The Nathanael Greene Monument in Savannah’s Johnson Square was defaced with googly eyes this week, the city posted on its official Facebook page.
“It may look funny but harming our historic monuments and public property is no laughing matter, in fact, it's a crime,” officials wrote.
According to the Savannah Morning News, police are investigating the incident and searching for the vandal responsible.
Defacing, defiling or mutilating a grave marker, monument or memorial devoted to a deceased individual who served in the military is considered criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor offense. But if the damage is upwards of $500, it’s a felony crime: criminal damage to property.
Greene, who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War is buried in Johnson Square. Though he never fought in Georgia, his military strategy and leadership helped free Georgia from British forces.
The soldier moved to Savannah with his family after the war, but died of heat stroke shortly after in 1786.
From the monument’s historical marker in Johnson Square:
The 50-foot, white marble obelisk, designed by the well-known architect, William Strickland, was completed in 1830. The original cornerstone was laid here on March 21, 1825, by Greene's old friend, the Marquis de LaFayette. At the dedicatory ceremony General LaFayette said:
"The great and good man to whose memory we are paying a tribute of respect, affection, and regret, has acted in our revolutionary contest a part so glorious and so important that in the very name of Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader..."