Confederate Soldiers Monument, Asheville
The granite monument has an obelisk shaped column setting atop a three tiered base. The face of the smallest base upon which the obelisk rests has been polished on two sides but only one has an inscription. Near the bottom of the obelisk crossed flags are carved in relief. One is the Confederate battle flag and the other a stylized North Carolina state flag. The North Carolina flag has one star and the date May 20 which corresponds to the date of North Carolina’s secession in 1861. May 20 is also the date of the purported signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1775 which may indicate an attempt to associate the Confederate cause with the efforts of the founding fathers.
Images: View of the monument | Close-up view (crossed flags) | Confederate tombstone
Front: ERECTED BY THE / ASHEVILLE CHAPTER / DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY, / TO THE CONFEDERATE DEAD, / BURIED IN THIS / CEMETERY. / UNVEILED 1903.
Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
June 3, 1903
35.575240 , -82.546070 View in Geobrowse
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013) 62-64
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
“At Newton Academy,” The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 5, 1903
“Cast for Southern Cross,” Asheville Citizen (Asheville, NC), August 29, 1902
“Program for the Lee Birthday Exercises,” Asheville Citizen (Asheville, NC), January 18, 1902
“U.CD.C.’s Thanks,” Asheville Citizen (Asheville, NC), September 13th, 1902
Daughters of the Confederacy (see Subject Notes)
On June 3, 1903, the Daughters of the Confederacy and thirteen little girls, grand-daughters of veterans, took part in the unveling exercises. Thirteen little girls represented the thirteen Confederate States. The Reverend James A. Weston, an Episcopal minister from Hickory was the featured speaker and music was furnished by the First Regiment band. The program began at 4pm with Confederate veterans forming a double line at the bottom of Newton cemetery hill and the Daughters of the Confederacy and young girls marching through. As the monument was unveiled the veterans gave a rebel yell and “Dixie” was played by the band. After the ceremony, graves of Confederate and Union soldiers were decorated at this and another unnamed cemetery.
The children taking part were: Gladys Redwood, Martha Woolridge, Katherine Grant, Hamilton McDowell, Dorothy Randolph, Marguerite McDowell, Katherine McDowell, Elizabeth Williamson, Virginia Williamson, Hannah Jones, Emily Campbell and Janie Jones.
There has been uncertainty about the group that sponsored this monument as the inscription reads “Daughters of the Confederacy” and not United Daughters of the Confederacy. If it was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy it would be the oldest U.D.C. monument in the state. Yet this monument is not listed in Blanche Lucas Smith’s North Carolina’s Confederate Monuments and Memorials published in 1941 by the North Carolina U.D.C., a work compiled by reports from local chapters to include the one from Asheville. It is also missing from Ralph Widener’s 1982 nationwide compilation of Confederate monuments created in part from U.D.C and Sons of Confederate Veterans submissions.
Research done for this project leads to believe that the monument was sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy making it the oldest in the state. Several Asheville Citizen Times news articles from the period use both “Daughters of the Confederacy” and U.D.C interchangeably. More specifically the Daughters of the Confederacy staged a locally written and produced play titled “The Southern Cross” to raise funds for the monument. An article after the production was titled “U.D.C.’s Thanks,” for all those who supported the efforts and that $100 was raised towards the Newton Cemetery monument.
News articles from 1902 note that the Confederate graves at Newton Academy Cemetery were unmarked. The initial fundraising efforts were to place a monument or grave stones. It is not known if the gravestones now present were placed at the same time as the monument. This is the oldest dedicated Confederate memorial in Buncombe although the Confederate Monument in Candler, was erected in early 1903 but not dedicated until August 8, 1903.
The monument is located at the Newton Academy Cemetery. The road to the cemetery begins at the intersection of Biltmore Ave. and Undilla Avenue which winds up a hill to the cemetery.
The monument stands beside two rows of Confederate graves in one of the oldest graveyards in Asheville, NC.