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

    Confederate Monument, Goldsboro

  • Type

    Common Soldier Statue

  • Subjects

    Civil War

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    A cloaked confederate soldier holds his gun vertically by the top of the barrel while the butt rests at his feet. The statue is constructed of light granite. The base on which it rests, much darker in color, is of “native rock” from the Goldsboro area. At the top of the base (under the soldier’s feet) is a protruding section with a relief of two crossed rifles. The statue sits on a mound under which rest the bodies of 800 Union and Confederate soldiers in a mass grave. Stanzas from the poem “The Bivouac of the Dead" by Theodore O’Hara appear on the front.

  • Inscription


    On another side (in appreciation for the contributions of Northerners): A GENEROUS GOE CONTRIBUTED TO THE ERECTION OF THIS MEMORIAL.

  • Custodian

    Willowdale Cemetery

  • Dedication Date

    May 14, 1883

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.375290 , -77.995360 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Confederate Veteran 3 (1895), 231 Link

      United Daughters Of The Confederacy, (Paducah: Turner Publishing Company, 1999), (accessed February 2, 2012) Link

      Johnson, Clint. Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites, (Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 1996)

      “Theodore O’Hara’s ‘Bivouac Of The Dead,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration,, (accessed July 31, 2016) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Quincy granite, native rock quarried from penitentiary quarries

  • Sponsors

    Ladies Memorial Association of the Young Ladies of Wayne Female College

  • Monument Cost


  • Subject Notes

    After the War ended, the Young Ladies of Wayne Female College felt a need to give a decent burial to fallen soldiers in the area who lay in shallow graves or still on battlefields. They formed the Ladies Memorial Association to erect a monument to bring “closure to the war.” They searched the surrounding area and found over 800 bodies that were buried in a mass grave in Willowdale Cemetery. They included both Union and Confederate dead. In April 1883, they held a festival to mark the burial site and raise money for its monument.

    “The Bivouac of the Dead" by Theodore O’Hara is an elegiac poem that expresses feelings of melancholy, sorrow or lamentation—especially for a person or persons who are dead. Although O’Hara wrote “Bivouac” as a remembrance of the many casualties suffered in the Mexican War by the Second Kentucky Regiment of Foot Volunteers it seemed to capture the attention of a patriotic nation after the Civil War. It began to appear in various forms at Civil War battlefields and cemeteries across the county, including the first monument placed in North Carolina at Cross Creek Cemetery in Fayetteville, in Lenoir, and Lumberton.

  • Location

    The statue faces east. It stands in the center of Willowdale Cemetery.

  • Landscape

    Located in south-central Goldsboro, the monument stands in the center of Willowdale Cemetery, surrounded by the mass grave of the 800 Union and Confederate soldiers it honors.

  • Death Space


  • Post Dedication Use

    Each year, the statue serves as the center of a wreath laying ceremony at the cemetery conducted by the Thomas Ruffin Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Goldsboro Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

  • Approval Process

    The monument was funded and approved by the Ladies Memorial Association in Wayne County.

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