Charlottesville: Monumental Changes

Dublin Core


Charlottesville: Monumental Changes


Charlottesville is an important location when considering the controversial topic of removing Confederate monuments. In 2017 it was the site of the Unite the Right rally, which was a rally conducted by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Klansmen among other white nationalist groups. These groups were protesting the removal of Confederate statues following the racially motivated 2015 Charleston church shooting. Among the monuments proposed for removal were statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the statue popularly known as Johnny Reb in Charlottesville. Many other monuments across the United States came under increased criticism as well. The rally turned violent as protestors and counter-protestors clashed, leading to more than thirty injuries and one death at the hands of a self-proclaimed white supremacist. This had the opposite intended effect and led to many statues being removed from fear of continued violence in cities across the United States. Some statues, like the statue of Johnny Reb in Charlottesville, have been removed and relocated to places where they can be presented in a way that better explains their context in American history. Others, such as the Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson monuments in Charlottesville, are still being contested under Virginia state law prohibiting the removal of war memorials. This law went into effect after the statues were erected however, leading to court proceedings holding up their removal. Other monuments, like the Confederate Dead Memorial in the University of Virginia cemetery, have had no action taken against them, though it has been noted that its presence near an unmarked slave cemetery is problematic. This city alone demonstrates the different voices on both sides of the debate. Outcomes have included removal and relocation, contestation by state government, and in some instances, little action taken. The city of Charlottesville stands as a significant modern battleground over the controversial debate on the removal of Confederate monuments.


Matthew Mulcaire, Sally Hy, Jacob Sandusky, Joey Baum, Julia Vargas, Sergio Sifuentes, Michael Westfall


HIST 402A Fall 2020-2023


Charlottesville, Virginia

Collection Items

Robert E. Lee Monument, Charlottesville
This statue of Robert E. Lee was erected in 1924 in Charlottesville, Virginia in Market Street Park, which was formerly called Lee Park. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places after being listed in 1997. It is one of four statues…

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson Monument, Charlottesville
“Thomas Jonathan Jackson” is an equestrian statue of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson located in Charlottesville Virginia. It was sculpted by Charles Keck as one of four monuments commissioned by Paul Goodloe McIntire from members of the National Sculpture…

"At Ready" Confederate Soldier Monument, Charlottesville
“At Ready,” also popularly referred to as “Johnny Reb,” is a Confederate soldier monument in front of the Albemarle County Courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia. The statue was unveiled in 1909 by the City of Charlottesville and the United…

Confederate Dead Monument, Charlottesville
The Confederate Dead memorial in the cemetery at the University of Virginia is a large stone statue of a Confederate soldier designed by Caspar Buberl in 1893 as part of the movement to replace the temporary wooden markers with more permanent ones…
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