RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said all Confederate statues in the city will be coming down, but one monument could present a unique challenge.
The remains of Confederate General A.P. Hill are buried underneath his statue at the intersection of W. Laburnum Ave. and Hermitage Road. According to Hill’s will, he wanted to be buried in Richmond at his memorial.
“This is the only Confederate monument in Richmond in which someone is buried, so it’s essentially a gravesite,” said Bob Balster, president of the Hermitage Road Historic District Association.
Hill, who was from Culpeper, became a high-ranking general in the Confederate Army and was killed in battle in 1865.
“He had left in his will that he wanted to be buried in Richmond. I’m not sure why Richmond because he wasn’t from Richmond and didn’t have any particularly strong Richmond roots that I’m aware of,” Balster told 8News.
More than 25 years after his death, the A.P. Hill Memorial was erected in 1892. Confederate veterans who served under Hill raised money for the monument and the land was donated by Lewis Ginter.
“I believe as part of A.P. Hill’s will, he asked to be buried where his memorial was,” said Balster. He added that some believe Hill is buried standing up, which was also a provision of his will.
At the time the memorial was built, the remains of A.P. Hill had already been relocated twice. Balster said Hill’s remains were first buried in Chesterfield County and moved to Hollywood Cemetery two years later.
Balster said the neighborhood association has concerns for the honor of Hill, however, they unanimously support the removal of the monument and the remains.
“He’s already been moved twice and so this would be a third time. So hopefully there’s something to be done to honor the fact that he’s buried here, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t move swiftly to remove the monument,” he told 8News.
In a statement, the association said they understand the reinterment process could take more time, so they are asking that the statue itself be removed as soon as possible.
A Stoney administration official said attorneys and staff are researching and working to resolve these issues, but it is unlikely they will have an answer before the end of the week. The official said they will not move A.P. Hill until they have a clear path forward.
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