Source: Wilmington Confederate Monument
Confederate Monument, Wilmington
Francis Herman Packer, Sculptor
Henry Bacon, Designer
Roman Bronze Works, Foundry
Erected to honor the courage and self-sacrifice of New Hanover County's Confederate soldiers, this monument presents two bronze sculptural figures framed by a tall granite stele. The figures represent two Confederate soldiers as the figures of courage and sacrifice. The figure of courage stands tall and determined, as he protects the body of his fallen comrade, the figure of sacrifice. The standing soldier is dressed in military attire and wearing a caped coat that floats in the air behind him as he holds his rifle in his right hand with the bayonet pointing upward. Unlike many Confederate soldier statues where the figure stands silently and obediently at parade rest, the standing soldier in this rendering wears no hat and is portrayed as if in motion, elegant and gallant. One soldier’s face is modeled after that of granite salesman John Ernest Ramsay of Salisbury, who provided the stone for the stele. The monument was apparently vandalized around 1950 with John Ramsay replacing the stone at that time.
The pedestal is inscribed with a commemoration in verse. It includes the Latin phrase Pro Aris et Focis. This phrase, literally translated as "for our altars and hearths", is also translated into the patriotic motto, "for God and country."
Images: Contemporary view | View from the intersection of South 3rd Street with Dock Street | Front inscription on pedestal | Rear inscription
Front, stele: 1861 - 1865 / TO THE SOLDIERS OF / THE CONFEDERACY
Front, pedestal: CONFEDERATES BLEND YOUR RECOLLECTIONS / LET MEMORY WEAVE ITS BRIGHT REFLECTIONS / LET LOVE REVIVE LIFE'S ASHEN EMBERS / FOR LOVE IS LIFE SINCE LOVE REMEMBERS / PRO ARIS ET FOCIS / THIS MONUMENT IS A LEGACY OF GABRIEL JAMES BONEY / BORN WALLACE, N.C., 1845 - DIED WILMINGTON, N.C., 1915 / A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER
Rear, stele: ERECTED BY A COMMITTEE UNDER THE / TESTATOR'S WILL REPRESENTING THE / DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY, THE / CONFEDERATE VETERANS' ASSOCIATION / AND HIS EXECUTOR / MCMXXIV
City of Wilmington
November 6, 1924
34.234350 , -77.945910 View in Geobrowse
"Bacon, Henry (1866-1924)," North Carolina Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, (accessed November 4, 2011) Link
"Confederate Memorial Monument - Unveiling Ceremony," New Hanover Public Library Digital Archives, (accessed June 20, 2011) Link
"Confederate Soldiers Monument," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed October 4, 2017) Link
"To the Soldiers of the Confederacy, (sculpture)," Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog, # IASNC000008, (accessed June 28, 2013) Link
Bishir, Catherine W. Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice, (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006), (accessed February 2, 2012) Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 190-192
Grimes, J. Bryan. "Why North Carolina Should Erect and Preserve Memorials and Mark Historic Places: Address Before the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Raleigh, N.C., November 4, 1909," ([Raleigh, NC: The News and Observer, 1909]), (accessed May 18, 2012) Link
“Confederate Monument Is Formally Unveiled,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), November 7, 1924
On November 6, 1924, the dedication and unveiling began with a parade formed at the Wilmington Light Infantry armory led by the band of Company A and a Light Infantry detachment. The procession also included Confederate veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Children of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans. The Reverend A.D.P. Gilmore delivered the invocation followed by the featured speaker, General A.H. Boyden. As was typical he spoke of Confederate army’s battlefield glory but also raised the issue of soldier’s pensions which were a contentious state issue at the time. Virginia Boney, grand-daughter of the monuments donor unveiled the sculpture which had been covered by Confederate battle flags. Atypically for Confederate commemorations, “Dixie” was not played. As the monument was revealed; the band struck up the “Star Spangled Banner.”
The monument is also known as the Boney Monument.
Funds for the monument were provided for by the will of Gabriel James Boney, a Wilmington resident and Confederate veteran. He named the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to the committee to erect the monument. The monument was apparently vandalized in the 1950s, with James Ramsay of Salisbury providing a replacement for the stone. He had provided the stone for the original stele. The bayonet was damaged and replaced sometime in the late 1980s.
The monument’s designer, Henry Bacon, who lived in Wilmington as a child, most famous work is the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
The monument sits in the center of South 3rd Street at its intersection with Dock Street. The front of the monument faces North.
The monument is located on the grass in the median dividing South 3rd Street.