EASTON, Md. (WJZ) — The Talbot County Council on Tuesday night voted 3-2 to take down the Talbot Boys monument and relocate the statue to a battlefield in Harrisonburg, Va., according to a report from CBS affiliate WBOC.
Council members Pete Lesher, Frank Divilio and Corey W. Pack voted in favor of the move, with Laura E. Price and Chuck F. Callahan opposed, the station said.READ MORE: Flash Floods In Maryland Close Some Schools, Roads; Several Rescued In High Water, MSP Responds To More Than 500 Calls
On Facebook, Divilio said the American Battlefield Trust would move monument to the Cross Keys Battlefield, part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862–“a series of battles where Talbot County blood was shed on both sides.”
He said the monument would tell the story of familial conflicts during the war, pointing to the story of William Goldsborough, who was involved in capture of his own brother, Charles, during that campaign.
“If the Talbot Boys make this move, they will help tell the story of the Civil War and how communities and families were divided, unfortunately, much as we are today,” he wrote.
Divilio, who previously was against moving the Talbot Boys statue, said the battle over the monument’s fate has prevented the council from addressing other issues, such as the response to COVID-19, increasing better broadband access and cellphone coverage, and providing permits.
“The Talbot Boys issue has divided our community for too long and has sidelined many other important things the County Council and County Government needs to address,” he said.
No local government, organization or business stepped forward to accept the Talbot Boys memorial, he added.
In May, the local branch of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit to remove the monument from the lawn of the Talbot County Courthouse. The statue, depicting a young solider carrying a Confederate battle flag, is believed to be the last monument to the Confederacy remaining on public property in the state besides cemeteries and battlefields.READ MORE: CDC Advisory Panel Backs FDA Decision For COVID-19 Booster Shots, Baltimoreans React
Dedicated in 1916, the statue also includes the names of 84 local men who fought for the Confederacy. Advocates for keeping the statue in place have argued it represents U.S. history.
The county council in August 2020 voted 3-2 to let the memorial remain.
In response to last night’s vote, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who had previously called for the statue’s removal, simply tweeted, “Good riddance.”
Good riddance. https://t.co/YG4ld3HujR
— Brian Frosh (@BrianFrosh) September 15, 2021
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, another proponent of removal, said the monument’s placement outside the courthouse embodies “injustice and inequality,” adding that it was erected more than 50 years after the end of the war during the era of racist Jim Crow laws.MORE NEWS: 'It's Really Unfortunate': Students In Anne Arundel County React To News Of Postponed Homecoming Dances
“It’s past time we remove this stain on justice from the County Courthouse grounds, and I’m glad to see tonight’s vote to do that,” he said.