Lenoir County Confederate Monument, Kinston
This monument depicts the Confederate Common Soldier standing at parade rest. The bronze statue rests atop a tall, tapered granite plinth, with the entire structure approximately ten feet tall. The plinth has a round bronze medallion beneath the statue with the bas-relief image of horse and rider. Two small pillars each topped with a cannon ball are attached to either side of the plinth. A smaller granite plinth sits in front of the structure and has three small cannon balls placed atop. The entire structure sits on a two step granite base. The base beneath the monument reads "THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER," in prominent uppercase letters.
Images: Relocation of the Lenoir County Confederate Monument to the First Battle of Kinston Civil War Battlefield Park
Front, plinth: NOT FOR WAGES, / NOT FOR GLORY, / 'TWAS FOR HOME AND / RIGHT THEY FELL.
Front, pillars: 1861 [left] 1865 [right]
Front, base: THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER
Rear, plinth: TO PERPETUATE THE / VALOR OF THE MEN / FROM LENOIR COUNTY / WHO WORE THE GREY / ERECTED MAY 10TH, 1924 / BY / A.M. WADDELL CHAPTER / U.D.C.
Kinston-Lenoir County Visitor & Information Center
May 10, 1924
35.239990 , -77.581220 View in Geobrowse
"Lenoir County Confederate Memorial: 1861-1865," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed September 1, 2017) Link
"Photos: Confederate Statue Finds Fifth Home in Lenoir County," www.kinston.com, July 2, 2020, (accessed July 18, 2020) Link
"The Confederate Soldier (sculpture)," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS, sirismm.si.edu, #IAS NC000025, (accessed May 9, 2013) Link
"Unveil Monument to Soldiers of Confederacy at Edge City; Governor of State a Speaker," Kinston Free Press (Kinston, NC), May 10, 1924, 1
Anderson, David. "150th Anniversary of First Battle of Kinston to Be Observed This Week," Kinston Free Press (Kinston, NC), December 8, 2012, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
Blair, Dan. 2006. "Kinston, Battle of," Civil War Battles, NCpedia.org, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
Blizzard, Lonnie H. "First Battle of Kinston," Reprint from Kinston Free Press (Kinston, NC), December 10, 2004, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
Danquah, Sharon and Annette Weston. "Kinston Confederate Monument to Be Moved to Civil War Memorial Site," News Channel ABC12, wcti12.com, June 25, 2020, (accessed July 18, 2020) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Held at Greensboro, N.C., October 4-6, 1923 (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1924), 151, (accessed May 9, 2013) 151 Link
“New Confederate Memorial Due Be Unveiled May 10,” Kinston Daily Free Press (Kinston, NC), May 9, 1924, 1
A.M. Waddell Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy
The cost of the monument was not made available to the public, according to the local Kinston newspaper.
The dedication began with a service at the Queen Street Methodist Church with a prayer given by Dr. Abram Cory and then proceeded to the monument site on Queen Street. With a large crowd attending, the monument was unveiled by John A. Albertson and James Williams, both veterans of Company A of the 40th North Carolina Regiment of the Confederate States of America. Albertson was reported by the Kinston Daily Free Press to be 84 years old. The soldiers were assisted at the unveiling by two young girls, Payne Hatcher and Virginia Twyman. Governor Cameron Morrison gave the main address, and an address was given by Miss Junie Whitfield, a daughter of Confederate Colonel Nathan B. Whitfield and the president of the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She remarked on the fitting location of the monument as the place where the women and children of the town fled for safety during General Foster's advance. Mrs. Frank Harrold from Georgia was the guest of honor at the ceremonies as the President of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Following the dedication, the crowd proceeded to Maplewood Cemetery for decoration of graves and the cemetery's Confederate Monument. Dr. John Hartley of St. Mary's Episcopal Church gave a benediction, and "Taps" was played.
The Battle of Kinston was fought December 13 and 14, 1862. Confederate forces under General Nathan G. "Shank" Evans attempted to block the advance to Goldsboro of Union forces under General John G. Foster. The Confederate soldiers were squarely outnumbered by the Union army, with some 2,000 Confederates to more than 10,000 Union soldiers. Despite strong defenses by Evans's forces and their defense of the Neuse by burning the bridge at Kinston, the Union troops managed to advance and proceeded to vandalize and loot Kinston. The Confederates suffered 125 casualties and some 400 soldiers were taken prisoner.
The monument was constructed in Georgia, according to the Kinston Daily Free Press. Kinston has two additional monuments commemorating Confederate soldiers and the Battle of Kinston: Confederate Dead Monument of 1880 in Maplewood Cemetery and Robert F. Hoke Monument of 1920.
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.
On June 25, 2020, the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to relocate the monument from the Kinston-Lenoir County Visitors and Information Center to the First Battle of Kinston Civil War Battlefield Park on Harriette Drive. The board released a statement explaining how they came to the decision to relocate the monument: "We feel as a Board we can remain committed to the respectful remembrance of our shared past, while also acknowledging the tragedy in our history. The Board of Commissioners made this decision so that we can continue to dedicate our time, energy and efforts on building a brighter future for Lenoir County and all residents who call it home." According to board members, the county budget for the statue's relocation is $15,000.
On July 1, 2020, the monument was relocated to the First Battle of Kinston Civil War Battlefield Park on 1400 Harriette Dr, Kinston, NC 28504.
The monument had several prior locations. It was originally installed in the Vernon Heights area of Kinston at North Queen Street and Summit Avenue (then known as State Highway 12). This site was described by the Kinston Daily Free Press as the "highest ground east of Raleigh." It was later moved to the CSS Neuse/Governor Caswell State Historic Site. Until July 1, 2020, the monument was located in front of the Kinston-Lenoir County Visitor & Information Center on East New Bern Road, Kinston, NC (35.244000 , -77.584740). It stood in a circular cement plaza in front of the Visitor Center, with the road and trees in the background.