The writing may be on the wall for the future of the Talbot Boys Confederate statue in Easton.
And that writing may result in the controversial monument being moved from the Talbot County Courthouse lawn to a Civil War battleground site in Virginia.
Two competing resolutions are scheduled to be introduced at the county council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
One would move the Confederate statue to a battlefield site maintained by a private foundation in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The other would create a “Unity” monument by adding a statue of a Union soldier to go along with the existing Confederate Talbot Boys statue.
County Councilwoman Laura Price is sponsoring the Unity monument while Councilman Frank Divilio is the architect of the relocation measure.
Divilio was the deciding vote in last year’s 3-2 to council decision not to remove the Talbot Boys, which was erected on the courthouse lawn in 1916.
Divilio’s plan to relocate the Confederate statue to Virginia is expected to be supported by council members Pete Lesher and Corey Pack. They voted to remove the Confederate monument last year.
That would enable the relocation resolution to pass and have the Talbot Boys and its controversy moved across the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River to a new historical home.
The Civil War monument would not be destroyed but would be moved off public property, which could resolve the continued controversy impacting Talbot County’s image.
That could be an attractive middle ground for the council and a county that is being defined by the Confederate statue. The Talbot Boys fight certainly displays historical and contemporary wounds and blemishes related to race and racism on the Eastern Shore.
The fight shows no sign of ending as long as the Talbot Boys statue sits on the courthouse lawn in downtown Easton.
Advocates from both sides of the debate promise to be out in force at the council meeting. Singer Maggie Rogers, an Easton native, is even making a social media push for moving the Talbot Boys.
Those who don’t want the statue removed or relocated argue it is a significant historical symbol. Others’ motivations stem from resistance to “outsiders” pressing for the Talbot Boys’ removal.
In past debates and votes, there have been enough votes to keep the Talbot Boys on a courthouse lawn that is adjacent to the site of Easton’s old slave market.
But the voting tables are poised to be turned and the Talbot Boys statue could be headed to a new home more than 200 miles from Easton.