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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

County Executive Ike Leggett today announced that the statue of a Confederate cavalryman, currently located next to the Old Red Brick Courthouse in downtown Rockville, has been transferred to private ownership and will be moved to private property at White’s Ferry in northwestern Montgomery County.

The statue, the only veterans’ statue in Montgomery County, was donated to the County by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913 and honored County men who served in the Confederate States Army during the War Between the States, which lasted from April 1861 to May of 1865. “The inscription reads: “To Our Heroes of Montgomery County Maryland: That We Through Life May Not Forget to Love the Thin Gray Line.”

“I fully understand that the statue reflects a piece of County history and that many County residents are proud of the sacrifices and bravery shown by their ancestors,” said County Executive Leggett. “Nonetheless, as originally enacted, it was not, and is not, part of the heritage of all of our residents. When originally constructed and placed on County property, it failed to reflect both sides of this unfortunate struggle in our history.” 

“That is why I strongly opposed keeping this statue on County property and wanted to move it to another location in the County that would be accessible to County residents.”

The ownership of the statue has been transferred to White’s Ferry, Inc. which operates the vehicle ferry at White’s Ferry, which carries vehicles between Montgomery County and the Leesburg/Loudoun County, Virginia area on the other side of the Potomac River. The ferry is the last of the many ferries which once crossed the Potomac and ferry operations there date back to 1782.

The County had issued an Invitation for Bid to move the 16-foot tall, 25,000 pound statue. The County will cover the cost of moving and relocating the statue at the historic White’s Ferry recreation area. 

“I am happy to provide a place for the statue to be relocated,” said R. Edwin Brown, attorney for White’s Ferry, Inc. “Those who wish to visit it will be able to do just that.”

The County Executive initially approved a recommendation to move the statue to the grounds of the pre-Civil War Beall-Dawson House in downtown Rockville. That relocation, however, was rejected by the Rockville City Council in June of 2016.

The soldier statue currently peeks out above a 20-foot box erected in August 2015 to protect the statue after July 27, 2015 spray-painting vandalism. The County cleaned the statue, added an anti-graffiti coating, and built the box. County Executive Leggett denounced the vandalism as a “despicable act” that was “not in keeping with Montgomery County’s long history of civil discourse” and that dishonored County veterans.

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Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Patrick Lacefield 240-777-6507