Confederate group decides to remove Alexandria statue early

Though Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s bill allowing organizations to remove confederate statues across the state doesn’t go into effect until July 1, The United Daughters of the Confederacy have decided to get ahead of the process.

The organization notified the city of Alexandria on Monday that it would remove the 131-year-old statue today, June 2.

Private contractors took about an hour to remove Appomattox, a statue that was originally erected to represent a Confederate soldier viewing the battlefields after the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

The statue on South Washington and Prince streets was dedicated on May 24, 1889, in what is now Alexandria’s historic district.

The city provided traffic control for the statue removal but was not involved in the removal process.

Alexandria spokesman Craig Fifer told WTOP they only got one day’s notice that the statue would be removed, and they don’t know where it’s being taken.

Mayor Justin Wilson posted photos of the statue’s move on social media and wrote: “Alexandria, like all great cities, is constantly changing and evolving.”

In 2016, the city tried and failed to get permission to move the statue.  At that time there was talk of placing it in the Lyceum, which is the city’s history museum.

The removal comes after a similar monument was taken away in Birmingham, Alabama, on Monday evening after protesters began vandalizing the statue Sunday.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up