“General Peril” (Arts & Culture, Aug. 19) took me back to the time of the Civil War centennial when I was an employee of the City of Richmond. At that time the location of [Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill]'s monument was also a traffic problem, but that was not what brought it to my immediate attention. The Department of Public Utilities wanted to install a water or gas line, I can't recall which, in Laburnum Avenue and wanted to drive it straight under the monument. The engineers were not happy when informed that the general was buried under the monument and it would be best not to disturb him. The plans were changed.
At that point I made the same suggestion as you, that we move the general and the monument to the park area in the northwest quadrant of the intersection. I also pointed out that few cities were blessed with a Confederate lieutenant general who could be moved and re-interred in connection with the centennial celebration. Little did I think that after 50 years we would get a second shot at it. I still think the idea has merit. My suggestion received stares and no comment was made, and that was the end of that.
I don't believe that the general would object, since he had already been moved twice before; first from Chesterfield County to Hollywood Cemetery, and from Hollywood to his present location. As to the reason for selection of the North Side location, I once saw a Richmond guidebook from around 1900 which said that the location was selected because Hill had formed his famous Light Division in the vicinity, something which I have not been able to verify or refute.
G. Philip Leveque