State Capitol, Raleigh
Description: This 75-foot-tall monument to fallen Confederate soldiers is located on the State Capitol grounds. At the top of the column is a statue depicting a Confederate artillery soldier holding a gun. Near the bottom of the column are two statues, one representing the Confederate infantry and the other a Confederate cavalryman. Two 32 pounder naval cannons stand on each side of the monument.
In 1892, state legislators endorsed the goal of building a Confederate monument in Capital Square. Secretary of State Octavius Coke held a meeting of members of both the Ladies Memorial Association and the North Carolina Monumental Association in June 1892 to launch a campaign to erect a memorial to deceased Confederate soldiers from North Carolina.
Images: Contemporary view | Rear view | Front inscription | Back inscription | Cavalryman | Infantryman | Right cannon | Left cannon | Plaques on naval cannons
Front, on shaft: TO OUR / CONFEDERATE / DEAD
Rear, on base: FIRST AT / BETHEL / LAST AT / APPOMATTOX / 1861. 1865.
Plaques on naval cannons: 32 Pounder Naval Cannon / TAKEN IN JUNE 1861 WHEN THE NAVY YARD AT / NORFOLK WAS ABANDONED BY THE UNITED STATES / BANDED AND CONVERTED / AT RICHMOND INTO A 6 INCH RIFLE / MOUNTED AT FORT CASWELL, NORTH CAROLINA / DISMOUNTED BY EXPLODING MAGAZINES / WHEN THE CONFEDERATES EVACUATED THAT FORT / IN JANUARY 1865 / PRESENTED BY US WAR DEPARTMENT / 1902
Dedication date: May 20, 1895
Creator: Leopold Von Miller II, Sculptor Muldoon Monument Company, Builder
Materials & Techniques: Mt. Airy Granite, bronze statues
Sponsor: State of North Carolina, Women's Monument Association
Unveiling & Dedication: Dedicated on May 20, 1895. Unveiled by Julia Jackson Christian, Granddaughter of Stonewall Jackson. Speakers included Captain Samuel Ashe, Thomas W. Mason, and Alfred Waddell.
Post dedication use: The Civil Works Authority made plans to move the monument from Capital Square to Nash Square in 1934 as part of renovations to Capital Square, but the Board of Public Buildings and Grounds decided on February 5th to prevent the CWA from moving the monument. The move was prevented because of public outcry in regards to moving such a historically significant monument from a highly visible location.
Subject notes: The initial model for the statues was to be the Confederate hero Henry L. Wyatt, but the sculptor Von Miller used W. R. Dicks (who was a living Confederate veteran) as inspiration for the statues.
Controversies: When the monument was first proposed, Populist and Republican legislators objected to any public funding of the monument on the grounds that public education, rather than sectional pride, was a pressing need. In addition, monument opponents protested against the special tax fund that would be used to subsidize the monument's costs.
During the 2000s, some critics questioned whether it was appropriate to continue to commemorate, on capitol grounds, white soldiers who fought to establish a slaveholders' republic.
Location: This monument faces Hillsborough Street and is parallel to South Salisbury Street. It is surrounded by trees and a paved pathway. Directly behind the monument is the State Capitol building.
Landscape: The monument is located at the end of Hillsborough Street on the west side of the capitol grounds.
Subjects: Civil War