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'Same company, same family': Project manager for Confederate monument relocation remembers statue's 1st move

Buster Slocumb's father originally moved the statue from Mulberry Street to Cotton Avenue in the 1950s.

MACON, Ga. — Construction crews Thursday continued moving a Confederate statue from Macon's Cotton Avenue to its new home at Whittle Park.

For years, protestors have said the controversial monument should not be on public property. Now, after two years in the courts, private funds are paying to move it.

Buster Slocumb heads the team in charge of the move. His family has a personal connection to it. More specifically, they have a connection to moving it. His dad moved it to Cotton Avenue from Mulberry Street in the 1950s.

"My dad moved this statue back in the late 1950s. And they moved it from the courthouse to Cotton Avenue," Slocumb remembered. "I was about four or five years old at the time."

Slocumb is no stranger to the Cotton Avenue Confederate monument. Now, walking in his father's footsteps, he heads the statue's next move to Whittle Park at Rose Hill Cemetery. He says the pictures his dad's crew took in the 50s helped the workers today.

"We saw how they rigged up the statue the way it is now. They were a little bit more primitive. We've got better technology today and better equipment," Slocumb said.

Slocumb says growing up, his dad would tell stories about the statue's first move.

"The biggest one was the time capsule," he laughed.

There was a time capsule in the pedestal, according to archives at the Washington Memorial Library.

"Ladies of the Confederacy opened up the time capsule in 1959. They didn't like what they saw. So they put it back together," Slocumb remembered.

Macon-Bibb County has the time capsule now. They got it after the statue came down Wednesday.

"We are working with the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy to see who has the right to open it, if anyone has the right to open it," said Alex Morrison with the Urban Development Authority.

Slocumb says he's not sure what's inside, but he's just glad his family got to move it again.

"My dad moved it 60, 65 years ago. Same company, same family and we got to move it again," he said.

When they do open the time capsule, they should find Confederate military rosters, lists of soldiers who died and copies of the newspaper from 1878. Morrison says once they know who has the rights to the time capsule, they'll decide if they can open it.

Slocumb says they did hit a snag in the moving process. He says they should be finished moving both Confederate statues by Saturday, or even Monday.

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