Confederate statues stored in secret locations

Police in Washington, D.C., are promising tight security for Sunday's "Unite the Right" rally. White nationalists and counter-protesters both plan to gather across from the White House to mark one year since the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

One woman was struck and killed by a car driven by a white supremacist. The governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville ahead of the anniversary.

Last year's rally was to protest a plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. That statue still stands in Charlottesville. 

Other cities, however, have removed Confederate statues, and they're finding the controversy doesn't end there.

Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner met CBS News by a pedestal in a park where a Confederate statue stood until Memphis took it down and hid it last December.   

Turner led the drive to remove two statues: one of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who later became the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Turner took CBS News to see the statues — if we promised not to reveal their location.

"Why all the secrecy?" CBS News asked.

"You have some people who are very upset," Turner said.

Lee Millar, a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is one of those who are upset. The group sued to put them back up.

"I think it's just a lack of appreciation for American history and the great history that we have and everybody's history should be appreciated," Millar said.

Since the unrest in Charlottesville, 36 cities have removed Confederate symbols. They're hidden in Baltimore, New Orleans and Memphis. 

But more than 700 still stand nationwide. 

"We need to wait until the litigation ends, but right now, this is the best place for them," Turner said.

Until a court rules, these statues will stay sealed in a box like a coffin.  

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.