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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Worth Bagley Monument, Raleigh

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Spanish American War

    Historic Military Figures

  • Creator

    Francis Herman Packer, Sculptor

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    This bronze figure depicts Worth Bagley, in uniform, looking forward. He steps forward with this right foot and carries a coat in his right arm. The bronze sculpture sits atop a rectangular granite base that has an anchor with a design curling around it in bronze on the front.

    Images: Contemporary front view | Rear view | East view | Spanish naval deck gun | Front inscription | Rear inscription

  • Inscription

    Front: WORTH BAGLEY / ENSIGN U.S.N. / FIRST FALLEN / 1898

    Rear: KILLED IN ACTION / AT CARDENAS CUBA / MAY 11, 1898.

  • Dedication Date

    May 20, 1907

  • Decade

    1900s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.780130 , -78.639530 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "As a Resurrection," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 19, 1907, 1 Link

      "Gay in Colors Raleigh Shines," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 19, 1907, 17. Link

      "May 11,1898 - The Death of Ensign Worth Bagley," UNC University Libraries: This Month in North Carolina History, (accessed July 5, 2011) Link

      "Monument to Ensign Bagley," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 14, 1898 Link

      "Public Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina," (Raleigh, NC: Uzzell and Company, 1909), (accessed December 29, 2011) Link

      "Statue of Worth Bagley Unveiled," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 21, 1907, p. 2. Link

      "The Bagley Monument. Bronze Statue Will Be Placed in Capitol Square," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), August 10, 1898, X Link

      "The Unveiling of the Bagley Statue in Raleigh," The Landmark, (Statesville, NC), May 24, 1907 Link

      "Worth Bagley Monument Fund," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 24, 1898 Link

      "Worth Bagley Statue, Raleigh, N. C.," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed March 30, 2013) Link

      "Worth Bagley and State House, Raleigh, N.C.," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed September 12, 2013) Link

      The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 17, 1905, p. 5.

      The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 29, 1894, p. 1.

      Anderson, Norman D. Raleigh: North Carolina’s Capital City on Postcards, (Dover, NH: Arcadia Publishing, 1996), (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      Berent, Irwin M. The Monuments and Statues on the Capitol Square of North Carolina, (Greenville, NC: East Carolina University Press, 1985)

      Bishir, Catherine W. "Landmarks of Power," in Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity, edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage, (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 150-151

      Bishir, Catherine W. "North Carolina’s Union Square," Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, (accessed May 15, 2012) Link

      Carlisle, Linda A. "North Carolina State Capitol Memorial Study Committee Report," North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, May 2010, (accessed January 31, 2011) Link

      Daniels, Josephus. The First Fallen Hero, a Biographical Sketch of Worth Bagley, Ensign, USN, (Norfolk, VA: Sam W. Bowman, 1898) Link

      Pence, Thomas J. "Roosevelt Says He Cannot Come: Honors the Memory of Ensign Bagley," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 22, 1907

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze statue, granite base

  • Sponsors

    N.W. West proposed to have a monument built in Bagley's honor. Several North Carolina newspapers including the Raleigh News and Observer and the Fayettesville Observer solicited small donations of one dollar or less. Almost every donation was of a dollar or less, including those given by former Governors, wealthy industrialists, and other well-to-do residents. The Bagley Monument Association was comprised of N.W. West, W.S. Primrose, D.E. Everitt, T.S. Kenan, R.M. Furman, and the mayor of Raleigh.

  • Monument Cost

    $11,000.00

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Speakers included Capt. R. B. Hobson and Governor Glenn. The entire city had been decorated. Frederick Own was master of ceremonies.

  • Subject Notes

    Worth Bagley was born in Raleigh, NC in 1874 to a prominent Raleigh family. He was a naval officer aboard the USS Winslow during the Spanish-American War. As the first soldier to die during this conflict on May 11, 1898, he became the war’s first national hero. His death in Cuba also was perceived to be a testament to the sectional reconciliation after the Civil War; he was a white son of the South who wore the uniform of the reunited nation three decades after the Civil War.

  • Location

    The statue stands in the southwestern section of Union Square, south of Hillsborough Street. Bagley's figure faces south.

  • Landscape

    The monument sits on the grounds of the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh on the west side of the building. Although Bagley’s monument commemorates a white southerner who fought under the United States flag, it simultaneously celebrates him as a North Carolinian. A few feet to the northwest of the monument stands the Confederate Monument.

  • Post Dedication Use

    In 1908 a Spanish naval deck gun was added beside Bagley’s statue.

  • Approval Process

    The state House of Representatives and the state senate agreed to grant the Bagley Monument Association permission to erect a monument to honor Worth Bagley at the Capitol Square on January 18, 1899.

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