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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Spirit of the American Doughboy, Nashville

  • Type

    Common Soldier Statue

  • Subjects

    World War I

  • Creator

    E. M. Viquesney, Sculptor

  • City

    Nashville

  • County

    Nash

  • Description

    Rendered in pressed copper, this statue depicts the slightly larger than life image of the American Doughboy soldier in World War I in honor of the service and sacrifice of soldiers from Nash County. He stands atop a square tapered granite pedestal which itself rests on a square stone base. The soldier stands upright, in the process of taking a step, with his bayonet in his left hand and his right arm raised holding a grenade. He is dressed in the combat attire of the common soldier of the period, wearing the classic, flat and wide-rimmed helmet. A bronze plaque anchored on the rough cut stone pedestal bears the inscription in raised lettering and a bas-relief image of the American eagle, with its wings outstretched and perched in the center of four crossed flag poles with draped American flags.

  • Inscription

    Statue, base (sculptor's mark): COPYRIGHTED: / E.M. VIQUESNEY, SCULPTOR / AMERICUS, GA

    Pedestal, on plaque: 1917 1918 / ERECTED / IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE / OF / NASH COUNTY BOYS / AS A LOVING TRIBUTE TO THE / SELF-SACRIFICING SPIRIT / THEY DISPLAYED IN / THEIR COUNTRY’S / SERVICE IN THE / WORLD WAR / FOR / LIBERTY JUSTICE PEACE / NOVEMBER 11, 1921

    Base: THE AMERICAN SOLDIER SPIRIT

  • Custodian

    Nash County

  • Dedication Date

    November 11, 1921

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.975480 , -77.968320 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Court House, Nash County," in Eastern North Carolina, Where Prosperity is Perennial, Invites You! Kinston, NC: Eastern Carolina Chamber of Commerce, [1924], in Documenting the American South, Carolina Digital Library and Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (accessed November 18, 2013) Link

      "Nashville Ready To Greet Attendants Upon Unveiling," The Graphic (Nashville, NC), November 10, 1921, 1

      Jensen, Les. "WWI: Life on the Western Front," NCPEDIA, reprinted from Tar Heel Junior Historian (Spring 1993), (accessed September 16, 2013) Link

      Waymarking.com. "Spirit of the American Doughboy - Nashville, North Carolina," Viquesney's Spirit of the Doughboy Statues, (accessed September 16, 2013) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Stamped copper statue, bronze plaque, granite base

  • Sponsors

    Citizens of Nash County

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The unveiling and dedication were planned for November 11, 1921, Armistice Day. The day prior to the event, The Graphic, Nashville's local paper, ran a story listing the planned events. The ceremonies were to begin at 10:30 in the morning with a parade. The services would be lead by M.W. Lincke, with the invocation by the Rev. Eugene C. Few and presentations and addresses by Lieutenant Archie Odom, the Hon. F. S. Spruill, the Hon. S. F. Austin, Sergeant I. T. Valentine, former Governor Thomas W. Bickett, and a benediction by the Rev. Edgar White. The event continued throughout the afternoon and evening with music, more addresses, and an evening pageant staged in front of the courthouse by Mrs. Annie B. Dozier. The list of participants in the parade included Nash County school children, members of the American Legion, ex-service men, members of the Nash Camp of Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Junior Order of the United American Mechanics, and numerous decorated automobiles and parade floats. The event also included an aerial exhibition by a plane from Fort Bragg.

  • Nickname

    Nash County Boys

  • Subject Notes

    This statue is one of some 140 World War I Dougboys made by Viquesney that are still standing, most made from pressed copper. On the November 11, 1921, the date of unveiling of the Nash statue, another copy was dedicated in Americus, Georgia where Viquesney created the Doughboy. Viquesney mass-produced the statues and corresponding collectible miniatures from the 1920s to the 1940s, with the World War I Doughboy becoming perhaps his most well-known creation and securing his renown as a sculptor of World War I and World War II soldier figures.

    "Doughboy" was a familiar term for a common soldier from the Army or Marines, used particularly in reference to World War I servicemen. The name of the sculpture, "Spirit of the American Doughboy," evidences the spirit of youth, confidence, and endurance brought by the young American men to the front in Europe. They endured long and depressing voyages across the Atlantic only to face the physical and emotional extremity of war and life in the trenches.

  • Location

    The monument sits on the left side of the entrance to the Nash County Courthouse on North Washington Street and faces south.

  • Landscape

    The monument is located in the lawn area just to the left of the pillars of the entrance to the courthouse. A brick walkway leads to the monument from both North Washington and North Drake Streets and frames a circular garden area next to the statue. The Nash County Korean War memorial plaque is located nearby on the brick face of the courthouse.

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