Confederate Dead Monument, Kinston
John Maunder: Wilmington Marble Yard, Wilmington, NC, Builder
This monument is a marble obelisk marking the mass grave of 44 unknown Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Kinston. The base of the obelisk is engraved on the front and right sides, with the front engraving in bas-relief. The engraving on the front face is original to the monument, with the text on the right side added at the time the monument site was restored in 1998. The monument rests on a two-tier granite base. A small metal sign sits in the ground in front of the monument to acknowledge the maintenance of the site by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, CSS Ram Neuse Camp No. 1427. A low chain fence surrounds the memorial site, and a flag pole flying the American Flag sits just outside the fenced area behind the monument.
Front: CONFEDERATE DEAD
Right: THIS MONUMENT / ERECTED 1892 / BY / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF / THE CONFEDERACY / FOR / 44 UNKNOWN SOLDIERS / KILLED IN BATTLE OF KINSTON / SITE RESTORED 1998 / BY / SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS / FUNDED BY / KINSTON-LENOIR COUNTY / TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Sons of Confederate Veterans, CSS Ram Neuse Camp No. 1427
March 1882. The North Carolina Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy lists the date of dedication as 1880 (Curtis, 2011).
35.255590 , -77.577350 View in Geobrowse
Anderson, David. "150th Anniversary of First Battle of Kinston to Be Observed This Week," Kinston Free Press (Kinston, NC), December 8, 2012, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
Blair, Dan. 2006. "Kinston, Battle of," Civil War Battles, NCpedia.org, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
Blizzard, Lonnie H. "First Battle of Kinston," Reprint from Kinston Free Press (Kinston, NC), December 10, 2004, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 31-32
Curtis, Sue J. "North Carolina Confederate Memorials," May 27, 2011, North Carolina United Daughters of the Confederacy, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. "Lenoir County," North Carolina Civil War Monuments, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
“The Confederate Dead,” Kinston Journal (Kinston, NC), December 1, 1881
“The Confederate Monument,” Kinston Journal (Kinston, NC), March 23, 1882
“Town Improvements,” Kinston Journal (Kinston, NC), May 12, 1881
Italian marble shaft, granite base. An original brick foundation has been replaced
Lenoir County Commissioners (see Subject Notes)
The Battle of Kinston was fought December 13 and 14, 1862. Confederate forces under General Nathan G. "Shank" Evans attempted to block the advance to Goldsboro of Union forces under General John G. Foster. The Confederate soldiers were squarely outnumbered by the Union army, with some 2,000 Confederates to more than 10,000 Union soldiers. Despite strong defenses by Evans's Confederate forces and their defense of the Neuse by burning the bridge at Kinston, the Union troops managed to advance and loot Kinston. The Confederates suffered 125 casualties and some 400 soldiers were taken prisoner.
Kinston has two additional monuments commemorating Confederate soldiers and the Battle of Kinston: the Lenoir County Confederate Soldiers Monument of 1924 and the Robert F. Hoke Monument of 1920.
According to the inscription added in 1998, the United Daughters of the Confederacy were the monument's original sponsor. An article from the March 23, 1882 Kinston Journal states the monument was paid for in full by the Lenoir County Commissioners after a public appeal for funds failed to raise a single dollar. The same article called for the formation of a Ladies Memorial Association to care for the memorial site. Ladies Memorial Association were predecessors to the United Daughters of the Confederacy which was not founded until 1894 with the NC Division not formed until 1897. The site was restored in 1998 by the Sons of Confederate Veterans with assistance from the Kinston-Lenoir Tourism Development Authority.
The monument faces north in its location in Maplewood Cemetery. The cemetery is located between East Shine Street to the north and Lincoln Street to the south.
The monument sits in the grass, surrounded by grave markers. The monument area is surrounded by a low chain fence with a flagpole flying the American Flag just outside the fence. Woods are visible behind the cemetery to the south.
The Confederate Monument at Maplewood Cemetery has been used as a place of prayer and remembrance since its dedication. The monument was also involved in the dedication of the Robert F. Hoke Monument when it was decorated as part of the unveiling ritual to remember the Confederate Dead.