Documenting the American South

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

    Henry Lawson Wyatt Memorial Fountain, Tarboro

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Civil War

    Historic Military Figures

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The monument is an octagonal shaped fountain, surrounded by four tall lamps and four smaller, capped poles. The monument itself appears to stand about eight feet tall, if not more, mostly due to the larger exterior lamps. The capped poles are quite ornate, topped with a spherical shape, followed by a pear-shaped body covered by foliage. Water streams from a faucet in the center of the fountain, flowing into a small plate and then into a larger plate approximately one foot down. The water then drains into the surrounding pool. The water is contained in by small stone walls, which connect the lamps and the smaller poles around the fountain. The fountain itself is then surrounded by a circular garden, in which flowers are growing. A wrought iron fence encircles this entire unit, with a gate allowing entry to the monument. An inscription appears on a bronze plaque.

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    Town of Tarboro

  • Dedication Date

    August 3, 1910

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.900290 , -77.536270 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "The Common, Showing Wyatt Fountain and Confederate Monument, Tarboro, N.C.," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed December 10, 2012) Link

      Caldwell, Addie Williams. The Charlotte News, sec. The Confederate Column, October 09, 1910.

      Curtis, Sue J. "North Carolina Confederate Memorials," May 27, 2011, North Carolina United Daughters of the Confederacy, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link

      Edgecombe County Government. "Tourism." (accessed June 3, 2014). Link

      N.C. Historical Commission. Third Biennial Report if the North Carolina Historical Commission December 1, 1908 to November 30, 1910 (Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton Co., 1910), 38, (accessed April 5, 2013) Link

      Smith, Blanche Lucas. North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials, (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1941)

      Turner, J. Kelly, and Jno. L. Bridgers, Jr. Hisory of Edgecombe County, North Carolina. Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Printing Co., 1920.

      Veazey, Daniel Burt. "Wyatt, Henry Lawson." (accessed June 3, 2014). Link

      Watson, Alan D. Edgecombe County: A Brief History. Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979.

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Stone, bronze, iron

  • Sponsors

    Dixie-Lee Children's Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy

  • Monument Cost


  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The monument was, according to Blanche Lucas Smith, the first one to be erected to Henry Lawson Wyatt.

    At the time of the unveiling, the local United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter was led by Mrs. Robert Walker. Colonel John L. Bridges served as master of ceremonies. Miss Pauline Powell, president of the Dixie Lee Chapter, presented the monument to the town. It was accepted on behalf of the Board of Commissioners by Mayor Paul Jones.

  • Subject Notes

    The Wyatt Fountain is a memorial to Tarboro resident Henry Lawson Wyatt, a carpenter who enlisted as a private in the Edgecombe Guards unit of the Confederate Army. He died at age 18 at the Battle of Bethel Church, Virginia in 1861. Wyatt was the first documented North Carolinian to lose his life in battle. There is a plaque in his honor in Virginia as well.

    The First Regiment eventually became known as the Bethel Regiment.

    See Henry Lawson Wyatt Monument "First at Bethel" in front of the State Capitol building.

  • Controversies

    According to the NC United Daughters of the Confederacy, the monument was unveiled on August 2, 1910.

    Further confusion surrounding the date of the unveiling stems from a letter that Fannie Ransom Williams wrote to Addie Williams Caldwell on October 7, 1910. The letter was published in the October 9, 1910 edition of The Charlotte News. In the letter, she states that she will be traveling to Tarboro for the unveiling of the monument on the 18th of the month.

    Blanche Lucas Smith's book, North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials, lists the cost of the monument as $1000.

  • Location

    Located within the Historic Tarboro Town Commons, facing Main Street.

  • Landscape

    Surrounded by a small garden, encircling the fountain with flowers. Located within a larger, semi-wooded park. Tarboro’s Town Common, where the fountain is located, is one of two remaining original town commons in the United States, the other one being in Boston.

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.