Worth Bagley Monument, Raleigh
Francis Herman Packer, Sculptor
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.
Front: WORTH BAGLEY / ENSIGN U.S.N. / FIRST FALLEN / 1898
Rear: Killed in action at Cardenas CVB, May 11, 1898.
May 20, 1907
35.780130 , -78.639530
"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 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 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
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
Bronze statue, granite base
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.
Speakers included Capt. R. B. Hobson and Governor Glenn. The entire city had been decorated. Frederick Own was master of ceremonies.
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.
The statue stands in the southwestern section of Union Square, south of Hillsborough Street. Bagley's figure faces south.
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.
In 1908 a Spanish naval deck gun was added beside Bagley’s statue.
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.