Updated on August 15 at 8:55 a.m.
DURHAM, N.C.—You could argue that the Civil War actually ended in this North Carolina city. Although Robert E. Lee’s more famous surrender took place at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s surrender to William T. Sherman two weeks later at Bennett Place, a farm on the outskirts of town, was larger and ended the war in the east.
You could also argue that, as in many places across the South, the war never totally ended here. Durham was the site of major battles over segregation and the home of Klan leaders, and a statue commemorating “THE BOYS WHO WORE THE GRAY” stood outside the old county courthouse on Main Street.
Until Monday night.
Around 7 p.m. Monday, a group of protesters, inspired by the violent riots over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, decided that if Durham County was in no hurry to take down the rebel soldier, they’d do so themselves. As Durham County commissioners met inside the building, which now houses county