By Alyssa Schnugg
The Confederate statue that has sat in front of the Lyceum Circle on the University of Mississippi campus since 1906 was moved Tuesday morning to the Confederate cemetery, also located on campus.
The Institutions of Higher Learning approved the university’s request in June to relocate the statue.
“The University of Mississippi gave careful time and consideration in developing a thoughtful plan to relocate its Confederate Monument on the basis that the University Cemetery is the most suitable location for this monument … It will be carefully disassembled, transported, and reassembled to a more suitable site adjacent to the Confederate Cemetery, also on the UM campus,” stated the university’s written request to IHL.
The monument is 29 feet tall and weighs 40,000 pounds.
The combined cost for relocating the monument, completing the enhancements to the cemetery and creating a memorial to the black soldiers in the Civil War is estimated to cost between $900,000 and $1.2 million.
The Confederate monument will be accessible by a newly-laid brick path surrounded by trees and enhanced with lighting. Included in these plans will be a new marker to recognize the men from Lafayette County who served in the Union Army as part of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War.
All costs related to moving the monument and all related work will be covered with private funds.
Several groups have spoken out against the elaborate renovation plans, including University of Mississippi history professors, who recently released a statement detailing why they are against renovation plans they believe will glorify the monument.
The cemetery is marked with a single headstone for Confederate soldiers who died after the battle of Shiloh in 1862.
The statue is one of two Confederate monuments located in Lafayette County. The second sits on the southside of the Lafayette County Courthouse and was placed in 1907.
There have been several protests held recently to remove the Square monument, countered by a handful of counter protests.
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors voted earlier this month not to remove the statue which provoked the protestors in favor of its removal to take up their signs and protest in front of Larson’s Cash Saver grocery store, owned by Supervisor Brent Larson.
The protestors have been met with counter-protestors who say Larson’s, formerly named Big Star, often supports the community through donations and employees about 100 local residents.