Confederate Monument, Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern
The monument rises to approximately eighteen feet on a four-foot square base and depicts a Confederate common soldier standing at parade rest with his rifle. He is represented in a ready and watchful pose, with a single cannon ball resting by his right foot. He wears a classic soldier's uniform with his canteen and sword slung at his side and a cloak over his shoulders. The life-size white marble sculpture rests atop a tall, tapered blue marble column. The monument sits above a vault where approximately 67 mostly unknown Confederate soldiers were interred at some point prior to 1872.
The Latin inscription on the front face, "Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori," is translated as "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country" and originates from the Odes of the Roman lyrical poet Horace.
Images: Vintage Postcard Image | Vintage Postcard Image
Front: C.S.A. / 1861-1865 / DULCE ET DECORUM EST / PRO PATRIA MORI. / OUR DEAD.
Rear: ERECTED BY THE / LADIES MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION / OF NEWBERN / MAY 10, 1885.
Side: “Tread lightly – for these men bequeathed, / Ere laid beneath this sod, / Their ashes to their native land, / Their souls unto their God.”
May 11, 1885
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"Cedar Grove Cemetery," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed October 3, 2017) Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 14, 21-24, 222
Ladies Memorial Association. "Confederate Memorial Addresses. Monday, May 11, 1885," (Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson, Cor., 1886), (accessed May 18, 2012) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Sixth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held in Charlotte, N.C., October 15-17, 1902, (Raleigh, NC: Capital Printing Company, 1903), 7-8, (accessed May 23, 2012) Link
“Memorial Celebration,” The New Bern Times (New Bern, NC), May 9, 1872
“The Confederate Statue Free,” The Daily Journal (New Bern, NC), April 30, 1885
“The Memorial Services,” The Daily Journal (New Bern, NC), May 12, 1885
Base and shaft: Rutland blue marble. Statue: Italian Carrara white marble
The Ladies' Memorial Society of New Bern
According to the account of the event by the Ladies' Memorial Society, a throng assembled coming by steamer and railroad from surrounding towns. A speakers' stand was decorated at the site, and old veterans were present along with the old, worn flag of the Forty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. Music was provided by a choir, and a prayer was given by the Rev. V. W. Shields. Captain Hamilton C. Graham of Dallas County, Alabama, a former captain of the Seventh North Carolina Regiment, delivered the memorial address on the subject of the service of General James Johnston Pettigrew.
The Battle of New Bern was fought on March 14, 1862, with Brigadier General Ambrose E. Burnside leading the Union attack on the Confederates under General Lawrence O'B. Branch. The Union forces took command of the city which remained under Union control for the rest of the war.
The monument was first proposed in 1872. Over the years the Ladies Memorial Association raised enough money to build the foundation and base but not complete the monument. It had remained in “an unfinished state” for several years before enough funds were raised finish the project.
The monument is located in Cedar Grove Cemetery off George Street in New Bern, NC.
The monument sits in a grass circle near the center of the cemetery. It is surrounded by a gravel walkway and other grave markers. Low shrubs and mature trees are found throughout the cemetery.
The New Bern Board of City Councilmen, voting four to two, passed an ordinance on November 17, 1866 setting aside a plat of ground in Cedar Grove Cemetery for the purpose of erection of a monument to Confederate soldiers by the Ladies' Memorial Association.