Confederate Memorial at Averasboro Battlefield, Chicora Cemetery, Dunn
The 1872 Confederate memorial is a simple stone column located within the fence of the historic Chicora Cemetery at the Averasboro Battlefield and commemorates the Confederate soldiers fallen at the Battle of Averasboro on March 15, 1865. The entire structure is between five and six feet tall and is composed of a short, thin sandstone column mounted on a two-tier base which tapers in toward the column. The column has a shallow cap, and its four faces bear inscriptions. One face is inscribed with the patriotic Latin phrase Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori: It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country.
A marble plaque has been recently placed on the ground in front of the monument. The Confederate flag is engraved in the left corner of the plaque.
Images (courtesy of Russ Long): Contemporary view | Marble plaque | Another monument view | Chicora Cemetery at the Averasboro Battlefield
Side: BATTLE / OF / AVERASBORO / MARCH 16 / 1865
Left side: DULCE ET DECORUM / EST PRO / PATRIA MORI
Rear: THE HEARTS / THAT WERE / TRUE / TO THEIR / COUNTRY / AND / GOD / SHALL REPORT / AT THE / GRAND REVEILLE.
Right side: IN / MEMORY / OF OUR / CONFEDERATE / DEAD / WHO FELL UPON / THAT DAY.
Marble plaque: FLAG OF THOSE / WHO STRIVED TO / KEEP MEN FREE / THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY / CONFEDERATE LEGION
Averasboro Battlefield Commission
May 10, 1872
35.263760 , -78.672880 View in Geobrowse
"Memorial to Confederate Dead, Chicora Cemetery, Averasboro Battlefield, North Carolina." Waymarking.com, (accessed October 3, 2015) Link
Averasboro Battlefield & Museum website. Averasboro Battlefield Commission, Inc., http://www.averasboro.com/Home.aspx, (accessed September 21, 2015) Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013).
Faulkner, Ronnie W. 2006. "Battle of Averasboro," NCPedia.org, (accessed September 21, 2015) Link
Image 134: Monuments and plaque to Confederate dead, Chicora Cemetery.: Scan 1 in the Frank Arthur Daniels Papers #4481, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (accessed November 3, 2020) Link
Smith, Blanche Lucas. North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials, (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1941)
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], 118, (accessed September 5, 2012) Link
Smithville Memorial Association
In her 1941 book compiling the histories of North Carolina's Confederate memorials, Blanche Smith quoted an unnamed newspaper article for the details of the monument's dedication. As one of the earliest commemorations in the state seven years following the war, the article alluded to the effort by local citizens to erect a monument at a time just following the war when funds were scarce: "Nowhere in the South has there been more attention paid to the Confederate dead than in this neighborhood" (Smith, p. 23). More than 500 were in attendance at the cemetery where the Reverend D. D. McBryde gave the benediction and where the monument's foundation was laid by local masons while women decorated the graves and sang. Following the dedication, a procession moved to a grove of trees nearby where the Hon. Thomas C. Fuller, a Confederate congressman and later federal judge, gave an address from a stand decorated with flowers and evergreen.
The Battle of Averasboro monument was built to commemorate the more than 400 soldiers who died in the Battle of Averasboro, fought in both Harnett and Cumberland Counties. Blanche Smith suggested in her 1941 book that the iron fence around the cemetery was itself a memorial, placed there in 1868 by the Smithville Memorial Association, a ladies group that would in 1904 become the Chicora chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She noted from a newspaper account that the Association had purchased the fence at A. W. Steel's Store and that the owners of the shipping companies had shipped the fence for free. She also noted that most of the men buried at the site were South Carolinians, making the use of the Indian word "Chicora" (meaning Carolina) by the Association a fitting name for the cemetery. It is likely that Smith incorrectly used "Smithville" for "Smithfield" in her text, as Smithville is located in Brunswick County and Smithfield is just northeast of Dunn in Cumberland County.
The memorial stands in the center of Chicora Civil War Cemetery at the Averasboro Battlefield site (NC Highway 82, also known as Burnett Road). The monument is close to the Confederate Dead Marker, South Carolina Memorial, McLaws Division Marker, and North Carolina Memorial. The Union Soldiers Memorial is also in the walking distance. The entire area, along with nearby plantation houses, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Averasboro Battlefield & Museum site is located nearby, on the other side of NC Highway 82.
The landscape is primarily agricultural, with sloping hills, streams and wide vistas. The monument sits on the grass surrounded by small grave markers. The cemetery is enclosed by a low gridiron fence.
The site has been used for Confederate Memorial Day services and Battle of Averasboro re-enactments have been held on the battlefield.