Local confederate monument is relocated from courthouse

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The first steps of relocating a confederate monument began this morning.

Across the nation, confederate monuments and memorials are being taken down. Here in Columbus, the situation is a little different.

“We’ve looked around the nation and people are wanting to remove symbols of hatred and discrimination. And so it’s not different here. For a number of people, it just didn’t represent the same value system,” Lowndes County Supervisor, Leroy Brooks said.

However, instead of simply removing it, it’s being relocated. According to one local historian, the decision has been talked about since the monument was erected.

“In 1921, the UDC was still talking about the courthouse should just be temporary and trying to think what would be the most appropriate place to put it. So, as far as moving it, if it’s moved, this is the most appropriate place,” Rufus Ward said.

Efforts to commemorate the fallen confederate soldiers began in 1912. The original plans were for the monument to go on Main street. However, due to lack of funding and location issues, the monument was placed in front of the courthouse.

“Originally it was specifically placed there as a memorial for the dead. Not a memorial for the confederacy, but a memorial for the dead. And some questionable wording was put on it when it was placed there which has a lot to do with the current view of it,’ Ward said.

2,100 confederate soldiers are buried in Friendship Cemetary along with 10 Union soldiers. The monument will be placed among the graves as originally planned by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

“For those who cherish the history, they’ll still have the opportunity. History is what it is,” Brooks said.

The base for the monument’s new location is already set.

Research was completed to ensure that the monument will not be over any buried soldiers.

County leaders expect the project to be completed in a few weeks.

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