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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Henry Lawson Wyatt Monument, Raleigh

  • Type

    War Memorial

  • Subjects

    Civil War

    Historic Military Figures

  • Creator

    Gutzon Borglum, Sculptor

    Gorham Manufacturing Company, Foundry

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    A bronze statue atop a granite base depicts Henry Lawson Wyatt, the first Confederate soldier to die in battle. The statue shows Wyatt walking into battle seemingly with purpose. The monument is intended as a memorial to all Confederate soldiers. The Gorham Manufacturing Company, one of the leading art foundries in the country, cast the monument.

    Images: Contemporary front view | Front inscription | Rare view | Rear inscription | Base inscription

  • Inscription

    Front: HENRY LAWSON WYATT / PRIVATE CO. A / BETHEL REGIMENT / NORTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS / KILLED AT BETHEL CHURCH / JUNE 10, 1861 / FIRST CONFEDERATE SOLDER | TO FALL IN BATTLE IN THE | WAR BETWEEN THE STATES.

    Rear: WYATT'S COMRADES / IN DASH TO BURN THE HOUSE / GEORGE T. WILLIAMS / JOHN H. THORPE / ROBERT H. RICKS / ROBERT H. BRADLEY / THOMAS FALLON / ERECTED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA | DIVISION, UNITED DAUGHTERS | OF THE CONFEDERACY. / JUNE 10, 1912

    Base, east face: GORHAM. Co. FOUNDERS.

  • Custodian

    North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

  • Dedication Date

    June 10, 1912

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.780730 , -78.639620 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Battle at Bethel Church! Full and Authentic Details.," Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, NC: June 17, 1861), (accessed January 20 2013)

      "Death of Private Henry L. Wyatt, of the Edgecombe Guards," The Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC), June 19, 1861, (accessed January 20, 2013) Link

      "First at Bethel, Capitol Square, Raleigh, N.C.," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed December 29, 2011) Link

      "Monument to Henry Wyatt, the First Confederate Soldier Killed in Battle," Documenting the American South, (accessed December 29, 2011) Link

      "NC Statues By Mt. Rushmore Sculptor To Be Restored," The Raleigh Telegram (Raleigh, NC), November 23, 2008, (accessed February 2, 2012) Link

      "North Carolina Review," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), July 7, 1912

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

      "The Glorified Private as He Appears in Bronze on N.C. Capitol Square," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 12, 1912, 1 Link

      "The Late Henry L. Wyatt - Noble Conduct of His Comrades. Camp 1st Reg't N.C. Volunteers, Yorktown, Va, June 18, 1861.," The Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC), June 26, 1861, (accessed January 20, 2013) Link

      "Wyatt Monument is Presented to Great Gathering," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 12, 1912

      Confederate Veteran 18 (1910), 109 Link

      Confederate Veteran 20 (1912), 506 Link

      Bishir, Catherine W. Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice, (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006), (accessed February 2, 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

      Folder 5 in the Walter Clark Papers, #2751, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 20 Link

      Folder 83b in Joseph M. Morehead Papers, #523, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scan 11 Link

      Hale, Edward J. "Unveiling of the Wyatt Statue," (Fayetteville, NC: Judge Printing Company, 1912), (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      Smith, Samantha Thompson. "Capitol Statues Renewed to Honor Sculptor," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), November 9, 2008, (accessed December 29, 2011) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Fifteenth Annual Minutes United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Winston-Salem, N.C., October 25-27 [1911], [United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, 1910], 72, (accessed September 5, 2012) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held at Greensboro, N.C., October 9th, 10th, and 11th, 1907, (Newton, NC: Enterprise Job Print., 1907), 51, (accessed September 3, 2012) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held at Rocky Mount N.C., October 12th, 13th, 14th 1910, [Raleigh, NC: Capital Printing Co., 1910], 24, 72, (accessed September 3, 2012) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division, Held at Salisbury, North Carolina, October 9, 10, and 11, 1912 (Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Bros. Printers and Binders, 1913), 47, (accessed September 5, 2012) Link

      Williams, Charlotte Bryan Grimes. History of the Wake County Ladies Memorial Association: Confederate Memorials in Capitol Square, Memorial Pavilion, the House of Memory and Confederate Cemetery, (Raleigh, NC: United Daughters of the Confederacy, Johnston Pettigrew Chapter No. 95, 1938), (accessed May 16, 2012) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Granite, bronze

  • Sponsors

    United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division

  • Monument Cost

    $4,500.00, R. H. Hicks gave $1000, State Legislature gave $2500.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    On June 10, 1912, the monument was unveiled with help from Wyatt's nephew. During the ceremony, "Dixie" was played, and rebel yells shouted by those who gathered. An address was given by E. J. Hale, J. Bryan Grimes was master of ceremonies, and Fannie Ransom Williams presented the statue. John A Mitchener (who started the project and served as secretary for the Wyatt Memorial Committee) attended, and Senator L. V. Bassett and Gov. W. W. Kitchen also gave remarks.

  • Nickname

    First at Bethel

  • Subject Notes

    Henry Lawson Wyatt was the first Confederate soldier to die in battle during the Civil War on June 10, 1861. North Carolina Confederates took great pride in the fact that a citizen of the state was the first to surrender his life in the defense of the Confederate nation. After the Civil War, North Carolina Confederates boasted that their state (or rather, its soldiers) had been "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox."

  • Controversies

    Virginia had asserted that they in fact had gone farther at Gettysburg. This monument played a role in an ongoing debate over which state was most loyal, had sacrificed most, and fought harder than any other.

  • Location

    The monument is located in front of the State Capitol building and faces South Salisbury Street.

  • Landscape

    The monument is located on the Capitol Grounds and is surrounded by a walkway for visitors to walk around the entirety of the monument. There are a number of trees nearby as well as a grassy plain behind the monument.

  • Post Dedication Use

    In the fall of 2008 the monument was repaired and cleaned by the conservators from the Borglum Historical Center in South Dakota.

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