Documenting the American South

Doc South header logo Home
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    Cleveland County Confederate Monument, Shelby

  • Type

    Common Soldier Statue

  • Subjects

    Civil War

  • Creator

    Charles M. Walsh, Marble and Granite Works, Builder

    American Bronze Company, Foundry

  • City

    Shelby

  • County

    Cleveland

  • Description

    Standing over twenty feet tall, the monument consists of a bronze statue of the Confederate Private Soldier as he faces north, alert and ready with his rifle in his hands. A draped Confederate flag is shown in bas-relief on the tall, taperd column, with the initials of the Confederate States of America -- "C.S.A." -- in raised lettering above the flag. The column is a massive piece of granite, with individual sections weighing reportedly eight to twelve thousand pounds. The column rests atop a large piece of granite, reportedly weighing itself upwards of eighteen thousand pounds, with the entire structure resting on a base of crushed rock and cement.

    Image: Postcard image of Courthouse Square and the Confederate Monument

  • Inscription

    Front, column: C.S.A. / IN HONOR OF THE / CONFEDERATE HEROES / OF CLEVELAND COUNTY / 1861-1865 / LEST WE FORGET

    Front, base: American Bronze Co., Chicago

    Rear: ERECTED BY: THE UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY NOV. 21 1906

    Rear, plaque on base: Restored by / the Cleveland County Guards / Chapter #443 / of the United Daughters / of the Confederacy / September 15, 1991

  • Custodian

    Cleveland County, N.C.

  • Dedication Date

    May 10, 1907

  • Decade

    1900s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.291390 , -81.540220 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "The Confederate Monument," The Cleveland Star (Shelby, NC), November 16, 1906, 1 Link

      "[Cleveland County] Confederate Monument, (sculpture)," Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalogue #IAS NC000416, (accessed March 4, 2013) Link

      National Park Service. "Shelby North Carolina A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary," (accessed March 4, 2013) 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), 105, (accessed September 3, 2012) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Tenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held at Durham, N.C., October 10th, 11th and 12th 1906, (Newton, NC: Enterprise Job Print., 1907), 82, (accessed August 30, 2012) Link

      Waymarking.com. "Cleveland County Confederate Memorial - Shelby, NC," (accessed August 30, 2012) Link

      Whitney, James, Royster, Caleb, and Alec Loeb. "The Civil War Experience in Gaston and Cleveland County," Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, (accessed March 5, 2013) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite, concrete, crushed rock

  • Sponsors

    United Daughters of the Confederacy, Cleveland Guards Chapter 443

  • Monument Cost

    $2,550

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The monument was erected on the site in front of the Cleveland County Courthouse in November 1906. The dedication took place with exercises on May 10, 1907.

  • Subject Notes

    Despite the general reluctance of the citizens of North Carolina to endorse secession and the Confederacy, Cleveland County residents strongly supported the Confederate war effort and sent many men to the war along with neighboring Gaston County. Following the war, there was strong support for the memory of the Confederacy and its meaning for the South, and Cleveland County became the home of an active chapter of the Ku Klux Klan between 1868 and 1872. After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Federal troops occupied the Courthouse Square in Shelby, staying until 1872 in an attempt to suppress the Klan. In 1906, the erection of the monument in front of the courthouse became an official memorialization of the Confederacy and an official reclamation of territory in its name.

    According to a newspaper account of the monument's construction, the base of the monument was so massive that ten mules were needed to pull it on a wagon from the Southern Rail station to the Courthouse. In 1991 the United Daughters of the Confederacy sponsored the restoration of the sculpture by Karkadoulias Bronze Art of Cincinnati, OH.

  • Location

    The monument sits in front of the Old Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, at the intersection of South Lafayette and West Dale Streets. The Old Courthouse is now home to the Cleveland County Historical Museum.

  • Landscape

    The monument sits in the middle of the sidewalk directly in front of the entrance to the Courthouse. The area is surrounded by a lawn, mature shade trees, flowering shrubs, and seasonal plantings.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.