RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Work to remove the A.P. Hill statue will begin Monday, but where Richmond’s last Confederate monument will ultimately go is still up in the air.
The process to remove the statue will start next week, Robert Steidel, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, told 8News Thursday after a Richmond judge rejected a legal effort to keep it at the intersection of W. Laburnum Ave. and Hermitage Road.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. denied a motion from four indirect descendants of Gen. A.P. Hill to delay the city’s plans to remove the statue and store it in the city.
While the removal process will begin Monday, Steidel couldn’t say whether it would be removed entirely. The other city-owned Confederate monuments have been removed, but the process for A.P. Hill has been complicated due to the general’s remains being buried beneath the statue.
With Hill buried beneath the monument, the city of Richmond had to get a court order to remove the remains.
Four “collateral descendants” of Hill, people with a common ancestor but who do not descend directly from him, filed a petition challenging Richmond’s plans to donate the monument to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.
When the case went to court in late September, both sides agreed that Richmond’s plan to move Hill’s remains to Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper should be allowed to move forward.
The indirect descendants argued they had the authority over the statue, hoping to have it relocated to Cedar Mountain Battlefield in Culpeper near the Fairview Cemetery. Cheek ruled against the effort in October, clearing the city to remove the statue.
The descendants filed an objection to the ruling in Richmond Circuit Court on Nov. 14 that sought to dismiss the city’s petition to remove Hill’s remains and give them ownership of the remains and statue.
On Thursday, Cheek rejected a motion from Hill’s indirect descendants to force the city to keep the monument up as they seek an appeal with the Virginia Court of Appeals.
Their attorney told 8News after Thursday’s hearing that they plan on filing an appeal to have the statue relocated to Cedar Mountain Battlefield, not donated to the museum.
Spokespeople for Mayor Levar Stoney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. After Cheek’s decision in October, Stoney called the ruling “the last stand for the Lost Cause in our city.”