A vandal or vandals picked Richmond’s J.E.B. Stuart monument for a spray-painted message that was seen by some people on Labor Day.
In letters about a foot high or slightly taller, someone scrawled a crude word followed by “work” on the monument’s base facing east. On the west side of the base, a rough drawing suggested a Soviet hammer and sickle.
Earlier in the day, the black-paint graffiti could be read easily. By 3 p.m., the words and the drawing were a faint gray.
Richmond police Lt. Chris Gleason said the vandalism apparently occurred overnight and that employees from the Richmond Department of Public Works were called — on what would otherwise have been a holiday — to remove the graffiti.
“They may have already worked on it,” Gleason said. “We hope to have it rectified by Tuesday morning.”
Gleason said no person or group had taken responsibility for the graffiti. “We have no suspects so far,” he said. The Stuart monument sits in Richmond’s Fan District at the intersection of Lombardy Street with Monument Avenue where it becomes Franklin Street.
The monument is one of several on the street commemorating Civil War Confederate figures. Another monument memorializes Arthur Ashe Jr., a Richmond native who was a professional tennis superstar, author and humanitarian.
None of the other monuments showed any signs of vandalism Monday.
Stuart was a Confederate general. He was 31 when he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern in 1864