Monument to 60th Regt. NC Volunteers, Asheville
The monument stood on a three tier base. The lower base constructed of unfinished granite blocks is eight feet square and topped with finished slabs of white marble. The second and third tiers are of white marble finished on top but with rough sides incised with a thatch pattern except for the inscription areas. The main body of the shaft which contains most of the inscriptions is obelisk shaped. Atop the shaft but below the Minie ball and pine log described below are two elements shaped like castle pediments with the smaller one stacked on top of the larger one.
According to Douglas Butler in North Carolina Civil War Monuments, this monument contains 680 words, dates, and initials carved into its four panels. “North Carolina” in massive ornate letters dominates the lower front panel while a stylized “NC” is carved in relief on each lateral side. Two flags with crossed staves adorn the front face; one with the “cross-barred” Confederate battle flag and the other with a modified state flag. The latter has inscribed, May 20, 1775, the date of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Atop the 25 feet tall structure is a carved Minié ball above a sculpted pine log. The Minié ball represents the infantry and the log the regiment’s native state.
Images: Front inscription | Vintage postcard with the monument in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse |
The base remains after the removal of the monument on July 14, 2020 | Close-up view of the remaining base | What remains of the memorial
Front, north face: BY THE / ASHEVILLE CHAPTER / OF THE / DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY
/ AND FRIENDS / THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED / COMMEMORATING THE HEROIC / PART TAKEN BY THE / 60TH REGT. N.C. VOLUNTEERS / IN THE GREAT BATTLE OF / CHICKMAUGA / SEPT. 20, 1863. / WHERE IT WAS GIVEN POST / OF HONOR BY / “STATE COMMISSION” APPOINTED / IN 1893. / TO LOCATE THE POSITION OF / EACH N.C. REGT IN THAT / BATTLE AND A MARKER / PLACED ON EAST MARGIN OF / LAFAYETTE PIKE / IN KELLY’S FIELD. / BEARING THIS INSCRIPTION. / THIS MARKS THE SPOT REACHED BY / THE 60TH REGT N.C. VOLUNTEERS ABOUT / ABOUT NOON ON SEPT. 20, 1863. THE FARTHEST / POINT ATTAINED BY CONFEDERATE TROOPS / IN THAT FAMOUS CHARGE
Side, west face: FIELD AND STAFF / OFFICERS PARTICIPATING IN / CHICKMAUGA BATTLE / [List of names] / COMPANY OFFICERS IN BATTLE / [List of names]
Side, east face: CAMPAIGNS AND BATTLES / OF THE 60TH N.C. REG. / 1861-1865 / [List of campaigns and battles with dates]
Rear, south face: BUNCOMBE’S WAR RECORD 1861-1865. / IT FURNISHED A GOVERNOR. Z. B. VANCE. / A CONFEDERATE CONGRESSMAN. A.T. DAVISON. / 2 GENERALS. R.B. VANCE & T.L. CLINGMAN. / 18 COLONELS: [List of Colonels] / 21 ½ COMPANIES AS FOLLOWS. / [List of companies and company officers]
Front, base: NORTH CAROLINA
November 8, 1905
35.596260 , -82.548770 View in Geobrowse
"Buncombe County Court House, Asheville, N.C." in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill. Link
Bush, Matt. “Vance Monument Fully Shrouded, Lee Marker Removed,” WFAE.org, (Charlotte, NC), July 10, 2020, (accessed July 15, 2020) Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013) 66-71
Folder 0095: Asheville: Courthouse: Scan 3, in the North Carolina County Photographic Collection #P0001, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Link
Hardy, Michael C. “Three of Asheville’s Confederate Monuments,” Looking for North Carolina’s Civil War, (accessed June 4, 2015) Link
Hunt, Max. "Debate over Asheville’s Confederate Memorials Continues," MountainExpress (Asheville, NC), mountainx.com, July 6, 2017, (accessed August 30, 2017) Link
Walter, Rebecca. “Monumental Decision: Buncombe County Approves Removal of Confederate Statues,” Asheville Citizen Times (Asheville, NC), June 17, 2020, (accessed July 17, 2020) Link
Wicker, Mackenzie. “Confederate Monument Removed from Buncombe Courthouse Property,” Asheville Citizen Times (Asheville, NC), July 14, 2020
“Monuments to Mountain Heroes,” Daily Industrial News (Greensboro, NC), November 9, 1905
“Three Shafts Are Unveiled,” The Morning Post (Raleigh, NC), November 9, 1905
White marble, granite
Veterans of the 60th NC Volunteer Regiment and their descendants paid for the monument. The granite base was donated by P.S. Henry
November 8, 1905 saw the unveiling of three monuments, all located on the grounds of the Buncombe County Courthouse. Last unveiled, the monument to the 60th NC Volunteers was draped in white and with eight ribbons hanging from the corners and held by eight little girls; grandchildren of regiment veterans. As the crowd sang, “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” the covering was removed. The monument to Colonel William B. Creasman had been unveiled first by either his descendants or grandchildren of soldiers from his unit the 29th NC Regiment. Next unveiled by members of the Robert E. Lee Chapter, Children of the Confederacy was the obelisk to General Thomas L. Clingman.
Due to poor weather the crowd was then moved inside the courthouse. The keynote address by Governor Robert B. Glenn was to “honor the memory of the brave men who carried the cross barred flag furthest in battle line.” (See subject notes).County Commissioner (later governor) Locke Craig accepted the monuments on behalf of the county with an “eloquent tribute to the soldiers.” Other notables present included Captain J.P. Harvey of Asheville and Colonel James M. Ray, acting commander of the 60th Regiment at Chickamauga. The event concluded with a benediction by Bishop A. Coke Smith. During the ceremony a collection was taken up to help complete payment of the Clingman and Creasman memorials. About 1,500 people were in attendance.
This was the first and only time in state history that multiple Civil War monuments were dedicated in a single event. The Thomas L. Clingman Monument and the Colonel C.B. Creasman Monument were relocated to cemeteries where General Clingman and Colonel Creasman were burried.
The phrase “First at Bethel; farthest to the front at Gettysburg and Chickamauga; last at Appomattox,” is known as North Carolina’s “Rebel Boast.” In a famous Confederate charge at the battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863 it was the 60th NC regiment that reached the furthest point which brought fame to the unit and inclusion in the boast.
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.
Buncombe County and the city of Asheville approved a joint resolution to remove Confederate monuments located at the Buncombe County Courthouse and Pack Square Park. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved the resolution by a 4-3 vote on June 16, 2020. The Asheville City Council had approved the resolution by a 7-0 vote on June 9, 2020. The monument to the 60th NC Volunteer Regiment and a Robert E Lee Dixie Highway/Colonel John Connally marker were deemed to be the property of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The UDC was given 30 days to respond and then 90 days to remove the memorials. Al Whitesides, the only African American on the County Board of Commissioners spoke for several minutes. “I’m voting for all my ancestors that died to make this country the great country it is today,” he said. After receiving no response from the UDC the city and county acted to remove the monuments. The 60th NC Volunteer Regiment monument was removed from Buncombe County Courthouse grounds on July 14, 2020. The Lee/Connally marker had been removed from Pack Square Park on July 10, 2020. A 12 person task force was to be formed to determine how to repurpose or legally remove the Zebulon Vance Monument also located at Pack Square Park as its ownership was unclear. The resolution to remove the monuments also called for the Vance monument to be completely shrouded until its fate was determined. That task was completed on July 10 with the cost of shrouding alone estimated at $18,500.
The monument was removed from the Buncombe County Courthouse grounds on July 14, 2020 by Buncombe County staff and placed in storage at an undisclosed location.
In the immediate area of the old Buncombe County Courthouse there are other notable plaques, monuments and memorials: Western North Carolina Veterans Memorial, Revolutionary War, Spanish American and other wars,
Police and Firemen who died in the line of duty, Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Colonel Robert Morgan and former Governor Samuel Ashe for whom Asheville was named. Several hundred yards to the west stands the monument to Zebulon Vance and several other small markers.
On the Buncombe County Courthouse grounds the memorial was surrounded by seasonal plantings and shrubbery.
The monument stood in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse at College St. and Court Plaza, Asheville until it was removed on July 14, 2020.