The leaders in this small town said they wanted history to be preserved, not erased, so they piled into a car last summer for what they considered an important mission: to save a Confederate monument from possible destruction. The monument had stood in Louisville for 121 years — 70 feet tall, more than 100 tons of granite. But Louisville wanted it removed and called a public meeting to help determine its relocation. One speaker said the structure should be “obliterated.” Another said he would gladly help drop it into the river. And then, one by one, up to the microphone came the people from Brandenburg.
“I think it would be well-received by the county and the residents,” the county judge executive said.
“Brandenburg has a rich Civil War history,” the local historian said.
“We’re proposing to put this monument right here,” the mayor said, holding up a photo of a riverfront park, and soon the largest Confederate monument in Kentucky was disassembled and placed on flatbed trucks, rebuilt 45 miles away in a place certain about the history it wanted on display.
But in recent days, the country’s symbols of Confederate history have become even more complicated than before. In Charlottesville, white supremacists used a statue of Robert E. Lee as a gathering point for a deadly rally. In Durham, N.C., protesters slung a rope around the statue of a Confederate soldier and pulled it down in a headfirst dive. Cities across the country are hastily removing monuments that stood for decades.