A Confederate monument outside the Chatham County Courthouse was removed overnight following months of controversy and legal battles.
The monument was gifted to the courthouse, located in the small town of Pittsboro, about 40 miles west of Raleigh, in 1907 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
It served to commemorate Confederal war dead and veterans who fought in the Civil War (1861-1865).
However, critics of the monument who say it has no place on public grounds in 2019 petitioned to have it removed. And a recent court ruling cleared the way for its removal.
Chatham County commissioners voted in August to remove the monument, and a Superior Court judge ruled last month that a local chapter of the UDC had failed to make a sufficient case for keeping it in place.
A protest at the monument last weekend culminated in a violent fight and several arrests.
“The last several months have been a painful time for Chatham County. We’ve experienced high emotions, division and even violence which have impacted residents, businesses and the overall feel of our community,” Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Dasher said in a statement, local media outlets reported.
“What’s clear now is that the overwhelming majority of our residents are eager to move forward.”
New polling shows a majority of North Carolina residents believe that Confederate monuments remain where they are.
The survey conducted by Elon University Poll and released Wednesday morning found that 65 percent of respondents said Confederate monuments should remain on public, government-owned property, compared to 35 percent who said they believe Confederate monuments ought to be removed, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
North Carolina state law protects any “monuments, memorials and works of art owned by the state” from being removed, but it includes exceptions for items owned by private parties located on public property, such as the statue in Pittsboro, the Chatham News and Record reported.