The Confederate statue that stood next to the Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville for more than 100 years was removed Saturday and is set to be installed in a more private location later this week.
The 13-ton statue will be installed near White’s Ferry, the privately run ferry in Dickerson that connects Montgomery County across the Potomac River with Leesburg, Virginia, according to county officials.
The county didn’t provide advance notice of the move because similar Confederate statue removals across the country have generated backlash and protests, according to General Services Director David Dise.
Dise told Montgomery Community Media the county “wanted to be particularly careful” to keep the move date quiet to prevent possible incidents.
The statue was lifted by a crane and loaded onto a large flatbed truck to be moved to the ferry location. The county paid $100,000 to have the statue removed, according to county spokesman Patrick Lacefield.
County Executive Ike Leggett first called in 2015 for the statue to be relocated from its public location because he said it depicts revisionist history.
The statue of a Confederate cavalryman was donated to the county in 1913 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and its inscription reads, “To Our Heroes of Montgomery County Maryland: That We Through Life May Not Forget to Love the Thin Gray Line.”
Leggett said in a statement released Saturday that while Montgomery County residents fought on both sides of the Civil War, the statue reflects only the Confederate viewpoint.
“This statue is inaccurate because it pays tribute only to the Montgomery County young men who fought for the Confederacy, not also to those county residents who fought to preserve the Union and free those held in bondage,” Leggett said. “Therefore the statue does not represent a balanced view of our county’s sacrifice during the Civil War. I believe it should not be located on county property. Because it has significance locally, I want it to remain in Montgomery County—but not on county-owned land.”
Visitors to the ferry, which has operated since the early 1800s, will be able to view the statue at the new location.