Civil War statue damaged... again - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

12.18.03

Civil War statue damaged... again

Gabriel Boney is arguably Wilmington's best-known soldier, but it now a rebel without part of the weapon that made him a hero.

His bayonet snapped and snatched by a vandal.

"We're concerned about this damage," said Wilmington Assistant City Manager Doug Hewett. "This is a piece of Wilmington's history."

The Daughters of the Confederacy built the statue in 1924. It's a memorial to the Civil War soldier born in Wallace who died in Wilmington in 1915. His proud bayonet is several feet off the ground, meaning someone had to climb to snap it off.

This isn't the first time Boney has been attacked. In March of 1999, a drunk driver knocked him over. It cost the taxpayers $25,000 to restore and put him back up. City leaders say repairs this time could also be costly.

"Right now we don't know (the exact cost)," Hewett said. "We're hoping anyone at home who knows what happened to it will come forward, like they did the with seahawk."

He's referring to the UNW-Wilmington Seahawk which flew away over the summer and was later found by a News Six photographer. The reward was a pair of basketball season tickets.

For the bayonet?

"Just a kind 'thank you' from the City of Wilmington," Hewett said.

Along with, perhaps, some good karma for protecting the statue of a man who once protected the Port City.

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