A Madison County Circuit Court judge denied a temporary restraining order to block the relocation of the Confederate soldier monument from the Madison County Courthouse grounds to Maple Hill Cemetery.
The Heritage Protection of North Alabama and United Daughters of the Confederacy (Compton Chapter), the original donors of the statue, filed a motion after-hours Thursday night in Madison County on behalf of themselves and the people of Madison County.
The motion was filed to keep the county from moving the Confederate monument. In the motion, they state the Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 would make any move of the monument unlawful.
Judge Donna Pate denied the groups' request at 9:22 p.m. Thursday, less than an hour after the motion was filed. Pate said any further proceedings would be scheduled by Madison County Presiding Judge Ruth Ann Hall. Work to begin relocating the monument was underway by 11:30 p.m.
The petitioners also filed two affidavits to support their position. The first affidavit was from Marjorie Reeves, a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a Virginia Clay-Clopton Chapter and resident of Madison County.
She stated in part:
"As a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who dedicated and still own the Confederate Soldier Memorial/statue in front of the Madison County Courthouse, I oppose moving the statue to Maple Hill Cemetery.
"I have five ancestors who were members of the Confederate States of America Army.
"It is my understanding that the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017, it is the duty of the Madison County Commission and/or another appropriate authority to protect the Confederate Soldier Memorial/statue. My fear is that if the statue is moved to Maple Hill Cemetery, it will not be as protected as it is in its current public location with lights and a more prominent police presence, it is much less likely to be permanently harmed or vandalized.
Also, to honor the wishes of the previous United Daughters of the Confederacy, who originally placed the Memorial, I believe that the statue should remain in its original location established in 1905."
The monument was moved Friday morning to Maple Hill Cemetery, where it now stands among the Confederate soldier's section of the cemetery. (Details HERE)
The second affidavit was by Edwin L. Kennedy, a retired colonel of the United States Army, member of Heritage Protection of North Alabama, and a resident of Madison County.
He stated in part :
"I had three ancestors from Alabama who served in the Army of the Confederate States of America. Those ancestors were killed in battle in Virginia but their bodies were not recovered and removed to Alabama
The Confederate Soldier statue and memorial is to me a symbol of those men who gave their lives for the State of Alabama.
I oppose the removal of the Confederate Soldier statue and memorial from the public lands at the Madison County Courthouse to the Maple Hill Cemetery. I have viewed the place where the authorities intend to place the statue and fear that it will be vandalized as have at least eight other cemeteries in the South."
No other motions have been filed as of Friday afternoon.