Pittsboro, NC- The removal of the Confederate monument outside the Chatham County historic courthouse in downtown Pittsboro is complete.
Crews worked for several hours November 19, 2019, and into the following morning, to remove the Confederate monument, which includes the statue and pedestal. These items are being transported to a safe location where they will be preserved and stored until such time as the Winnie Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) finds a more appropriate location to place them.
The work began around 11 p.m. with supporters and detractors on hand. The statue was down around 1:30 a.m. The final piece of the stone base was taken down around 5 a.m.
“The last several months have been a painful time for Chatham County. We’ve experienced high emotions, division and even violence which have impacted residents, businesses and the overall feel of our community,” said Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chair Mike Dasher. “What’s clear now is that the overwhelming majority of our residents are eager to move forward.”
Mike Dasher and Karen Howard are two of the Chatham county commissioners who voted in favor of removing the confederate memorial. Their commission seats are up for election in 2020. Candidates for the two positions must file between December 2 and December 20 in order to qualify to run in the North Carolina primary on March 3, 2020.
The North Carolina Divison of the Sons of Confederate Veterans released a statement on Wednesday morning, saying they were “outraged at the latest disturbing action of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.” The group says the county must obtain the approval of the State Historical Commission to move the memorial, which the group says they haven’t gotten.
“Like a thief in the night, under cover of darkness, the Chatham County Confederate Soldiers Memorial has been illegally removed,” they said.
The circle in downtown Pittsboro is located at a major intersection of two U.S. highways. The County decided to conduct the monument removal project at night to better ensure public safety and lessen the impact to the traveling public, especially school buses and other morning commuter traffic.
All roads in the area that were closed temporarily are now reopened to traffic.