By: Dareh Gregorian
The city of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy for most of the Civil War removed its last city-owned Confederate statue Monday, more than two years after it began to purge itself of what many saw as painful symbols of racial oppression.
It took just minutes to free the statue of Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill from its base before a crane using yellow straps looped under the statue’s arms lifted it onto a bed of tires on a flatbed truck. After the statue was removed, the crew got to work removing the base. Several dozen people, including neighbors and some of Hill’s indirect descendants as well as supporters and opponents of the removal, stood in the closed intersection watching the crew work.
Richmond removed its other Confederate monuments amid the racial justice protests that followed George Floyd’s killing in 2020. But efforts to remove the Hill statue, which sat in the middle of a busy intersection near a school, were more complicated because the general’s remains were interred beneath it about 25 years after his death at the end of the Civil War.