The body of a Confederate general found under a monument in the center of Virginia Crossroads was reburied in his hometown cemetery.
Last month, Richmond, which served as the Confederate capital for much of the Civil War, removed a statue of Confederate General AP Hill and the general’s body buried beneath it after a legal battle. Hundreds of people, including Confederate reenactors, gathered to pay their respects to the general at a ceremony Saturday at Hill’s hometown of Culpeper’s Fairview Cemetery, Freelance Star reported.
The coffin, wrapped in an old Virginia flag, was carried to the cemetery on a mule-drawn wagon, followed by a passenger horse. After eulogies, songs and prayers, there was a salute of 21 shots and 3 shots were fired from the cannons.
Richmond has removed other Confederate monuments amid racial justice protests following the 2020 killing of George Floyd. However, the task of removing the Hill statue in the middle of a busy intersection was more complicated, as the general’s body had been buried beneath it for about 25 years. after his death at the end of the Civil War.
In October, a judge ruled that it would be city officials, not descendants, to decide where the statue on the hill would go next. It will be kept and then transferred to Virginia’s Black History Museum and Cultural Center. Attorneys for Hill’s indirect descendants agreed to move his remains to Culpeper’s cemetery, near where Hill was born.
Many Confederate statues in Virginia, decades after the Civil War, during the Jim Crow era when the state imposed new segregation laws, historians and others portray the Southern Rebellion as a battle for defense. It was built during the “Lost Cause” movement that tried to State rights, not slavery. Some of the Confederate tributes remain in Richmond, but on state land, including Capitol Square, which surrounds the Virginia State Capitol.
Ambrose Powell Hill died just days before the end of the war in 1865, according to a timeline provided in court documents during the legal battle over the removal of the statue. According to a city petition to move the remains, his remains were buried in the family cemetery in Chesterfield County. It was moved to the site where the monument was unveiled.