Documenting the American South

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

    Pender County Confederate Soldiers Monument, Burgaw

  • Type

    Common Soldier Statue

  • Subjects

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • Creator

    W.A. Cooper, Raleigh, NC, Builder

  • City

    Burgaw

  • County

    Pender

  • Description

    The monument stands approximately 15 feet in height and consists of a sculpture of a Confederate soldier at rest atop a granite shaft. The monument also includes inscriptions, a depiction of a Confederate flag, and a cameo of General Pender. Three ascending steps form the base of the statue.

  • Inscription

    Southwest face (front): CSA / 1861-1865 / IN HONOR OF THE / CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS / OF PENDER COUNTY / MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM DORSEY PENDER / FEB. 6, 1834 JULY 18, 1863 / OUR HEROES

    Northwest face (left): ERECTED BY / PENDER COUNTY CHAPTER NO. 761 / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY

    Southeast face (right): LET FUTURE GENERATIONS REMEMBER / THAT THESE WERE MEN / WHOM DEATH COULD NOT TERRIFY / WHOM DEFEAT COULD NOT DISHONOR / THAT TRUTH, COURAGE, AND PATRIOTISM / ENDURE FOREVER.

    Northeast face (reverse): PENDER COUNTY WAS FORMED FROM / NEW HANOVER COUNTY BY THE / LEGISLATURE OF 1874-75 / AND WAS NAMED IN HONOR OF GEN. WILLIAM DORSEY PENDER / OF EDGECOMBE CO.

  • Dedication Date

    May 27, 1914

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.550570 , -77.926340 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Our Heroes — 1861 – 1865," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed August 15, 2015) Link

      Barrett, John G. 1994. "Pender, William Dorsey," NCpedia.org Link

      Bloodworth, Mattie. History of Pender County North Carolina. Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Printing Company, 1947.

      Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013), 123, 125-126, 224

      Centennial Booklet Committee. Pender County Centennial 1875-1975. 1975.

      Fennel, Bettie. "General's Statue Blocked Traffic," The Morning Star (Wilmington, N.C.), October 29, 1984

      Frederiksen, David. Pender County: A History in the Voices of Its People. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2006.

      North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. "Pender County," North Carolina Civil War Monuments, (accessed June 10, 2014) Link

      Reaves, Bill. History of Burgaw, N.C., Centennial Edition, Wilmington, N.C., 1979.

      “Burgaw Daughters Win,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), November 25, 1913

      “Burgaw Monument Defaced by Vandals,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), February 26, 1914

      “Chief Justice Clarks’s Address at Unveiling of Burgaw Monument,” The Farmer and Mechanic (Raleigh, NC), June 2, 1914

      “Epochal Event in Pender’s History,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), May 28, 1914

      “Monumental Trouble,” The Wilmington Dispatch (Wilmington, NC), December 6, 1913

      “Pender Unveils Confederate Shaft,” i>The Wilmington Dispatch (Wilmington, NC), May 27, 1914

      “Pender’s Confederate Dead,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), March 2, 1913

      “The Pender Monument,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), November 30, 1913

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Shaft: North Carolina granite. Statue and General Pender cameo: Italian marble

  • Sponsors

    United Daughters of the Confederacy Pender County Chapter No. 761 and Dr. Elisha Porter. Dr. Elisha Porter of Rocky Point, who served under General Pender in the Civil War, paid half of the monument's costs.

  • Monument Cost

    $1,500-$2,000

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    “Under smiling skies and a gentle breeze” the dedication speech was delivered by Chief Justice Walter Clark of Raleigh who had months before presided over the lawsuit about Burgaw’s monument (see controversies). Clark spoke for over an hour and claimed the reason the Confederacy lost was that southern statesmanship was not equal to the military skill of the south. Mrs. Marshall Williams of Faison, president of NC Division, UDC also gave an oration. The crowd was estimated at 1,000 persons. The Hanover Concert Band of Wilmington provided music.

  • Subject Notes

    Walter Clark at age 14 became the youngest Major in the Confederate Army. During the era of monument building in the early decades of the 20th century Clark became one of the most sought out monument dedication orators. He delivered at least six such speeches, three of which have survived. He was considered the states preeminent Civil War historian. He edited the five-volume Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 published in 1901 chaired the 1904 North Carolina Literary and Historical Association Committee that produced Five Points in the Record of North Carolina in the Great War of 1861-5.

  • Controversies

    Objections were raised to the statue being placed in the intersection of Fremont and Wright Streets due to the possibility of impeding traffic. Burgaw business men filed suit against the location which led to a temporary injunction that stopped construction. At a hearing on November 24, 1913 Judge Roundtree ruled against the business men and in favor of the UDC. After rumors circulated that the business men were attempting to obtain another restraining order a group of 50 to 75 supporters of the chosen site gathered and worked during the early hours of November 27. The next morning the town awoke to a fully erected monument (minus the statue).

    The monument’s location bitterly divided the town. After a second ruling against the business interest in early 1914 the monument was twice vandalized with a “heavy coating” of black paint. Those opposed to the placement of the monument appealed court decisions until the case was heard by the State Supreme Court who also ruled on the side of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The monument remained in the middle of the intersection until 1951 when it was relocated to its current and less obstructive position in front of the Pender County Courthouse which was the site favored by the business interest in 1914.

  • Location

    The monument currently stands in front of the Pender County courthouse, facing South Wright Street. The Monument to Company K, Third NC Regiment is located on the back lawn of the courthouse, near the intersection of E. Wilmington Street with S. Walker Street.

  • Landscape

    The monument stands in a paved walkway and is encircled by simple benches and low shrubbery. The monument and seating area are located in a grass area with trees and a nearby gazebo.

  • Former Locations

    The monument was initially located at the intersection of Fremont Street and Wright Street. When relocated to the courthouse in 1951, it was placed to the side of the building. In the 1980's it was moved in front of the court house to make it more visible.

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.