CLICK HERE TO SEE A PICTURE.
When the Civil War ended, there was a lot of animosity between Northerners and Southerners, and although both Northerners and Southerners were buried at Arlington National Cemetery, it was still considered a "Union" cemetery. Families of Confederate dead were not permitted to decorate or to visit Confederate graves. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the divisive feelings began to fade as ex-confederate soldiers volunteered to join their northern counterparts in the fight against Spain.
In June, 1900, an Act of Congress provided a section at Arlington National Cemetery for Confederate dead, and in 1901, 482 soldiers were reinterred at the cemetery. They lay in concentric circles in what is known as Jackson Circle. The headstones in Jackson Circle have pointed tops in order, as legend says, to keep Yankees from sitting on them. On March 4, 1906, Secretary of War William Howard Taft granted a request by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to erect a monument in honor of those Confederate Soldiers who died.
The monument was designed by sculptor Moses Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran who is now buried in the base of the monument. With peace as its theme, the monument honors the Confederate dead and symbolizes a reunited North and South. The cornerstone was laid in the center of Jackson Circle on November 12, 1912. The monument was dedicated on June 4, 1914, the 106th anniversary of the birthday of the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.
The Confederate Monument, was dedicated of June 4, 1914, the 106th anniversary of the birthday of the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. It stands thirty-two and one half feet tall. Designed by the sculptor Moses Ezekiel, the monument is made of bronze and polished granite and cost $75,000.00.
Atop the monument is a woman who represents the South and faces the former Confederate States. Olive leaves crown her head as a symbol of peace. Her extending left hand holds a laurel wreath to acknowledge the sacrifice of her sons while her right hand holds a pruning tool. The inscription at her feet is from the book of Isaiah: "And they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks."
Below the woman is the plinth which is made of four urns. The urns represent the four years of the Civil War.
The first frieze below the plinth is made up of 14 inclined shields. There is one shield for each Confederate State, and an additional one for Maryland because, although Maryland never joined the Confederacy, she supported the cause.
The second frieze is composed of figures of Mythical Gods and southern soldiers. Minerva, the Goddess of War and Wisdom, stands holding up the fallen South. The woman is hopeless, yet she still holds her shield that bears the words "The Constitution." Behind the fallen woman are the trumpeting Spirits of War, calling the sons and daughters of the South to aid their mother. In response to the call, the sons and daughters came from every direction representing the branches of the Confederate service: soldier, sailor, sapper - a specialist who lays, detects, and disarms mines, and miner.
Counterclockwise, there are six vignettes that reveal the effects of the war: a loyal black slave following his master, an officer alone, an officer with his child in the arms of her "Mammy," a blacksmith leaving his workshop with the intention of joining the war, a Clergyman bidding farewell to his family, a young woman binding a sword and sash to her beau.
Inscriptions on baseFront:
Press to return to the home page.