The monumental event drew a crowd of spectators who cheered when the statue was finally lifted off its pedestal. The crews are expected to remove another nearby statue too -- that one of another Confederate general ... Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
Calls for the city to take down the tributes to the failed Confederacy were what ignited the "Unite the Right" rally back in 2017 ... where neo-Nazis with tiki torches walked through the University of Virginia campus chanting about white supremacy.
That drew counter protesters and sparked the violent clash where James Fields eventually plowed through a crowd with his car, killing Heyer. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2019 for her murder and hate crimes.
Then-President Trump infamously reacted to the deadly incident by saying there was "blame on both sides."
As the Lee statue was coming down Saturday, Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker addressed the crowd and reporters, saying ... "Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain."
It's unclear where the statues will go now. By law, the city had to accept bids from people or institutions interested in taking them. Charlottesville reportedly 10 offers and the city council will make the final call.