Confederate Defenders monument gets spruced up

The Confederate Defenders of Charleston statue at White Point Garden. Its black lettering was recently touched up after the statue suffered vandalism last year. Robert Behre/Staff

Slightly more than a year after it was vandalized in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church shootings, one of Charleston’s most prominent Confederate monuments has been restored.

Last summer, the city quickly removed graffiti from the Confederate Defenders of Charleston statue — and from its John C. Calhoun monument in Marion Square — but that powerwashing also partly erased the lettering around the base of the Defenders’ statue.

Painting contractor Rik Snyder said he finished work Thursday putting two coats of black acrylic paint inside the engraved letters. Snyder said he was aware that he was working on the monument — which sits at the southeastern tip of White Point Garden and honors Confederate soldiers who fought at Fort Sumter during the Civil War — at a time when racial tensions nationally are again on the rise with assorted police-related shootings.

“Every time I heard a loud truck drive by, I thought, ‘Hopefully that’s not somebody who doesn’t like what I’m doing,’ ” he said.

The city paid $750 for the work after receiving frequent calls from residents wanting to know when the monument was going to be fully repaired, Snyder said.

Reach Robert Behre at 843-937-5771 or at twitter.com/RobertFBehre.