Statue Marking Graves Of Confederate Soldiers Is Toppled In Greensboro

Jul 9, 2020

This Confederate monument in Greensboro has been vandalized multiple times since its unveiling in 1888.
Credit Rusty Long / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

A Confederate monument has been toppled in a cemetery in Greensboro.

The News & Record reported Wednesday that the statue of a musket-carrying soldier had stood for a century to mark the graves of about 300 unknown Confederate soldiers.

The monument was toppled over the July Fourth weekend at the city-owned Green Hill Cemetery. City spokesman Jake Keys said it's unknown who is responsible. The base of the monument still remains.

The Sons of the Confederate Veterans takes care of the memorial and condemned its toppling in a statement. It's owned by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The statue's future is unknown.

Frank B. Powell, a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the statue is different from other monuments because it marks hundreds of graves. Powell added that he has heard the statue is in storage and the damage is “pretty extensive.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the monument had stood in the cemetery since Sept. 26, 1888. It features a Confederate soldier wearing a coat and hat and holding a gun. The monument was previously vandalized in 1969 and 2017. In 2008, the statue was damaged when a tree limb fell on it.

Confederate monuments are coming down in the wake of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. The demonstrations were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer jammed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Many Confederate monuments are being removed by governments, but some have been taken by protesters. At least 14 Confederate monuments have been removed in North Carolina since Floyd’s death on May 25.