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New Orleans set to remove Robert E. Lee statue

19 May 2017

Workers removed another high-profile Confederate monument in New Orleans overnight, lifting a statue of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard on horseback from its spot at the entrance of City Park.

Early Wednesday, the equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who died in New Orleans in 1893, came down.

City officials said in a statement Tuesday evening that the Beauregard monument, the third Confederate monument targeted for removal, would be removed over the next few hours.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will make a special address Friday on the removal of the four Confederate monuments he has sought to remove in New Orleans. His was the third of four monuments coming down in the city's attempt to rectify post-Civil War divisions and eliminate icons of white supremacy from places of prominence, but some object to what they consider erasing history.

Police are placing barricades around Lee Circle, possibly in preparation for the monument's removal.

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The Monumental Task Committee, in perhaps its most strongly-worded statement since the removal of the statues began, said the statue was of perhaps the most historically-significant Creole who ever lived.

Beauregard commanded the attack at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Landrieu had proposed the removal of the monuments after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a SC church.

Grand monuments to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, along with General Robert E. Lee and others line the street into downtown Richmond. Demonstrators have come out to protest their removal while waving Confederate battle flags.

Lee, his arms crossed and dressed in his Confederate general uniform, is said to face the north, so as to keep his eyes on the enemy.

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What is to become of New Orleans' removed Confederate monuments? Only nonprofits and governmental entities will be allowed to take part in the process, and the city said the process will include the Battle of Liberty Place monument as well as the statues of Davis and Lee.

The first monument removed of David Beauregard was recently found in a maintenance yard next to trash. Usually, in New Orleans, we're really sad when we see a family restaurant of 50 years go.

But for many in this majority black city, the monuments pay honor to a history of slavery and segregation, and they want them down.

The Lee statue was erected in 1884 in honor of the military leader of the Army of Northern Virginia.

"He has introduced racial and other discord into her city that was healing", said Hillyer about Landrieu.

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