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Richmond, VA Seeks To Erase Its Confederate Past

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Work crews on Tuesday took down a monument to Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, the third major statue to be removed in less than a week as the Confederacy’s former capital rushes to remove symbols of its past.

As a crowd cheered, crews strapped the huge bronze equestrian statue in harnesses and used a crane to lift it from its granite base to be trucked away.

Some in the crowd chanted “Black Lives Matter” after the statue was removed.

The Stuart statue was installed on Richmond’s Monument Avenue in 1907.

It depicts James Ewell Brown Stuart, commander of the Cavalry Corps of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, turned east as his horse faces north. The statue is 15 feet tall, atop a 7-foot pedestal.

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Inscriptions on the base pay tribute to Stuart, who was fatally wounded by a Union soldier and died at age 31 on May 12, 1864.

“He gave his life for his country and saved his city from capture,” reads one inscription.

The Stuart monument is one of several targeted by protesters in Richmond since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Police declared an unlawful assembly on June 21 after protesters tried to pull it down with ropes.

Should Confederate statues be removed?

Mayor Levar Stoney, citing his emergency powers on July 1, ordered the removal of all city-owned Confederate statues. Stonewall Jackson’s likeness was removed that day, followed by a statue of Naval officer Matthew Fontaine Maury.

Stoney has said the statues will be placed in storage while the city seeks public input on what to do with them.

Stuart’s has been the last major monument left standing other than a prominent statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee on state land.

The Lee monument is also slated for removal, but that has been blocked temporarily by an injunction issued in one of several lawsuits filed after Gov. Ralph Northam ordered its removal last month.


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