Workers in New Orleans took down a Confederate monument to Gen. PGT Beauregard shortly after 3am Wednesday, the third of four such monuments to come down in the city as part of a removal process that has been anything but easy. "While we must honor our history, we will not allow the Confederacy to be put on a pedestal in the heart of New Orleans," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a news release. The removal comes after the city has already taken down a statue of the Confederacy's only president and a memorial to a white rebellion against a biracial Reconstruction-era government in the city. Beauregard commanded the attack at Fort Sumter, SC, that marked the outbreak of the Civil War. His statue sat at a traffic circle near the entrance to New Orleans City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art and had been there since 1915, reports the AP.
The last remaining statue is easily the most prominent: General Robert E. Lee standing, in uniform, arms crossed defiantly, looking toward the northern horizon from atop a roughly 60-foot-tall pedestal. It was unveiled in 1884. The city said Tuesday that due to "intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain" so it would not announce a timeline for Lee's removal. The City Council voted 6-1 in 2015 to remove the monuments, and workers removing the first two generally wore bulletproof vests, helmets, and face coverings to shield their identities; work took place well after midnight to minimize attention. Workers at the Beauregard removal also covered their faces and wore helmets but the atmosphere appeared slightly more low-key, with work starting in the evening on Tuesday after sunset. (Read more New Orleans stories.)