Fate of Confederate Memorial stalled

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

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After more than a year discussing the fate of the Confederate Memorial that sits in the Court House Square, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors is no closer to making a decision.

During the November BOS meeting, the Facilities Committee, including Supervisor Kay Pierantoni and Supervisor Tony Reeves, along with citizens who participated in the round table discussion, made recommendations to the Board on potential options for the monument located at the Courthouse Square.

The committee has recommended that the Board relocate the monument in front of the Charlotte County Museum, about 30 yards away from its present location.

According to county documents, three quotes were obtained to determine the cost of relocating.

The quotes range from $49,000- $60,000.

“A $60,000 cost was never imagined by anybody,” said Pierantoni. “So, we could do a couple of things. We could go back to the round table and see what their recommendation would be.”

BOS Chairman Gary Walker suggested the round table committee meeting again would be in the best interest.

“I’m certainly not saying we wouldn’t move the statute, but to move the statute 30 yards for $50,000 to $60,000, there may be other options,” Walker said.

The Confederate statue issue, which has faced many localities around the nation, was brought to the county’s forefront in July of 2020 when citizen James Morton wrote a letter to the BOS.

“I think it is of utmost importance to remove the Charlotte County Confederate Monument,” the letter from Morton said.

Morton said the issue was about government-sanctioned honoring of Confederate soldiers and not about erasing or hiding history.

Despite several citizens having expressed their concerns about the Confederate statue that sits atop a pedestal in the courthouse square and if it should or should not remain there, the BOS decided not to make a decision on the matter in hopes that “things will cool down” and possibly hold a public hearing at some point after the beginning of 2021.

That never came.

It was during the Monday, March 8, BOS meeting that citizen Larry Clark addressed the Board during the public comment period to remind them of their decision and request that something is done.

“If you are going to have a committee, it should reflect the ethnicity of the whole community,” Clark said.

The Charlotte County Confederate Memorial was erected in 1902 and stands in tribute to the Confederate soldiers of Charlotte County.

On Jul 1, 2020, new legislation took effect, giving cities and counties around Virginia the power to remove Confederate monuments they own and maintain under the new law