Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Four Unknown Confederate Soldiers, Salisbury

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • Creator

    John Buis, Salisbury, Unspecified

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This memorial is in the form of a flat arch marble tombstone embedded in a low bevel concrete base. The top half of the marker has been broken off at some point and crudely repaired.

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    Old English Cemetery

  • Dedication Date

    March 1881

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.669590 , -80.469400 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "The Old English Cemetery." “Historic Attractions,”, (accessed September 16, 2015) Link

      Carolina Watchman (Salisbury, NC), March 10, 1881, 3

      Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 165

      “Old English Cemetery,”, (accessed September 16, 2015) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

    C.R. Barker led efforts of local subscription

  • Subject Notes

    John Buis, the creator, was a local stone carver and Confederate veteran. The four men were killed in a skirmish near Salisbury that drove off their comrades and leaving the bodies unidentified. Newspaper reports from the 1930’s indicate the marker is not at the actual burial location.

    The Old English cemetery is one of the oldest in Salisbury with burials beginning in 1775. It is home to the graves of soldiers who died in 1780 at the Battle of Camden and to British soldiers who died in Salisbury during their occupation. A monument to John W. Ellis, the North Carolina Governor at the time of Secession, is erected on his grave.

    In 1842, a wooden fence was erected around the Old English Cemetery separating the burial sites of African Americans and whites for the first time. In 1855, citizens of Salisbury raised money to replace the fence with a granite wall. In 1975, the City of Salisbury assumed ownership of the cemetery and closed it to future burials.

    The section of the cemetery recognized as the Oak Grove-Freedman’s Cemetery contains a memorial dedicated in 2006 to over 150 African Americans both enslaved and free who were buried there.

  • Location

    The Old English Cemetery is located at the intersection of N. Church Street and Liberty Street in Salisbury, NC. A low wall built of rusticated stone blocks surrounds the cemetery which faces the rear of government buildings and the front of an old church. To the rear and sides are tree lined residential streets.

  • Landscape

    The memorial sits on the grass surrounded by other graveyards.

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