Louisville's controversial Confederate monument reassembled in Brandenburg
The 1895 monument was dismantled and shipped from U of L's campus to a new home on the Brandenburg waterfront.
BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Confederate monument has risen again, 40 miles away from its original home.
The final pieces were put into place Monday for what was once a controversial Louisville landmark.
The city of Louisville said it had to go, but now the Confederate memorial is standing tall at its new home in Brandenburg, Kentucky.
Slowly, and carefully, as a growing crowd watched, a work crew secured, lifted, and then lowered the 1,000-pound bronze statue onto the top of the 130-ton Confederate monument.
"This is his home. This statue is right where he needs to be," said Michael Colasanti as he watched.
The statue of a Confederate soldier had returned to the place it had rested since 1895, until the city of Louisville disassembled the monument earlier this month, moving it from the campus of the University of Louisville to the Brandenburg waterfront.
"It's meant to be here. That's where it needs to be standing, right here on the river," said Clifton Bristoe.
"It's history, brother. It's really something to see," added Colasanti.
Colasanti and Bristoe had come here every day to watch the crew reassemble all 25 pieces.
"And today's the final touches on this thing," said Colasanti. "It’s amazing."
There were concerns the monument might be damaged in transit, but it was none the worse for wear.
"It's in excellent shape. It's 130 years old, and outside of a few chips here and there, it's still pretty much intact and in great shape," said Meade Co. Judge Executive Gerry Lynn.
Brandenburg and Meade County hope the monument becomes a hot tourist attraction: part of a walking museum that includes other historical monuments, including small statues commemorating Native American heritage, the Underground Railroad, and a marker at the place where Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his raiders crossed the Ohio River into southern Indiana.
"I think there will be a lot of people come here to see it, especially here from the get-go, since it raised a lot of controversy in Louisville," said Lynn.
Three time capsules containing more than 100 items have been placed inside the monument.
"There's ink pens, business cards, a little bit of money in there, anything that somebody could think about that was from this era. There's a couple of cell phones in there," said Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner.
The capsules will never be opened, unless the monument is moved again in the future.
But for now, it appears it has found a permanent home.
"I just feel like it's where he needs to be," said Colasanti. "He's right where he needs to be, brother."
The city and county will hold a formal dedication ceremony for the memorial in the spring.
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