Confederate Monument, Henderson
Suffolk Marble Works, VA, Builder
A Confederate soldier is at the ready, holding a rifle pointing at an angle toward the sky. The statue stands on top of a tall, multi-sectioned column divided by two platforms. A raised image of the Confederate flag is on the column, which is on top of a multi-stepped base. The entire structure is approximately thirty-five feet high.
Images: On July 3, 2020 the work on disassembling Vance County's Confederate monument started
Front: OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD / PEACE TO THEIR ASHES: / HONOR TO THEIR MEMORY: / GLORY TO THEIR CAUSE / 1861-1865
Side: VANCE COUNTY CHAPTER / U.D.C./ NOV. 10 1910
On all four faces at top: C.S.A.
November 10, 1910
36.328630 , -78.402500 View in Geobrowse
Confederate Veteran, 19 (1911), p. 170 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], 88, (accessed September 3, 2012) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Tenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division, Held at Durham, N.C., October 10th, 11th and 12th 1906, (Newton, NC: Enterprise Job Print., 1907), 67, (accessed May 23, 2012) Link
Williams, Chris. 'Time Capsule Found Underneath Removed Confederate Statue," spectrumlocalnews.com, July 21, 2020, (accessed August 8, 2020) Link
York, Maury. 1994. "Smith, Orren Randolph," NCpedia.org, (accessed November 12, 2013) Link
Bronze, Warren County granite
The Vance County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Vance County, and the City of Henderson each contributed approximately $1,000.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by a large crowd which included school children (reportedly six hundred), approximately one hundred and fifty Confederate veterans, bands, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The mayor of Henderson, Henry T. Howell, was the master of ceremonies, and the monument was unveiled by five year old Miss Elizabeth Renfroe Cooper. Speakers included the Honorable William Walton Kitchin, Governor of North Carolina, and Julian S. Carr. The Confederate Veteran reported that "Carolina" was sung, a "song dear to the heart of every 'Tar Heel'." Attendees enjoyed a banquet following the ceremony.
The inscription on the monument, "Peace to Their Ashes", was written by Orren Randolph Smith (Butler, p. 161). Smith, a resident of Louisburg at the outbreak of the war and originally from Warren County, served in Company B of the Second Battalion, and apparently claimed to have created the winning design for the Confederate flag, the "Stars and Bars," although his claim has no substantive proof.
A time capsule with artifacts dated back to 1910 was found when the monument was removed on July 3, 2020. Books, pictures, a rare coin, national newspapers, detailing the death of King Edward VII in Great Britain, were among this rare find.
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.
In January 2011, Vietnam veteran James Mason expressed his feelings to the Henderson City Council that the monument was inappropriate. There has been some discussion of the appropriateness of the monument near the city center.
On June 30, 2020 Vance County Commissioners voted 4-3 to remove the Confederate Monument that stood outside the old county courthouse. On Friday morning July 3 work crews removed the statue and three sections of the column that the statue had stood on. Four tiers of the base remain.
On July 3, 2020 the monument was removed and placed in storage at an undisclosed location until its disposition could be decided.
Until being removed on July 3, 2020 the monument was located in front of the old Vance County Courthouse, to the left of the entrance. The monument stood in the lawn area, surrounded by evergreen shrubs and next to the Old Courthouse bell.
The North Carolina General Assembly of 1909 authorized Vance County and the city of Henderson to each appropriate $1,000 for the construction of the monument.