Local News

Some Oxford residents want Confederate statue moved

Posted June 19, 2009
Updated June 20, 2009

— Some Oxford residents want a statue that has honored Civil War soldiers for more than 100 years in the town moved to a less visible location.

The 30-foot monument stands in what will be the front of an expanded city library, and residents, like Eddie McCoy, say that when the library is finished, more people will see the statue.

Oxford statue Battle waged in Oxford over Civil War statue

They say they find it offensive and want it moved to the Old Oxford Cemetery, a few hundred yards away.

The city of Oxford has said it would allow residents to move the statue if they are able to raise the necessary funding to do so.

But Ronnie Boyd, commander of the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, doesn't think the statue should be moved. He said it has to do with heritage and has nothing to do with race or slavery.

"These men, in this period of time, they answered the call, just like our men and women of the armed forces answer the call today," Boyd said. "I'm proud of my heritage, and I'm proud of my history."

The statue played a role in Oxford's 1970 race riots, when some people threw a rope around the statue to try to take it down.

McCoy, who says he was part of that group, doesn't want the statue destroyed but out of sight.

"It's just as simple as that," he said.

The Granville County Board of Commissioners voted this week to move forward with plans to expand the library and keep the statue where it is.

"The monument is a tribute to the Confederate dead of Granville County of all races," Granville County Manager Brian Alligood said in a statement.

Granville County lost 260 people in the Civil War.

"The monument is one of thousands to the dead of our country's most tragic war," Alligood said.

McCoy said a petition opposing that decision is circulating.

Confederate statues can be found throughout the state, and so can the controversy.

For years, the Silent Sam statue has stood in the face of controversy on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. The United Daughters of the Confederacy gave the statue to the university as a memorial to the 321 alumni who died in the Civil War.

A minister in Pitt County also tried to remove the Confederate statue from the courthouse lawn there, because, to him, it express support for slavery.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • wattsun Jun 22, 2009

    The true history of this country and the south has not been taught for several decades and this is a prime example of the ignorance of most people.

  • Stonewall Brigade Jun 19, 2009

    The Confederate Memorial statue in Oxford has already been moved once before, where it originally stood in the center of Main Street, because of the same kind of "objection". Back then, the reason for the statue's relocation was disguised as necessary to improve downtown'straffic flow. But locals new that moving the statue was the only way to guarantee that certain people wouldn't burn down the rest of the town and tobacco warehouses. Old time Oxford residents know the truth about this fact.

  • hi_i_am_wade Jun 19, 2009

    Welcome to the United States of the Offended.

  • d1_standing Jun 19, 2009

    I dont think that the Confederate statue is an issue but flying a confederate flag on top official state buildings like the do in SC is a real problem.

  • oldrebel Jun 19, 2009

    So the logic is, "If a thing offends 'some" people, then something must be done?"....So how about all these other "Memorials" that are springing up, if it offends "some" of us, then something will be done to assuage our sensitive nature?

  • Tax Man Jun 19, 2009

    Who are these people who want to revise history? If they don't like the statue, then drive on a different street - nuts! History is to teach us - if you try to mask the lessons, then you lose the value. No matter how wrong things were, we need to learn from them, not cover them up. Keep the statue where it is and go find something worthwhile to do, like pick up garbage in your town!

  • workingforthosethatwont Jun 19, 2009

    If you don't like it, there are hundreds of other cities with vacant housing.

  • noreplytome2 Jun 19, 2009

    I too find the MLK statue, as well as all "MLK Blvd" to be offensive. Please remove both of these items when this statue is moved.

  • lbzebulon Jun 19, 2009

    I find the Martin Luther King offensive but I'm not asking anyone to remove it....

  • kopfjaeger2001 Jun 19, 2009

    This is just another prime example of Political Correctness runamok. The statue is a symbol not of slavery, but for those who died fighting for a cause in which they believed in, States rights. And maybe the PC police should read some history and would discover that blacks, yes blacks, also fought on the side of Confederacy.