By Jackson Revere
The statue for Johnny Reb, a personification of the common confedrate soldier, was removed last month by a crane from it’s downtown Norfolk location.
The statue has remained in storage since that day. Tuesday during a public meeting, Norfolk’s City Council voted to move the statue to Elmwood Cemetery.
Members of the public were able to comment and try to influence the City Council decision. Speakers spoke in support of moving it to a place like Elmwood Cemetery – with one person saying that placing the statue in a location where confederate soldiers have been buried is exactly where they should move it to. “This is owed to these young men who were sent to fight because it was their duty. The City of Norfolk owes it to them to re-erect the monument where many of them lie in their final resting places.”
Other speakers were advocating for the statue to be placed at Shenandoah Valleys Battlefield. “If we get it all out to the Shenandoah Valley, that would cause a lot less conflict in this whole state [and] in this whole town,” said a public speaker at the meeting.
City Council pointed out that there currently is a 30-day period for private citizens to make a formal request to take possession of the statue. They also noted that they have not received any requests yet.
Elmwood Cemetery has been in existence since before the Civil War and is a final resting place for confederate soldiers. One notable burial at Elmwood is Charles Pickett, the brother of Major General George E. Pickett of the Confederate Army. Charles served as the Assistant Adjutant General of “Pickett’s Division”.