Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway Marker, Marshall
The memorial is comprised of a rectangular bronze plaque attached to a large granite bolder. A
concrete base has been poured around the bolder. In relief inside an oval that encompasses
one third of the plaque is a representation of General Robert E. Lee astride his horse Traveler.
The inscription, also in relief, appears below the oval.
Images: Plaque | Far-off view
ERECTED AND DEDICATED BY THE / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / AND FRIENDS / IN LOVING MEMORY OF / ROBERT E. LEE / AND TO MARK THE ROUTE OF / THE DIXIE HIGHWAY / “THE SHAFT MEMORIAL AND HIGHWAY STRAIGHT / ATTEST HIS WORTH - HE COMETH TO HIS OWN” / - LITTLEFIELD - / ERECTED 1926
November 11, 1927
35.797480 , -82.684000 View in Geobrowse
"Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed June 22, 2016) Link
Butler, Douglas J. Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 193
Folder 0830: Marshall: Madison County Courthouse: Scan 3, in the North Carolina County Photographic Collection #P0001, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Link
Moon, Paul. "90 Years After Placement, Madison Vets Would Advocate for Lee Marker Today," Citizen Times, https://www.citizen-times.com/, November 17, 2017, (accessed November 8, 2020) Link
“Daughters Will Donate Markers for State Roads,” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), October 26, 1925
“Unveil Marker in Honor of Lee,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), November 12, 1927
“Welcome to Madison County, North Carolina,” Visit Madison County.com (accessed June 15, 2016) Link
According to the front page story in the November 18, 1927 edition of The News-Record, "Marshall was the scene of Patriotic Loyalty on Friday Nov. 11, 1927... In addition to the celebration of the Armistice, the unveiling of the beautiful bronze plaque in memory of Robert E. Lee... took place." “During the splendid address of Hon. Guy V. Roberts, of Marshall, who presented the Lee Marker, to prove that the animosity between the North and South had been superseded by friendliness, he asked the audience to witness the handclasp of these two captains, one of the Blue, the other of the Gray. Much applause was given as they clasped hands before the Robert E. Lee marker,” the article states.
The Dixie Highway was first planned in 1914 and became part of the National Auto Trail system
and initially was intended to connect the Midwest with the South. Rather than a single highway
the result was more a small network of interconnected paved roads. It was constructed and
expanded from 1915 to 1927. The eastern route of the Dixie Highway mostly became U.S.
Highway 25. Starting in the late 1920s, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed bronze
plaques on granite pillars to mark the route of the Dixie Highway and honor General Robert E.
Lee. Surviving examples in North Carolina can be found in Marshall and Hot Springs in Madison
County, in Asheville in Buncombe County and in Fletcher, Hendersonville and near Tuxedo all in
The efforts to mark the Dixie Highway in North Carolina were led by Mrs. James Madison Gudger, Jr. of Asheville who also designed the plaque. The North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised $800 to have the die cast for the plaque and then loan it to other states for marking their highways. Other states do not appear to have taken advantage of the die aside from an example in Greenville, South Carolina. It is thought that 10 total were made from this die leaving several unaccounted for.
On November 5, 2020, the plaque honoring General Robert E. Lee was discovered missing.
The marker is located on the front lawn of the Madison County Courthouse at 2 North Main Street, Marshall, NC. It stands near the sidewalk to the left of the front entrance to courthouse. A few feet away (on the left if facing the historic marker) is a memorial to Colonel Edward F. Rector of World War II “Flying Tiger” fame. Further to the left and closer to the building are two markers mounted on metal poles much like road signs. They commemorate the Buncombe Turnpike and David Vance (father of Zebulon Vance).
The memorial stands on the front lawn, with benches in front of it.