RICHMOND, VA- In May 2021, Law Enforcement Today reported on plans by Richmond, Virginia mayor and Black Lives Matter enthusiast Levar Stoney, along with then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, to desecrate the grave of Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill by digging it up, with no plans to relocate the remains.
Late last week, a Richmond judge rejected a legal effort to keep Hill’s remains beneath the last Confederate monument in the capital city. That led Robert Steidel, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer to announce work to remove the statue and Hill’s remains would commence this past Monday, WAVY-10 reported.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. rejected a motion from four indirect descendants of Gen. Hill to delay the city’s plans to remove the statue and store it somewhere in the city.
Steidel however could not confirm whether the monument would be able to be completely removed, with the process being complicated by the fact that Gen. Hill’s remains are buried beneath the statue. In order to remove the statue, the city was forced to get a court order due to that fact.
The four “collateral” descendants of Hill, in other words those with a common ancestor but who do not descend directly from the general, filed a petition objecting to the city’s plans to donate the monument to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.
As Law Enforcement Today reported in 2021, the move to dismantle the statue and dig up Hill’s remains came in the midst of a virtue signaling campaign throughout the country, where city leaders, mostly Democrats, wanted to show how “antiracist” they were by removing any trace of the Confederacy throughout the country.
In Richmond, for example, virtually all of the city’s Confederate monuments or memorials were removed, with the exception of General Hill’s due to the fact the city needed to find a legal way to basically desecrate his grave.
The city’s Commission of Architectural Review thought they found a way around it by deeming the site a “threat to traffic safety.” However the grave and related statue had been in place since 1892. In other words, for 129 years up until George Floyd died, the statue never posed a “threat to traffic safety.”
At the time, Richmond City Councilman Mike Hill grew impatient with delays in removing the statue, calling Gen. Hill’s final resting place a “painful trinket of white supremacy.”
When the scheme to desecrate Gen. Hill’s grave was announced, not everyone was in favor. One such person was a spokesman with the Virginia Flaggers, a group dedicated to celebrating and preserving Confederate history.
“It comes as no surprise to us that the degenerates in Richmond have announced plans to desecrate the grave of a war veteran by literally digging up his remains in their ongoing quest to eliminate any trace of the city’s history and heritage which might happen to ‘offend’ the howling mob of social justice terrorists,” he observed.
The funny thing about Gen. Hill was that although he did fight for the Confederacy, he was opposed to slavery and resigned his commission in the United States Army when Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861.
Despite his opposition to slavery, Hill was one of the most capable officers in the Confederate army and was fiercely loyal to the Confederacy. Hill ended up being killed in combat during the waning days of the Civil War during the Siege of Petersburg.
Despite the dispute over Hill’s remains, both the city as well as the indirect descendants had no issue with removing the statue and Hill’s remains, however disagreed on where the remains should go, along with the statue.
They argued it should be relocated to Cedar Mountain Battlefield in Culpeper near the Fairview Cemetery. Cheek however ruled against that effort in October, which led to this week’s removal effort.
On Nov. 14, the descendants filed an objection to Cheek’s ruling in Richmond Circuit Court which sought to dismiss the city’s petition to remove Hill’s remains.
Last week, Cheek appeared to drive the final nail in the coffin when he rejected the motion to keep the monument up as the case worked its way through the appeals process with the Virginia Court of Appeals.
Attorneys for the descendants said they plan on filing an appeal to have the statue relocated to Cedar Mountain as opposed to the museum.
After Cheeks’ October decision, the Black Lives Matter-supporting mayor, Stoney, called the ruling “the last stand for the Lost Cause in our city.”
Stoney used “emergency powers” to have nearly all Confederate statues in the community torn down after protesters were allegedly hurt while tearing them down. He also claimed the monuments were used to “put black people in their place. They were meant to intimidate,” Axios reported him as saying.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.