PITTSBORO, N.C. — Protestors gathered overnight when crews started removing a controversial Confederate statue in Pittsboro, ending the monument's century-long watch over a historic courthouse, WTVD reports.
Crews removed the statue and the pedestal beginning at about 11 p.m. Tuesday night as law enforcement was on the scene to watch protestors. The final piece was removed at about 5 a.m.
They say the pieces will be put in storage until the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy decides where to put them.
"The last several months have been a painful time for Chatham County," Mike Dash, chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, told WTVD. "We've experienced high emotions, division and even violence which have impacted residents, businesses and the overall feel of our community. What's clear now is that the overwhelming majority of our residents are eager to move forward."
The North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans said in a statement that they support the UDC continuing a lawsuit against the county.
"The North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans is outraged at the latest disturbing action of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners," the NCSCV said. "... Like a thief in the night, under cover of darkness the Chatham County Confederate Soldiers Memorial has been illegally removed."
That statue has been the subject of protests and counter-protests for several months in Pittsboro.
This past Saturday, 11 people were arrested during a protest.