Confederate Monument, Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh
The marble monument has a triple base 10 feet tall resting on a large square foundation. The
upper base has rounded shoulders above which stands an obelisk making a total height of 21
feet. Inscriptions appear on the south and west face of the upper base. At the base of the
obelisk just above the west face inscription is a bas-relief carving. This carving has a shield with
a single star surrounded by symbols of defeat: fallen flags, broken cannon, an abandoned drum,
a partial stack of cannonballs and sheathed swords.
The north face inscription states the monument was erected in 1870 which is the year the cornerstone was laid. News articles about the cornerstone ceremony describe the monument as still “contemplated” due to a lack of funding. It was not erected until March, 1872 with fundraising activities continuing throughout that year.
North Face: IN MEMORY OF / OUR / CONFEDERATE DEAD / ERECTED AD 1870
West Face: SLEEP WARRIOR, SLEEP THE STRUGGLE, / THE BATTLE-CRY IS HUSHED, / OUR STANDARDS HAVE BEEN LOWERED, / OUR BLOOMING HOPES BEEN CRUSHED. / SLEEP! FOR THY NAME IS CHERISHED / BY THE BRAVES AND THE BEST, / AND SOLDIER’S HEARTS AND WOMAN’S LOVE / ARE WITH THEE IN THY REST.
GEO. M. WHITING
Corner stone dedication: May 10, 1870. Monument erected: March 1872
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"Special Format Image 0128: Monument to Confederate Dead (Oakwood Cemetery), circa 1872-1873: Cards 1-2 in the Rufus Morgan Photographic Collection," #P0057, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (accessed July 15, 2013) Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 17-18
Folder 2a in Alfred M. Waddell Papers, #743, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, see scans 57-59 Link
Historic Oakwood Cemetery, http://historicoakwoodcemetery.org (accessed May 19, 2021) Link
Moore, John W. Address Delivered at Oakwood Cemetery, May 10th, 1881, by Request of the Ladies' Memorial Association of North Carolina, (Raleigh, NC: Edwards, Broughton & Co, Printers and Binders, 1881), (accessed May 15, 2012) Link
Williams, Charlotte Bryan Grimes. History of the Wake County Ladies Memorial Association: Confederate Memorials in Capitol Square, Memorial Pavilion, the House of Memory and Confederate Cemetery, (Raleigh, NC: United Daughters of the Confederacy, Johnston Pettigrew Chapter No. 95, 1938), (accessed May 16, 2012) Link
“Memorial Day,” The Daily Standard (Raleigh, NC), May 12, 1872, 3
“Oakwood Cemetery Confederate Memorial – Raleigh, NC,” Waymarking.com, (accessed November 1, 2015) Link
“Our Confederate Dead,” The Raleigh Sentinel (Raleigh, NC) April 5, 1873, 1
“Tenth Of May,” The Daily Standard (Raleigh, NC), May 10, 1872, 3
“The Confederate Monument,” The Raleigh News (Raleigh, NC), March 16, 1872, 1
Ladies Memorial Association
The dedication ceremony for placement of the corner-stone took place on May 10, 1870. This ceremony opened with prayer by the Reverend J.V. McNamara of the Catholic Church followed by choir music. Masons were then led to the site by the Raleigh Brass Band and the cornerstone was placed as appropriate by Masonic rituals. The annual Memorial Day oration was then given by General Matthew W. Ransom of Northampton County. After an anthem and benediction the crowd dispersed throughout the cemetery to place flowers on Confederate graves. No evidence of a separate dedication was found for 1872, the year the monument was actually placed on site.
Historic Oakwood Cemetery was founded in 1869 in North Carolina's capital, Raleigh, near the North Carolina State Capitol in the city's Historic Oakwood neighborhood. Annual Confederate Memorial Day services are held at the Oakwood Cemetery each May.
The memorial is located in Historic Oakwood Cemetery, at 701 Oakwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27601, in the middle of the Confederate section. The Memorial Arch, House of Memory, Memorial Wall, Gettysburg Memorial, Colonel McLeod Turner Monument, Col. Burgwyn Monument, General George Anderson Monument, CSS H.L. Hunley Submarine Memorial, Randolph Shotwell Memorial, Arlington Dead Marker and the Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker stand in the same section of the Oakwood Cemetery. Outside the Confederate section are memorials to Worth Bagley and William Ruffin Cox.
The memorial is surrounded by grave markers and monuments.
The site continues to serve for Confederate Memorial Services each Memorial Day.