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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway Marker, Fletcher

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    Historic Military Figures

    Geography

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • Creator

    Mrs. James Madison Gudger, Jr., Asheville, NC, Designer

  • City

    Fletcher

  • County

    Henderson

  • Description

    The memorial is comprised of a rectangular bronze plaque attached to a large granite bolder. In relief inside an oval that encompasses one third of the plaque is a representation of General Robert E. Lee astride his horse Traveler. The inscription, also in relief, appears below the oval. This marker was placed at Calvary Episcopal Church which had served as a Confederate Hospital during the war.

    Images: Far-off view

  • Inscription

    ERECTED AND DEDICATED BY THE / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / AND FRIENDS / IN LOVING MEMORY OF / ROBERT E. LEE / AND TO MARK THE ROUTE OF / THE DIXIE HIGHWAY / “THE SHAFT MEMORIAL AND HIGHWAY STRAIGHT / ATTEST HIS WORTH - HE COMETH TO HIS OWN” / - LITTLEFIELD - / ERECTED 1926

  • Custodian

    Calvary Episcopal Church

  • Dedication Date

    May 2, 1926

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.443040 , -82.505790 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Confederate Veteran, 34, (1926), p.161 Link

      Butler, Douglas J. Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 193

      “Calvary Church, Fletcher, N.C. Between Asheville and Hendersonville,” in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (PO77), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      “Daughters Will Donate Markers For State Roads,” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), October 26, 1925

      “Dixie Highway Plaque-Fletcher, NC,” Waymarking.com, (accessed June 6, 2016) Link

      “Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed June 6, 2016) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Sponsors

    United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Funding: Committee comprising members of Calvary Episcopal Church

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The Fletcher and Asheville markers were both dedicated on Sunday, May 2. The Asheville dedication was first after which Mrs. James Madison Gudger, Jr., chair of the Dixie Highway Committee for the U.D.C. in North Carolina and others travelled to Fletcher for the second dedication. The Fletcher activities began with the Sunday sermon by the Reverend Clarence McClellan on Robert E. Lee. The unveiling was performed by Mrs. Gudger (who also unveiled the Asheville marker). For this ceremony the governors of both Virginia and North Carolina were present. An address on Robert E. Lee was given by Lucian Lamar Knight, state historian of Georgia at both dedications.

  • Subject Notes

    The Dixie Highway was first planned in 1914 and became part of the National Auto Trail system and initially was intended to connect the Midwest with the South. Rather than a single highway the result was more a small network of interconnected paved roads. It was constructed and expanded from 1915 to 1927. The eastern route of the Dixie Highway mostly became U.S. Highway 25. Starting in the late 1920s, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed bronze plaques on granite pillars to mark the route of the Dixie Highway and honor General Robert E. Lee. Surviving examples in North Carolina can be found in Marshall and Hot Springs in Madison County, in Asheville in Buncombe County and in Fletcher, Hendersonville and near Tuxedo all in Henderson County.

    The efforts to mark the Dixie Highway in North Carolina were led by Mrs. James Madison Gudger, Jr. of Asheville who also designed the plaque. The North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised $800 to have the die cast for the plaque and then loan it to other states for marking their highways. Other states do not appear to have taken advantage of the die aside from an example in Greenville, South Carolina. It is thought that 10 total were made from this die leaving several unaccounted for.

    This marker was placed at Calvary Episcopal Church because it had served as a Confederate hospital during the war. The churches rector at the time was Clarence Stuart McClellan, a descendant of Union General George B. McClellan. He was an admirer of Robert E. Lee and started the movement for placing the marker at his church. It is associated with the “Open-Air Westminster Abbey of the South” series of memorials also located at the church.

  • Location

    Calvary Episcopal Church is located at 2840 Hendersonville Road at its intersection with Old Airport Road in Fletcher, NC. The marker is a few feet off Hendersonville Road in front of a hedge to the left of the churches front driveway.

    Eighteen “Open-Air Westminster of the South” markers stand in two rows in a lawn area facing Old Airport Road to the right of the church. A memorial to Bill Nye stands in the middle of the front lawn with a second memorial to Nye in the church cemetery. The Calvary Episcopal Church marker stands near the front entrance to the sanctuary.

  • Landscape

    The memorial stands on the grass, with tall evergreen bushes serving as a backdrop.

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