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Confederate 'Talbot Boys' Statue Removed From Courthouse For Relocation

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The century-old "Talbot Boys" statue has been removed from its pedestal outside a courthouse in Easton, Maryland. The polarizing Confederate monument is heading to a new home at a Virginia battlefield.

The statue, which depicts a young Confederate soldier holding a rebel flag, has stood in Talbot County for the last 107 years. The statue is believed to be the last monument to the Confederacy remaining on public property in the state besides cemeteries and battlefields.

In May, the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit calling for the statue's removal. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh also voiced his support for its removal, saying it's a "sign of enduring resistance to racial equality."

Dedicated in 1916, the statue also includes the names of 84 local men who fought for the Confederacy. Advocates for keeping the statue in place have argued it represents U.S. history.

The Talbot County Council voted last September, exactly six months ago, to take down the monument.

No tax money is being used for the removal or transport of the statue. The Move the Monument Coalition, whose mission was to get rid of the statue, raised $82,000 to make it happen.

"I think it sent a racist message and it sent a message of who belongs and who doesn't," said Jessica Taylor, of the Move the Monument coalition.

Councilman Frank Divilio was one of three councilmembers who voted in favor of the statue's removal. He was previously against removing the statue but said the battle over the monument's fate has prevented the council from addressing other issues.

Divilio said in September the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation would move the monument to the Cross Keys Battlefield in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The field was part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862 -- "a series of battles where Talbot County blood was shed on both sides."

He said the monument would tell the story of familial conflicts during the war, pointing to the story of William Goldsborough, who was involved in capture of his own brother, Charles, during that campaign.

"It's a good day of accountability," said Richard Potter, the President of Talbot County Branch of the NAACP, "but it does symbolize that we still have a lot more work to do."

Potter says they want to work with the county to create a new Civil War monument "that's not offensive to one group of people but to tell the story accurately and authentically as it happened here in Talbot County."

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