheek determined that delaying the removal would incur additional costs and maintain a potential hazard to traffic.

The monument will be preserved while the case goes through the scheduled appeal process, Steidel said in court last week.

Many Confederate statues in Virginia were erected decades after the Civil War, during the Jim Crow era when states imposed new segregation laws, and during the “Lost Cause” movement, when historians and others attempted to portray the Southern rebellion as a fight to be defended. States’ rights, not slavery.

Those calling for the statues to be removed, especially in Richmond – the former Confederate capital – said it would signal that the city is no longer a place with symbols of oppression and white supremacy.

ABC News

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