Someone tried to set fire to a statue of Maj. Gen. William C. Lee outside his museum in North Carolina, and officials suspect the "jerk punk" had his General Lees confused. Robert E. Lee led Confederate forces in the Civil War, and statues of that general and other monuments to the Confederacy have been targeted for removal or destruction—twice recently elsewhere in North Carolina. But the museum in Dunn honors the Lee who served in World War II, the Charlotte Observer reports, and was a pioneer in air warfare. "This is not a Civil War museum," museum curator Mark Johnson tells WNCN. The Lees were not related.
On its Facebook page, the museum blamed "some jerk punk" for pouring a flammable liquid over the white marble statue of the "Father of the United States Airborne Army" and setting it ablaze Thursday night. Repairs will begin soon, the posting said. Johnson told the Dunn Daily Record that he thinks the vandal or vandals were trying to make a statement about racism. "So just an alert to people who may be thinking about such things," he said. "This is the wrong general." (Read stories about the Confederate statues debate.)