Civil War re-enactor wants Union statues in Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A North Carolina man dressed as a Union soldier has returned to Charlottesville to stand at the Robert E. Lee statue in downtown Charlottesville.

William Thorpe is a Union soldier re-enactor who stood guard at the Lee statue for 17 hours several weeks ago.

He says he came back to Charlottesville to help others better understand the war between the states.

Thorpe says he is also the founder of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Walk for Health program, which spotlights both physical and mental health.

He believes having Union soldier statues in Charlottesville's downtown parks might ease the tension.

"There are many places where these statues still remain but I do not see the same interest and enthusiasm for union soldiers statues," he said.

Thorpe says he travels all over Virginia and North Carolina where Confederate statues are located to bring awareness about both sides of the Civil War.

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