Printer-friendly page
Rating: 
Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

"Confederate Monument, Winston-Salem, N.C."
 
Confederate Monument at Forsyth County Courthouse
Winston-Salem [Removed]
View complete article and references at Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina at: https://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/15
 
Description: A Confederate soldier stands in uniform holding a rifle with its butt resting on the ground. The sculpture rests on a column that is decorated with two trumpets and a rosette containing the United Daughters of the Confederacy emblem. The sculpture itself is 6' tall by 2'6" wide, on a base 24' high by 6' wide.
 
Inscription:
Front: ERECTED BY THE JAMES B. GORDON CHAPTER / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / OCTOBER 1905 / WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -and lower in raised letters- OUR CONFEDERATE/ DEAD.
Left: AS SOUTHERN SOLDIERS OF THE WAR OF 1861-1865, THEY SHARE THE FAME THAT MANKIND AWARDS TO THE HEROES WHO SERVED IN THAT GREAT CONFLICT.
Right: IN CAMP ON FAME'S ETERNAL CAMPING GROUND.
Rear: SLEEPING, BUT GLORIOUS / DEAD IN FAME'S PORTAL / DEAD BUT VICTORIOUS / DEAD BUT IMMORTAL / THEY GAVE US GREAT GLORY /WHAT MORE COULD THEY GIVE? / THEY LEFT US A STORY, / A STORY TO LIVE!

 
Dedication date: 10/3/1905
 
Creator: James Alfred Blum, Designer
 
Materials & Techniques: Granite
 
Sponsor: United Daughters of the Confederacy, James B. Gordon Chapter #211. Mrs. R. J. Reynolds and Mrs. J. K. Norfleet contributed $100 each. Fundraisers for the monument included the first motion picture ever shown in Winston-Salem.
 
Cost: $3000
 
Unveiling & Dedication: Alfred M. Waddell gave the dedication speech, which praised the loyalty of Forsyth County residents to the Confederacy.
 
Post dedication use: The monument was enclosed by a fence in 1906; the fence was removed in the early 1920s.
 
Subject notes: In 1903 the James B. Gordon Chapter #211 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy began a movement to place a Confederate monument in Court House Square in Winston-Salem. Dr. James Alfred Blum exhibited to the chapter a sketch of a soldier he proposed for the monument. It was approved and plans were begun to obtain a monument for no more than $3,000. The first motion picture ever shown in Winston-Salem was brought to the town as a fundraiser for the sculpture. Mrs. R. J. Reynolds and Mrs. J. K. Norfleet each donated $100 towards the monument. The sculpture was originally fenced. The fence was removed in the early 1920s.
 
Controversies: On August 18, 2017, the statue was defaced with black paint on at least two sides. This monument was among several that was vandalized after the death of a counter-protester, Heather Heyer, at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 and after President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to the removal of Confederate memorials. In the aftermath of Charlottesville and prior to the Charleston (SC) Church Massacre in 2015 there were calls across the south for removal of public place Confederate statues and monuments. In response to the Charleston event, the South Carolina legislature had removed the Confederate battle flag that flew over the South Carolina State House. The North Carolina response just weeks after South Carolina lowered the battle flag was to pass the North Carolina Heritage Protection Act. This legislation pushed through quickly by the Republican majority House and Senate restricted the removal, relocation or alteration of any monument that was considered permanent in nature and located on public property. Although located on the grounds of the old Forsyth County Courthouse, the law did not prevent removal of this statue. The old courthouse had been sold to a private developer in 2014 and converted into upscale apartments. Seeing the statue as a liability the hotel owners sent a letter to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) which stated that in “order to protect the residents of the property, the owner cannot allow the statue to remain on the property.” Despite objections from the UDC the City of Winston-Salem had the statue dismantled on March 12, 2019. As of December 2019 and a failed lawsuit, the UDC was still attempting to find a legal remedy that would force the city to restore the monument to the old courthouse.
 
Location: As of December 2019, the statue was in storage until a site could be prepared at the Salem Cemetery near the graves of 36 Confederate soldiers. Salem Cemetery is located at 301 Cemetery Street in Winston-Salem, NC.
 
City: Winston-Salem
 
County: Forsyth
 
Subjects: Civil War
 

Latitude: 
36.09833
Longitude: 
-80.24496
Subjects: 
Origin - location: 

Comments

I was raised in Forsyth County, and I'll tell you exactly why I'm grateful this statue no longer stands near the old county courthouse. When the statue was dedicated in 1905, a white terrorist was the guest speaker. Alfred Moore Waddell, who said in his speech, “I thank God that monuments to the Confederate soldier are rapidly multiplying in the land,” was also the Mayor of Wilmington, having first gained that office in 1898 through the only successful coup d’etat in the history of the United States. The day before the 1898 election in North Carolina, in another speech, he said these words that were later printed in Atlanta’s Constitution newspaper:

“You are Anglo-Saxons. You are armed and prepared, and you will do your duty. Be ready at a moment’s notice. Go to the polls tomorrow, and if you find the negro out voting, tell him to leave the polls, and if he refuses, kill him. Shoot him down in his tracks. We shall win tomorrow if we have to do it with guns.”

https://neilwillard.com/2018/03/02/my-slave-owning-ancestor-part-x/

Do you know where I can get a copy of Waddell's speech at the dedication of the memorial?

Hello Scott, 

UNC-Chapel Hill digitized a publication with the speech you can see here: https://archive.org/details/addressatunveili00wadd/page/n2 

There were many newspaper articles published about the movement by the James B. Gordon chapter to honor its veterans, mostly in 1905. They appeared in the Union Republican, the Western Sentinel, and the Winston-Salem Journal throughout the year, culminating in articles on the unveiling in October 1905. Also, an interesting essay on "North Carolina's Need to Erect Monuments" appeared in the Western Sentinel 14 June 1894.

who granted permission for the statue to be placed there and when did they do it
and where could we find this information?

Hello Ms. Crews,

According to the cited sources, the approval for the statue was granted in 1903. This approval most likely came from the Winston-Salem City Council. For historical records of the city council I would recommend contacting the Winston-Salem City government at: 336-727-8000 or  citylink@cityofws.org.

I hope this helps. Feel free to respond to this post with any further questions or comments.

Best Wishes,

Christopher Luettger - NC Government and Heritage Library

I would be interested in the answers to Mr. Allen's inquiry.

Hi John,

Thank you for visiting this entry in NCpedia and for sharing your question.

This entry appears in NCpedia courtesy of Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Commemorative Landscapes is a joint project of the History Department and the Libraries at UNC and it has created an historical database of more than 900 monuments (existing and no longer existing) across North Carolina from 1815 to the present day.  The collection also includes historical essays written by historians that help interpret and understand the commemorative history of the state. You may be interested in these: http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/features/essays/.  

One essay specifically discusses the efforts to place monuments to the confederacy, their role in a longstanding effort to restore white supremacy, and in particular efforts by womens groups including the United Daughters of the Confederacy: http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/features/essays/brown/.

I am not sure why the fence was removed around this monument and I have not located anything that would help answer this, although it was not uncommon for fences to be both erected and taken down over time.  You may want to consult the full monument entry at Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina -- http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/15.  

For the Winston-Salem monument you will also see a list of references (many with digitized versions available online) that may have some additional information. There may be newspaper articles that help to elucidate this.  In addition, you can peruse the entire collection of Confederate monuments there. The entries include inscriptions, references, dedication information, controversies and other contextual information.

This monument is approximately 30 feet tall, from the base to the top of the figure. So that provides some context for comparison with building heights. Two helpful sites for looking at historical photos of Winston-Salem are Digital Forsyth http://www.digitalforsyth.org/photos/ as well as the NC Collection Photographic Archives at UNC http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/archivalhome/collection/dig_nccpa.

I hope this information helps. Please let us know if you have additional questions.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library

It says
Dedication date: 10/3/2005
Don't you mean 1905?

Hello!

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and for taking the time to let us know about the error.  I have just made the correction.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia provides the comments feature as a way for viewers to engage with the resources. Comments are not published until reviewed by NCpedia editors at the State Library of NC, and the editors reserve the right to not publish any comment submitted that is considered inappropriate for this resource. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at https://ncpedia.org/about.