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

    Confederate Monument, Louisburg

  • Type

    Common Soldier Statue

  • Subjects

    Removed Monuments

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • Creator

    Suffolk Marble Works, VA, Builder

  • City

    Louisburg

  • County

    Franklin

  • Description

    This monument is an obelisk with a statue of a soldier on top of it. Inscriptions adorn all four faces of the base of the monument. Above these inscriptions, a confederate flag is carved into the stone of the tall column upon which the uniformed soldier stands, firmly gripping his gun in both hands.

    Images: On June 30, 2020 the metal soldier statue atop the monument was removed and placed in storage

  • Inscription

    Front: DEO VINDICE. / WHEN CAN THEIR GLORY FADE? O THE WILD CHARGE THEY MADE ALL THE WORLD WONDERED. / 1861-1865 / TO OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD

    Other inscriptions on the faces of the base: IN MEMORY OF FRANKLIN'S CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS THAT THEIR HEROIC DEEDS, SUBLIME SACRIFICE AND UNDYING DEVOTION TO DUTY AND COUNTRY MAY NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES AND FORTUNES FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY AND STATE SOVEREIGNTY IN OBEDIENCE TO THE TEACHINGS OF THE FATHERS, WHO FRAMED THE CONSTITUTION AND ESTABLISHED THE UNION OF THESE STATES. / AT APPOMATTOX GOD SAID TO THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER "ABOUT FACE". IN OBEDIENCE TO THE CELESTIAL ORDER THERE WAS A CHANGE OF FRONT, AND THE GRAY LINE FACED THE FUTURE UNASHAMED AND UNAFRAID.

  • Custodian

    Town of Louisburg

  • Dedication Date

    May 13, 1914

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.123310 , -78.294760 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Confederate Veteran 19 (1911), 520 Link

      Confederate Veteran, 22 (1914), 537 Link

      Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 153-154, 223

      Quillin, Martha. “Confederate Statue Has Literally Divided NC Town’s Main Street for Years. But No More.,” News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 23, 2020, (accessed July 22, 2020) Link

      Quillin, Martha. “NC Town Takes First Step in Relocating Confederate Monument, Removing Soldier from Top,” News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 30, 2020, (accessed July 22, 2020) Link

      Schaffer, Josh. “Where Were Confederate Monuments Removed in North Carolina,” News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 21, 2021

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Eighteenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division, Held at Raleigh, North Carolina, October 14, 15, 16, 1914 (Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Bros. Printers and Binders, 1914), 88, (accessed September 6, 2012) Link

      Willard, George-Ann. Franklin County Sketchbook, (Louisburg: Franklin County-Louisburg Bicentenary Committee, 1982)

      “Franklin Rears Shaft to Grays,” News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 14, 1914

      “Franklin’s Confederate Soldiers Monument,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed September 11, 2017) Link

      “Monument Unveiled,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), May 16, 1914

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Granite and bronze

  • Sponsors

    Joseph J. Davis Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy

  • Monument Cost

    $3,000-3,500

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    An elaborate parade with floats that “were bearers of tender memories” preceded the unveiling ceremony. One held a priest, veiled bride and soldier in uniform that represented the separation of those called to duty. As the float passed by the viewing stand the band played “Annie Laurie.” The next float held a camp scene with the band playing “Tenting Tonight.” Wounded and home from the front, women at home and “old folks” at home floats with themed songs followed. The final float held the “boys” returning from war as the band played “Home, Sweet Home.” Between each float rode mounted guards from Franklin County townships. The parade also featured the Third Regiment Band.

    Attorney General W.T. Bickett (later governor) was master of ceremonies for the service held before a crowd estimated at 5,000 people. Four grand-daughters of Confederate veterans pulled cords to unveil the monument. Mrs. John P. Winston local UDC president then presented monument to president of the state UDC Mrs. Marshall Williams of Faison. After the unveiling, Judge John M. Cooke presented Governor Locke Craig, the featured speaker of the day.

  • Controversies

    Following the massacre of nine African Americans in a church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015 by white supremacist Dylann Roof, Americans, especially southerners, have reflected on and argued over the historical legacy of slavery, the Civil War, the Confederacy, and white supremacy. Monuments have been a particular focus of these debates and controversies, especially after the death of a counter-protester, Heather Heyer, at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 and after President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to the removal of Confederate memorials. Despite laws in many southern states intended to prevent or impede the removal or relocation of historical monuments, protesters and local community leaders have removed or relocated controversial monuments associated with slavery, the Confederacy, and white supremacy. The pace of the removal of controversial monuments accelerated sharply in 2020, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Against the backdrop of protests against police brutality and white supremacy across the nation, local authorities in many communities in North Carolina removed and/or relocated monuments that were the focus of civil unrest.

    During a virtual emergency meeting on June 22, 2020, the Louisburg Town Board voted four to three to move the Confederate Memorial that has been on North Main Street for more than 106 years to a new site in nearby Oakwood Cemetery. Town Council members said the removal of the statue would prevent it from being vandalized. An irony to the vote was that the motion to remove was made by Louisburg attorney Boyd Sturges who represented the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2019 in their dispute with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over the disposition of the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue.

    On June 30, 2020 the metal soldier statue atop the monument was removed from the campus of Louisburg College. It was initially placed in storage until it could be installed in a new location in the city-owned Oakwood Cemetery, also known as Louisburg Cemetery located just outside of the city limits. It was decided to place the memorial in a section of the cemetery where Confederate veterans are buried. No timeline was given for removing the granite base and erecting the memorial at the cemetery. A last minute legal challenge to prevent removal by a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans failed when no judge could be found to hear the request for an injunction. Louisburg College art instructor Will Hinton said, “It’s an important day for Louisburg,” then adding, “it’s not time for a victory lap. It’s time to slowly, humbly, calmly walk hand in hand.” In its place on North Main Street, town leaders plan to erect a memorial that will list the names of all Franklin County veterans who lost their lives in any war and will display both the American and North Carolina flags.

  • Location

    The Confederate Monument now stands in Oakwood (Louisburg Municipal) Cemetery near the graves of approximately 60 Confederate veterans. The cemetery is located on Hwy. 39/401 about 1 mile north of Louisburg, NC. The statue was re-erected at this location in late 2020--early 2021.

  • Landscape

    The monument is surrounded by graves of Confederate veterans in Oakwood Cemetery, also known as Louisburg Cemetery, located just outside of the city limits.

  • Relocated

    Yes

  • Removed

    Yes

  • Former Locations

    Until its removal on June 30, 2020, the monument stood on North Main Street on the campus of Louisburg College, Louisburg, NC. When the monument was constructed, Louisburg College was much smaller and did not extend all the way to the monument's current location. In the 1960’s the College expanded, and the monument became the center of campus. Although it appears that the monument belongs to the College, it is actually still owned by the town and is not considered a part of the campus. Geo coordinates for the former location: 36.104230 , -78.297260.

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