A crane permanently moved one Confederate general monument off its south Louisiana base on July 17. The stone statue had stood for almost a century outside Lafayette City Hall.
Gen. Alfred Mouton’s statue will be relocated to private property after the United Daughters of the Confederacy agreed to voluntarily remove the monument.
The organization had paid for construction, and donated the finished work to the city back in 1922. The statue pays tribute to Mouton, who died while leading a cavalry charge during the 1864 Civil War Battle of Mansfield. The general’s full name was Jean-Jacques-Alfred-Alexandre Mouton, the son of former state Gov. Alexandre Mouton (D).
United Daughters agreed to relocate the monument by themselves or let the government to do it for them.
A video of the removal process shows the statue being slowly lifted off the base and placed onto the back of a large truck.
“We can honor our past and heritage without hurting an entire group of our people,” Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Josh Guillory (R) said according to the Acadiana Advocate.
The announcement came about two years after 16 residents petitioned District Judge David Smith. They wanted Smith to overturn a 1980 order that prohibits council from relocating the monument, except when required for road construction or land acquisition.
The matter was due to go to trial on July 26 but the United Daughters submitted a cooperation statement 10 days sooner.
BL understands the change of heart came after anti-police protesters desecrated Confederate monuments across the country, following the death-in-custody of George Floyd.
In 2020 council voted to remove the statue, and pay $20,000 in compensation to the United Daughters for the statue’s design and creation. It also promised to contribute $5,000 towards insurance expenses.
Elbert Lee Guillory, the attorney for United Daughters representative Jessica McChesney, declined to confirm exactly where the statue would go.
“Gen. Mouton and his father were major historic figures, major forces in creation and development of Lafayette,” the former GOP state senator said according to the paper. “We have had a long, expensive legal battle. Lafayette deserves to have this issue behind it so that it can move forward, hopefully in greater unity.”