Workers descended on the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road on Monday morning to begin removal of the monument of Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill, who was killed during the Civil War in 1865. Hill’s remains, which are buried beneath the statue, will be removed and reinterred in a cemetery in Culpepper, according to city officials.
Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, has removed several city-owned Confederate monuments since July 2020 as racial justice protests across the nation broke out following the death of George Floyd. Last September, the city removed a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its pedestal on Monument Avenue.
A 2020 law signed by former Gov. Ralph Northam gave cities and counties the ability to remove Confederate statues within their localities, but the removal of Hill’s statue was made more difficult because his remains were buried on site.
In October, Richmond Circuit Court Judge D. Eugene Cheek cleared the way for it to be removed and placed in a historical museum and the remains to be moved to Culpepper, as reported by VPM.
Indirect descendants agreed with the city’s decision to move Hill’s remains and remove the monument, but asked the court for discretion over where the statue would be placed after it was removed, according to CBS News. The court ultimately ruled in the city’s favor.
In a hearing last week, Cheek denied a motion made by Hill’s descendants to stay removal while they press for an appeal from the Virginia Court of Appeals, the Associated Press reported.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney told reporters Monday he was “proud” of the city for finishing a project that he says has made the city “far more inclusive.”
“This is something that commenced two years ago when we sought out to turn the page on our Confederate history and start writing a new chapter for the city of Richmond. Today marks the last day of a Lost Cause,” Stoney said, referring to an effort by former Confederates following the Civil War to justify the Confederacy.
In total, Richmond paid $1.8 million to remove all Confederate statues owned by the city, according to NCB 12. Monuments that were removed and previously owned by the city will be conveyed to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center. Hill’s statue will also become the museum’s property, according to the mayor’s office.