HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A 115-year-old Confederate monument that was the subject of protests in Alabama this year was removed from outside a county courthouse early Friday.

A small group of onlookers cheered at the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville as crews took away the stone memorial, which was topped by the likeness of a soldier. Music blasted during part of the work.

"I'm speechless, literally speechless. It's an amazing time for our culture and for people of all colors. I'm excited that I'm able to watch this event happen during this time," said Joretha Wright.

Demonstrators sought its removal amid nationwide protests against racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. City and county officials went back and forth over the legal authority to take it down.

Madison County Commissioner JesHenry Malone, in a statement, said the county finally took action after a state commission created in 2017 to protect historic monuments failed to respond in a timely way to the commission's request to remove the memorial.

"The staff of the Madison County Commission executed the plan outlined in my June 2020 resolution for the legal removal of the Confederate Monument," he said.

Hours after its removal, the monument was reassembled at its new home in the Confederate burial section of a city-owned cemetery.