Caroline Volunteers Remove Statue for $6,000

Using volunteer labor, Caroline County has removed a Civil War statue from the front of the county courthouse for approximately $6,000. The county had received estimates ranging in price from $170,000 to $260,000 from out-of-town companies that would have charged for lodging and other costs, reports the Free Lance-Star.

Balking at the price to move the 43-ton monument, county building official Kevin Wightman and a crew of more than 20 volunteers stepped up. Community members donated a forklift, trailers, straps, and plywood. Wightman had requested a $25,000 budget, but ended up spending less than $6,000. Said Wightman: “This is Caroline County. We take care of our own and we’re fully capable.”

“It doesn’t have to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this,” said Board of Supervisors member Jeff Black. “If you have people that are skilled, you can take them down and move them to a more appropriate place if their governing body decides to do that. I really think this is an example of how it can be done and done in a cheap manner.”

Presumably, that was an oblique reference to the $1.8 million contract Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney signed to remove four Civil War statues several months ago. Stoney, who awarded the contract to a campaign contributor in violation of city and state protocols, maintains that he was acting in a state of emergency and could find no one else to do the job.


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10 responses to “Caroline Volunteers Remove Statue for $6,000

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Glad to see this story had the best ending possible. The new home is Greenlawn Cemetery. A good choice. When Fort A.P. Hill was built numerous family cemeteries with Confederate veterans were relocated to Greenlawn. I like how citizens who cared about the monument took action that gave the relocation dignity and saved the taxpayers some money. I found this story that adds more:

  2. Baconator with extra cheese

    Well that’s not fair Caroline County.
    According to news stories we RVA citizens should be grateful for the bravery, in light of the white supremacist threats, the contractor demonstrated by taking down the statues. You would swear he performed the service with him up on the lift out of valor and not the $1.8 millions pay day where he utilized another crew to to actually perform the labor exposed to the supposed threat.
    I’m hoping Biden can give him the Medal of Freedom one day… or possibly RVA can erect a statue in his honor and happily spend millions more to do so!

  3. Baconator with extra cheese

    Or maybe Stoney can melt down the Police statue that has also been removed to create the Contractor Bravery memorial at Marcus-David Peters Square.

  4. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    On another monument front we have the A.P. Hill monument on Laburnum Avenue. It is my understanding that Mayor Stoney is proceeding to court to begin the legal process of removing the statue and remains. Maybe this time around it will be done by the book. A.P. Hill’s best chance for a proper relocation lies with a group of concerned citizens who will step forward as what happened in Caroline County. I would like to see Hill returned to Culpeper County. Cedar Mountain Battlefield would be an ideal location since the site is in Culpeper and was Hill’s greatest victory. If the poor man has to buried and reburied a fourth time this would be the spot.

  5. Greetings from Caroline! Thanks for the story. We are sharing it on our community pages. I am the wife of the board chair and a freelance writer (Bearing Drift, Caroline Progress, Caroline Magazine, Cooperative Living) Much of of my subject matter for the last 40 years has been about the Civil War with emphasis on Caroline and how the roads here played such a part in the staging during the war on both sides. I have sent in to Mr. Bacon a picture of our “Caroline Strong” crew which included the sheriff, two members of the Board of Supervisors, our EMS chief, our former mayor and expert on monuments, and community volunteers with cranes and lots of other big toys donated and used to move our monument. Our building inspector Kevin Wightman who headed up the effort is a veteran of the Marine Corps and did heavy equipment lift in the Middle East. When the dismantling was partially complete it became evident that the monument was a storm away from being on the ground. The attachments to the 24 parts had tree roots and years of water damage and had all come apart. Not only did we move the solider and clean him, but he has been preserved with has all new fittings and a new base and stands in a pristine spot overlooking our Confederate Graves. A re-dedication ceremony is in the works by our local Historical Society.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      I salute the crew of “Caroline Strong”. I will most certainly attend the re-dedication ceremony. The Caroline boys in the 30th Virginia did much to win the fight on Chinn Ridge and win the 2nd Battle of Manassas.

    • Dear Susan –

      Please add my salute to your “Caroline Strong” crew to that of James Whitehead. In a related matter, I want to salute you, as well. I am the son of the “Betsy” described in your article found here:

      I recall the visit arranged by Herb Collins to Besty’s home then in Chevy Chase, Md, (not Alexandria, Virginia), to collect much material on Mattye, who was mother’s aunt and my great aunt, and who I also knew well for many decades, including long summer stays at her and Bert’s homes, along with homes of other kin, around Buckland and White Stone, Va. as well as in Arlington County, Va and Washington, DC, until her death at 94 in Washington DC and her burial that I attended in Bowling Green with her many kin buried there.

      I have a great deal more information on Mattye and her Collins Family and will be in touch with you soon. Thanks again.

      Reed Fawell

      • Yes indeed, arranged by Herb on behalf of the Barnett’s who live in Mattye’s house here in Bowling Green. I did the original interview at the Barnetts for the Walking Tour of Bowling Green and a special Ghost Walk for a tourism project for the town. While I am not totally a non-believer and an open to possibilities that we can indeed have a strong will to remain after death I had no idea how much the house would affect me. I have always found her fascinating and had no idea she had any family still alive who remembered her. I am so very glad to know you and would love to know more. As I am sure you know the Collins still have many family members left here who are great supporters of my husband although he and Herb have never seen eye to eye, lol. My e-mail address in the office here is [email protected] msn,com

  6. So is Levar Stoney just going to get away with his heist of $1.8m to remove a few statues? Is Richmond so ethically perverted that grand larceny is acceptable so long as it is performed by an elected official?

    • Baconator with extra cheese

      Haven’t you seen the stories where the contractor is being praised for his bravery in the face of white supremacists’ threats?
      Prosecuted??? More like Lionized!

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