Rockdale County removes century-old Confederate monument

A circa-1913 Confederate monument was dismantled early Wednesday morning in front of the Rockdale County Courthouse in Conyers.
A circa-1913 Confederate monument was dismantled early Wednesday morning in front of the Rockdale County Courthouse in Conyers.

A Confederate monument on the grounds of the Rockdale County Courthouse was dismantled overnight Tuesday, the latest memorial to the Civil War to come down in metro Atlanta.

More than 100 people -- most in support of the dismantling but also a handful of detractors -- came out to witness the action, which took several hours to complete. Cheers went up in the crowd when the soldier atop the column was removed around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Oz Nesbitt, chairman of the Rockdale County Commission, had announced Tuesday afternoon in a message on the east metro Atlanta county’s Facebook page that he planned to remove the circa- 1913 monument.

“I’ve made an executive decision to remove the Confederate monument here on the courthouse property in the heart of Olde Town Conyers,” Nesbitt said.

“I’m inviting you out to join me and several others at 10 p.m. as we remove this monument to a location that is much more suitable for this Confederate monument,” he said.

A Confederate monument on the Rockdale County Courthouse grounds was dismantled early Wednesday morning.
A Confederate monument on the Rockdale County Courthouse grounds was dismantled early Wednesday morning.

Credit: LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Credit: LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Nesbitt said the monument would probably be moved to a local cemetery, but did not have final plans in place.

Confederate monuments, including several in metro Atlanta, are being removed or targeted for removal as national protests over the death of George Floyd and other Black victims of violence have called attention to systemic racism.

Rockdale County Chairman Oz Nesbitt explains his decision to remove Confederate monument.
Rockdale County Chairman Oz Nesbitt explains his decision to remove Confederate monument.

Credit: LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Credit: LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Rockdale County is about 30 miles east of downtown Atlanta. The monument was erected on April 26, 1913 by the Conyers chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

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