- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2002

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) A 20-foot granite monument to Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early was destroyed when it was struck by a car trying to elude police.
Authorities broadcast a lookout about a car driven by two juveniles from Pittsylvania County about 2 a.m. Monday. Minutes later, Lynchburg police joined a chase from Campbell County as the car entered the city.
Lynchburg police Lt. R.S. Houck said patrol officers were behind the car when it neared construction barricades at the intersection of Fort and Memorial avenues. A granite memorial to Early erected around 1920 stood in a traffic island at the intersection.
"They tried to turn on to Memorial Avenue and the speed of the car carried them over into the monument," Lt. Houck said.
The base of the monument was knocked back about 4 feet, and the obelisk broke into three pieces.
The two juveniles in the car had minor injuries. No details on charges were available.
City Manager Kimball Payne said he is inclined to replace the statue but will study the issue.
The monument marked the spot of heavy fighting during the Battle of Lynchburg on June 18, 1864, said Tom Ledford, museum administrator for the city. About 36,000 Union forces commanded by Gen. David Hunter attacked about 8,000 Confederates defending the city.
Early oversaw the building of earthworks from which Confederate forces repulsed Hunter's attack. Historians speculate that if the city had fallen, the Civil War would have ended soon thereafter.


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