The Confederate Monument at the Jefferson County Courthouse was removed Saturday.
Though it wasn’t publicly announced, it didn’t take long for word to travel as passersby watched Saturday morning as a moving company quietly took down the ”monument.”
The “monument” was located in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse, at Barraque and Main Streets in Pine Bluff, Arkansas depicting a standing Confederate Army soldier, holding a rifle.
“This is something that has been in the works in collaboration with the United Daughters of the Confederacy,” said Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, who was on site during the removal process. “We got together and talked with a couple of moving companies.”
Robinson said he received quotes from various moving companies of up to $30,000 to have the monument removed.
Originally Robinson’s plan was to have the statue removed by the end of the year or the early part of next year, but says the cost to preserve the structural integrity of the statue was expensive.
He finally settled on a moving company that would work with them financially.
“One agreed since we had an amount of pretty large pledges that we decided to go ahead and let them do it,” said Robinson. “Payments will be made over a period of time.”
The Pine Bluff Confederate Monument was a commemorative sculpture erected in 1910 on the grounds of Pine Bluff High School by the David O. Dodd Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to commemorate a young spy and the area men who had served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
It was later moved to the grounds of the Jefferson County Courthouse in 1974 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Last year an agreement was made with the UDC chapter to move the statue to the Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery.
“The climate that we have going on right now, this was the right time to do it,” said Robinson in response to no longer waiting to remove the statue. “The time was right to do it and that’s what we did.”
Everyone wasn’t happy with the removal as Robinson explained people who drove by cursed him out due to the removal.
Many cars traveled to the courthouse Saturday afternoon to see for themselves, many in disbelief while others could be seen driving off in pure joy.
“Make no mistake about it. I’m still about preserving history,” said Robinson. “We have some dark history that came along with the Civil War but at the same time we’ve made great strides and we’re trying to all work together.”
The statue, which was taken down in about 25 parts, has not been moved to its final destination but will be temporarily housed in an undisclosed storage unit.
“The company that moved it will restore it and then place it,” said Robinson.
Robinson stated while working with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, they have been very cooperative.
“They really wanted to do what was best for the community,” said Robinson. “That was their effort and that was my effort so by working together we were able to do that.”