Confederate Soldiers Monument, Monroe
Jacob Efird, Sculptor
This 40-foot granite monument was the culmination of efforts by the Monroe Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy to memorialize Confederate soldiers from Union County. Atop the three-tier granite foundation rests the base of the obelisk. The tall shaft is topped with a polished sphere. All four sides of the base are inscribed. The east face of the base features a Confederate flag, while the east and west faces depict crossed rifles and crossed cavalry sabers, respectively.
West Face, Base: 1861 / OUR / CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS
West Face, Shaft: UDC
North Face, Base: ERECTED BY THE MONROE CHAPTER / OF THE U.D.C. JULY 4, 1910. / DEDICATED TO / THE MEMORY OF / THE BOYS IN GRAY FROM / UNION COUNTY / WHO GAVE THEIR ALL TO THE / PROTECTION OF HOME / 1861-1865
South Face, Base: UNION COUNTY’S VOLUNTEERS. / COMPANY B 15 N.C. REG’T MAY 1861. / ” B 26 N.C. ” JUNE 1861. / ” F 35 N.C. ” OCT. 1861. / ” D 37 N.C. ” SEPT. 1861. ” B 43 N.C. ” FEB. 1862. / ” A 48 N.C. ” MAR. 1862. / ” E 48 N.C. ” MAR. 1862. / ” F 48 N.C. ” MAR. 1862. / I 48 N.C. ” MAR. 1862. / ” I 53 N.C. ” MAR. 1862. / ARTILLERY / COMPANY C 10TH BATTALION MAR. 1862. / ” F 2ND N.C.REG’T JR. RESERVES.
East Face, Base: 1865
East Face, Shaft: UDC
Old County Courthouse, Union County
July 4, 1910
34.983060 , -80.550000 View in Geobrowse
"Union County Court House, Monroe, N.C." in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Link
Bell, Adam. "Marker Rejected for Slaves in South's Army - Union County Says Plan Poses an Inconsistency," Charlotte Observer, (Charlotte, NC), February 16, 2011, 1A
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013).
Gomlak, Norman. “Confederate Monument Special To Women,” Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), September 18, 1998.
Stowe, Gene. “Square Around Old Courthouse To Be Landscaped,” Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), June 12, 1986.
“Monument Is Unveiled - Interesting Exercises Were Held at Monroe Yesterday,” The Evening Chronicle (Charlotte, NC), July 5, 1910.
“Old Courthouse,” Union County Public Library, http://history.union.lib.nc.us, Photo # 00026, (accessed August 15, 2016) Link
“Union County – Monroe (Courthouse),” Ride Around America, http://www.roadsandriders.com, (accessed August 10, 2016) Link
“Union Wants Monument - Plan for Confederate Memorial Well Under Way,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), December 24, 1909.
Monroe Chapter No. 766 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy
Over 3,000 people attended the dedication ceremony for the monument. The Monroe Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy organized the events, incorporating the unveiling into the Fourth of July celebration. A group of children handled the actual unveiling of the monument. Walter Bickett, the Attorney General in 1910 who later became governor, spoke at the event.
The Confederate Soldiers Monument was part of a controversy sparked by a proposed monument celebrating black pensioners in the Confederate army. That monument was initially not approved because it names individuals who served while the Confederate monument lists only the names of units. Opponents of the new monument believed that the installation of a marker with names would elevate those individuals above the other soldiers memorialized in the existing monument.
Protest from local citizens concerning its use by the UDC during Memorial Day celebrations has led to the discontinuation of this practice in recent years.
The monument is located directly in front of the Old County Courthouse, at 400 North Main Street Monroe, NC 28112. Other memorials in front of the historic courthouse include a marker for Confederate Pensioners of Color, Courthouse Cross and War Dead Plaques, Korean War and World War One memorials. A Revolutionary War memorial is on the west side lawn, a Fire Fighters memorial on the south side and Vietnam Memorial on the east side lawn.
The monument sits in the center of a brick walkway leading up to the entrance of the courthouse. There are flowers around the base, with a short black fence surrounding it.
The monument and other changes to the courthouse lawn that stemmed from it, like the incorporation of sidewalks and benches, established the area as the ceremonial center for community activities, such as parades. After the dedication of the monument, the United Daughters of the Confederacy continued to hold Memorial Day celebrations at the site until some residents protested the ceremonies.