State and local agencies are investigating after a Confederate monument was vandalized at a memorial cemetery in South Georgia.
A statue of a soldier was found broken from its base Friday morning and lying on the ground in multiple pieces, the Savannah Morning News reported.
The Screven County Confederate Dead Monument was virtually destroyed, according to the City of Sylvania, which oversees the cemetery.
“The City of Sylvania does not condone the destruction of any historical monument,” Sylvania Mayor Preston Dees said. “We maintain the utmost respect for the men from Screven County who lost their lives.
“We respect everybody,” Dees said. “I am the mayor to all citizens.”
The Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans is offering a $2,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible.
The GBI, Sylvania police and Screven County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. Sylvania is about 195 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
The monument was erected on Confederate Memorial Day in 1909 and moved to the city cemetery in the 1950s.
The incident comes at a time when the Confederate flag and monuments have become contentious issues.
Earlier in August, the city of Alpharetta banned participants from carrying the flag in its annual Old Soldiers Day parade. However, some spectators carried the flag along the parade route.
The Sylvania monument’s base, which is intact, has words inscribed that explain its history.
“To the Confederate soldiers who went from Screven County to fight for the South in the War Between the States and who from 1861 to 1865 nobly illustrated Georgia on the field of battle, this monument is erected by their descendants as a memorial of their deeds.”
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