Fame Confederate Monument, Salisbury
Frederick W. Ruckstuhl, Sculptor
W.A. Eason Co., North Carolina, Builder
A bronze statue of the muse Fame supports a defeated and dying soldier who clutches his gun; Fame, a winged figure dressed in robes and wearing a laurel wreath atop her head, holds a second wreath high into the air as if to place it on the soldier. The statue stands on a pink granite pedestal. From the bottom of the pedestal to the top of the bronze grouping, the monument measures almost 23 feet.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) chapter decided on the statue in 1901. The completed statue arrived in Salisbury in 1905, but the land that the monument sits on wasn’t deeded to the UDC until 1908 by the Salisbury Board of Aldermen and Mayor.
Images (by Natasha Smith): Contemporary view | View from the intersection of West Innes and Church Streets | Rear view | Front inscription | Left inscription | Right inscription | The muse and the soldier | With St. John's Lutheran Church in the background
Southeast (front) base:
IN MEMORY OF /
CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS /
THAT THEIR HEROIC DEEDS /
SUBLIME SELF-SACRIFICE /
AND UNDYING DEVOTION /
TO DUTY AND COUNTRY /
MAY NEVER BE FORGOTTEN /
Northeast (right) base: THEY GAVE THEIR / LIVES AND THEIR FORTUNES FOR / CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY / AND STATE SOVEREIGNTY / IN OBEDIENCE TO THE TEACHINGS OF THE / FATHERS WHO FRAMED / THE CONSTITUTION / AND ESTABLISHED THE / UNION OF THESE STATES
Southwest (left) base: SOLDIERS OF THE / CONFEDERACY / FAME HAS GIVEN YOU / AN IMPERISHABLE CROWN / HISTORY WILL RECORD / YOUR DARING VALOR / NOBLE SUFFERINGS AND / MATCHLESS ACHIEVEMENTS / TO THE HONOR AND / GLORY OF OUR LAND
Northwest (back) base: DEO VINDICE / R.I.P.
Robert F. Hoke Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy
May 10, 1909
35.668410 , -80.471090 View in Geobrowse
"Innes Street, Salisbury, NC" Rowan County, North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 107, 163
North Carolina Historical Commission. Eleventh Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission. December 1, 1924 to November 30, 1926, (Raleigh : Edwards & Broughton, 1927), 39-40, (accessed October 26, 2014) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Fifth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held in Charlotte, N.C., October 9, 10, 11, 1901, (Raleigh, NC: Capital Printing Company, 1902), 101, (accessed May 23, 2012) Link
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], 85, (accessed September 3, 2012) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division, Held at New Bern, N.C., October 13, 14, 15, 1920 (Charlotte, N.C.: Queen City Printing Company, 1920), 158, 160, (accessed September 10, 2012) Link
“List of Removed Baltimore Confederate Monument,” The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), August 18, 2017, (accessed August 28, 2017) Link
“Monument Unveiled,” Salisbury Evening Post (Salisbury, NC), May 10, 1909, 1,4-5
“The Salisbury Monument and the Witness Which It Bore to the Merits of the Lost Cause – Mrs. Tiernan’s Poem and General Young’s Speech,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), May 31, 1909
Bronze statue, pink granite base.
Robert F. Hoke Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy
$11,500 total ($10,000 for the bronze grouping, $1,500 for the granite base)
With 4,000 in attendance, the 160 Confederate veterans were given a place of honor with seats in front of the rostrum. Among the distinguished guest was Mrs. Stonewall Jackson. When recognized, the veterans began to call for her to rise. She was greeted with applause as she rose and bowed; as many of the old veterans were seen to wipe tears from their eyes.
Frances C. Fisher Tiernan, a Salisbury native, writer and novelist, and daughter of Col. Charles Fisher, performed the unveiling and later in the ceremony read a poem, “Gloria Victus,” she had composed for the event. Tiernan who used the male pen name Christian Reid also wrote the inscription that appears on the monument's right side. Mayor A.H. Boyden was orator for the day with speeches also given by Judge John B. Henderson and General Bennet H. Young of Kentucky. Young, invoking divine intervention, said the South was “defeated, not because they were wrong or unfaithful in any aspect whatever, but because an overruling Providence decreed their downfall...” He further stated, “Of one thing my friends, we of the South are absolute sure... that... no misrepresentation of facts, no perversion of truth, no falsely written history tortured to meet partisan bias and prejudice, can deprive us before the bar of public justice... for the superb and magnificent contest they waged for a great principal. The sword does not always decide the right. We failed and yet we know we stood for truth.” Sentiments still heard from those associated with far right nationalist and secessionist groups into the 21st century.
The dying soldier in the bronze grouping was modeled from an 1861 photograph of Confederate Lt. Henry Howe Cook of Franklin, Tennessee.
The Fame monument was one of the most expensive and artistically accomplished Civil War memorials in North Carolina. The statue by Fredrick W. Ruckstahl is nearly identical to his 1905 “Glory” erected in Baltimore, Maryland to that state’s Confederate soldiers and sailors. The only notable difference being the Fame sculpture has a rifle or musket in place of a furled Confederate battle flag as on “Glory.”
The week after violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia resulting in the death of Heather Heyer, the Baltimore City Council voted to have “Glory” and three other Civil War related monuments on public property removed. Without public notice work crews removed all four memorials during the night of August 15. They were taken to a city owned lot for storage.
As of August 30, 2017, the Salisbury Fame Confederate Monument still stands on its original location, but it has been suggested in the past that the monument be moved, as more than one car has run into the granite base. It was restored in 1991 by the Hoke Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The repairs cost $14,000 and were completed by Karkadoulias Bronze Art Co. in Cincinnati.
The Monument is located at the intersection of West Innes and Church Streets, facing southeast. Access is limited due to traffic.
Seasonal flowers and greenery are planted around the monument.
The monument is occasionally used by the Hoke chapter of the UDC to commemorate specific Confederate soldiers by placing wreaths at the monument. The UDC also celebrated the monument’s centennial on May 9, 2009.