DUNN, NC (WNCN/CNN) - Authorities said vandals wanted to express their opposition to Confederate monuments by targeting a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The problem is, they went after the wrong statue.
Gen. William C. Lee was the commanding officer of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, and his statue stands in front of his namesake museum, the William C. Lee Airborne Museum.
Authorities say someone recently tried to set the statue on fire.
“This is a hometown grown boy here that turned out to be an international hero in World War II, but to come and try to destroy his statue is just an insult to everybody,” said Mark Johnson, the museum’s curator.
Johnson said he believes the vandals thought they were attacking a monument honoring the Confederate Lee. The two Lees are not related.
He said the left side of the statue suffered significant damage and will cost several hundred dollars to fix.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information on who vandalized the statue.