Caldwell County Confederate Monument, Lenoir
The granite monument consists of a base with an obelisk on top standing 35 ft. tall in total. The north and south sides of the base have inscriptions, one being from the poem "Bivouac Of The Dead” and the other listing the regiments from Caldwell County. The east and west sides of the base each have an attached pedestal with a carved cannon ball. On the lower section of the obelisk’s north face is a furled Confederate battle flag in relief. On the obelisk’s south face, a stand of arms is carved in relief. Above these elements is a belt course with CSA, 1861, UDC and 1865 on the four sides. Stanzas from the poem “The Bivouac of the Dead" by Theodore O’Hara appear on the north face.
Images: Front inscription | Rear inscription | Rear base | View of the Square, Lenoir, N.C., showing Confederate Monument and Caldwell County House, ca. 1930-1945
Front, north face: “NOR SHALL YOU / GLORY BE FORGOT / WHERE FAME / HER RECORD KEEPS / OR HONOR POINTS / THE HALLOWED SPOT / WHERE VALOR / PROUDLY SLEEPS.”
Front, base: IN HONOR OF / THE MEN WHO WORE THE GRAY.
Rear, south: FROM CALDWELL COUNTY. / CO. A 22ND. N.C. REGT. - INFTY. / CO. F 20TH. N.C. REGT. – INFTY. / CO. I 26TH. N.C. REGT. – INFTY. / CO. E 58TH. N.C. REGT. – INFTY. / CO. H 53TH. N.C. REGT. – INFTY. / AND MANY OF HER SONS / IN OTHER COMMANDS.
Rear base: ERECTED BY / THE VANCE CHAPTER OF THE / UNITED DAUGHTES OF THE CONFEDERACY, / OF CALDWELL COUNTY N.C. / MAY 1910.
North side belt course: CSA
East side belt course: 1861
West side belt course: 1865
South side belt course: UDC
June 3, 1910
35.914790 , -81.539720 View in Geobrowse
"Automobile Day, Lenoir, N.C." Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link
"Monument Square, Lenoir, N.C." Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link
"View of the Square, Lenoir, N.C., showing Confederate Monument and Caldwell County House" Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013) 120-121, 157, 159-160
Hardy, Michael C. Images of America, Caldwell County, (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2006) 119, (accessed September 5, 2015) Link
Harper, G. W. F. Reminiscences of Caldwell County, N.C. in the Great War of 1861-65, (Lenoir, NC: G. W. F. Harper, 1913), (accessed May 15, 2012) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held at Rocky Mount N.C., October 12th, 13th, 14th 1910, [Raleigh, NC: Capital Printing Co., 1910], 27, 96, 110, (accessed September 3, 2012) Link
“Caldwell Unveils Monument To The Confederate Dead,” The Evening Chronicle (Charlotte, NC), June 3, 1910
“Theodore O’Hara’s 'Bivouac of the Dead,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, www.cem.va.gov, (accessed July 31, 2016) Link
“Unveiling At Lenoir,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), June 4, 1910
White Mt. Airey Granite
Zebulon Baird Vance Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy
On June 3, 1910, the dedication ceremony began at 10am with a short parade that featured “grizzled heroes of the sixties” marching on foot and commanded by their own officers. The procession included carriages which carried the featured speaker of the day North Carolina Chief Justice Walter Clark, Mayor E.F. Wakefield and officers of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Once the procession reached the square, Reverend J.F. England made the invocation. After crosses of honor were presented to the soldiers, Captain Edmund Jones introduced Clark who spoke for one and one half hours. Little Miss Delight Bernhardt attended by six other child maids said as she pulled the strings to unveil the monument, “In honor of the men who wore the gray.” After the ceremony the veterans were fed dinner. The Steel Creek Band provided music interspersed throughout the day for the crowd estimated at 6,000 people.
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 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.
“The Bivouac of the Dead" by Theodore O’Hara is an elegiac poem that expresses feelings of melancholy, sorrow or lamentation—especially for a person or persons who are dead. Although O’Hara wrote “Bivouac” as a remembrance of the many casualties suffered in the Mexican War by the Second Kentucky Regiment of Foot Volunteers it seemed to capture the attention of a patriotic nation after the Civil War. It began to appear in various forms at Civil War battlefields and cemeteries across the county, including the first monument placed in North Carolina at Cross Creek Cemetery in Fayetteville, in Lumberton, and Goldsboro.
The monument is located at the intersection of Main Street NW and West Avenue NW on the Courthouse Plaza. Across West Avenue NW is a Veterans Memorial and an Eternal Flame Memorial to POW/MIA’s.
The monument stands on the brick walkway surrounded by grass and shady trees.
The monument was moved from the traffic circle in the center of town square in 1964.