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Confederate Soldier Statue Returns To Reidsville

5:48 PM, Dec 12, 2013   |    comments
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A new confederate statue in Reidsville stands in Greenview Cemetery. Dec. 12, 2013.

REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- A Rockingham County confederate soldier statue is back in Reidsville.

The old marble statue stood in downtown Reidsville on Scales Street for more than 100 years until a sleepy driver crashed into it in May 2011. It broke into multiple pieces. 

City officials received a $28,000 estimate to repair it, but they decided in 2011 that it would not return to its downtown location

Ultimately, the statue was too fragile to go on display outside and a new statue needed to be built. A city spokesperson said when they collected the old statue they realized a significant mistake: The soldier's uniform represented the Union, not the Confederacy.

Now, a newly constructed statue, made from gray granite on the original base, is back. It is in a confederate section of the city-owned Greenview Cemetery on a plot owned by the N.C. Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

"We were unhappy putting him back on property we did not own and have to go through moving him again in a few years. Plus, the street was narrow. It was not a place for him to be. He needed to be in a safer place," Aileen Ezell, a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, said.

The new statue cost $90,000 and was fully funded by the driver's insurance.

The original statue will eventually end up at the Museum and Archives of Rockingham County. Kim Proctor, the museum's executive director, said, "There are strong passions concerning this. That doesn't surprise me. It was interesting to watch the community battle it out, perhaps...It's symbolic of the position of the south. It's symbolic of change in a community and how hard that is sometimes to reconcile."

Follow WFMY News 2's Mark Geary @MarkGeary and join the conversation with #ConfederateStatue on Twitter and Facebook.

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