Worth Bagley Memorial, Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh
The memorial made of medium dark Quincy granite is dedicated to Ensign Worth Bagley the first U.S. line officer to be killed in action during the Spanish American War. The marker stands on a single rusticated stone base and the sections above the base are polished. The total height is almost 8 feet. The front bears a bronze medallion of Bagley and is inscribed only with his name and birth and death dates. A large bronze plaque outlining his naval career adorns the rear of the monument.
Bronze Plaque: WORTH BAGLEY / ENSIGN UNITED STATES NAVY /THE FIRST AMERICAN OFFICER
/ AND ONLY LINE OFFICER OF THE NAVY / WHO FELL IN / THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR /
KILLED ON BOARD / THE U.S. TORPEDO BOAT WINSLOW / DURING THE BOMBARDMENT / AT
CARDENAS, CUBA, MAY 11, 1889 / SON OF WILLIAM HENRY BAGLEY / AND ADELAIDE WORTH
BAGLEY / BORN IN RALEIGH N.C. APRIL 6, 1874 / APPOINTED CADET U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY /
JULY 1, 1889 / COMMISSIONED ENSIGN U.S. NAVY / JULY 7, 1897 / “AND THUS THIS MAN DIED,
LEAVING HIS DEATH / FOR AN EXAMPLE OF A NOBLE COURAGE / AND A MEMORY OF VIRTUE
NOT ONLY UNTO YOUNG MEN, BUT UNTO ALL HIS NATION.” / SECOND MACCABEES, 6:31
Monument Front: WORTH BAGLEY / 1874 – 1898
July 24, 1903 (monument completed)
35.784890 , -78.626760 View in Geobrowse
"May 11,1898 - The Death of Ensign Worth Bagley," UNC University Libraries: This Month in North Carolina History, (accessed July 5, 2011) Link
Carroll, Grady L. E. "Bagley, Worth, 6 Apr. 1874–11 May 1898," NCPedia.org, (accessed November 6, 2015) Link
Daniels, Josephus. The First Fallen Hero, a Biographical Sketch of Worth Bagley, Ensign, USN, (Norfolk, VA: Sam W. Bowman, 1898) Link
Historic Oakwood Cemetery, http://historicoakwoodcemetery.org (accessed May 19, 2021) Link
“Two Beautiful Monuments,” News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), July 26, 1903, 1
“Worth Bagley Monument, Raleigh, N.C.,” The Monumental News 16, (1904), 107 (accessed November 4, 2015) Link
“Worth Bagley, Ensign United States Navy,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed November 4, 2015) Link
The monument was placed by Worth Bagley’s mother, Adelaide Worth Bagley.
News reports note that Worth Bagley’s mother visited Raleigh while the monument was under construction and left after its completion.
Worth Bagley was born in Raleigh, NC in 1874 to a prominent Raleigh family. He was a naval officer aboard the USS Winslow during the Spanish-American War. As the first soldier to die during this conflict on May 11, 1898, he became the war’s first national hero. His death in Cuba also was perceived to be a testament to the sectional reconciliation after the Civil War; he was a white son of the South who wore the uniform of the reunited nation three decades after the Civil War.
Bronze bust is created by Louis Amaties, Washington, D.C. Casting of bronze bust is done by Paul E. Cabaret Foundry, New York, N.Y. Contractor: J.F. Manning and Co., Washington, D.C.
The bronze monument to Worth Bagley stands on the grounds of the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh on the west side of the building.
Historic Oakwood Cemetery was founded in 1869 in North Carolina's capital, Raleigh, near the North Carolina State Capitol in the city's Historic Oakwood neighborhood. Annual Confederate Memorial Day services are held at the Oakwood Cemetery each May.
The memorial is located in Historic Oakwood Cemetery, at 701 Oakwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27601. It stands at the intersection of Oakwood Avenue and Linden Avenue, in Christ Church Section, Lot 1 of Oakwood Cemetery. Monuments in the Confederate section of the cemetery include Memorial Arch, House of Memory, Confederate Monument, Memorial Wall, Gettysburg Memorial, Colonel McLeod Turner Monument, Col. Burgwyn Monument, General George Anderson Monument, CSS H.L. Hunley Submarine Memorial, Randolph Shotwell Memorial, Arlington Dead Marker and the Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker. The memorial to William Ruffin Cox is also located outside the Confederate section.
The memorial is surrounded by grave markers and monuments.
The Oakwood Cemetery continues to serve for Confederate Memorial Services each Memorial Day.