For the second time in less than a year, a plaque in front to the Vance Monument in Pack Square in downtown Asheville that contains the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has been damaged.
Lee’s face on the plaque has been nearly scratched off, while portions of the text beneath his likeness have also been scratched. The damage was first noticed Friday. Last August, four people were arrested after they tried to pry the plaque off the stone monument, but could only bend a corner. That incident came days after a demonstration was held following the death of a woman protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Around the same time, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper called for Confederate monuments around the state to be taken down, something Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer echoed following the governor's announcement.
The plaque was placed at the foot of the Vance Monument by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1926, more than 50 years after the Civil War ended. The Vance Monument was finished in 1898. It honors Zebulon Vance, North Carolina's governor during the Civil War and U.S. Senator during Reconstruction. Vance owned slaves and helped stop the full granting of civil rights to freed blacks following the Civil War.