It’s probably no surprise that “Confederate statues” has shown up as a frequent term in the ECW search engine this week. In particular, people have been searching for “Stonewall Jackson statues.” Back in 2011, I put together a series, “Statues of Stonewall,” that provided some history about various Stonewall Jackson monuments in Lexington, Richmond, Manassas.
Three notable statues not covered in the series were subsequently profiled in The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson, which I co-authored with Kris White.
In Baltimore last night, the city removed its Lee-Jackson statue. You can find a photo of the statue in the first installment of the blog series. Here’s what Last Days has to say about the statue:
Jackson and Lee never made it to Baltimore, but this statue of them together—reportedly the world’s first double-equestrian statue cast as a single piece—sits near the art museum in Wyman Park. Sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser and erected on May 1, 1948, it depicts the “Last Meeting.” Work began in 1938 but was held up by WWII; an inscription on the statue thanks businesses for honoring pre-war contracts and prices. A quote along the base from Jackson says, “So great is my confidence in General Lee that I would follow him anywhere.” Another comes from Lee: “Straight as the needle to the pole Jackson advanced to the execution of my purpose.” Because the quotes wrap around the statue’s base, from the front, visitors see the last word of the second quote followed by the first two words of the first quote: “Purpose so great.”
In Charlottesville, the most recent controversy has swirled around Robert E. Lee’s statue, but the city also has a statue of Stonewall Jackson. From Last Days:
Charlottesville philanthropist Paul Goodloe McIntire commissioned New York sculptor Charles Keck to create the statue for a new city park, which would eventually be named Jackson Park. Keck agreed to complete the sculpture by August 1921, at a total cost of $35,000, and McIntire presented it to the City of Charlottesville on October 19, 1921, during a Confederate reunion. A replica of the statue, purchased by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, went up in the plaza of the Harrison County Courthouse in Clarksburg on May 10, 1953, on the ninetieth anniversary of Jackson’s death.
Finally, in New Orleans, “Stonewall Jackson stands tall over the Crescent City, where he watches over more than 100 Confederates interred in New Orleans’ Metairie Cemetery,” says Last Days:
A statue of Jackson tops the 38-foot granite column that makes up the centerpiece of the Army of Northern Virginia Monument, sculpted by Achille Perelli and dedicated on May 10, 1881. One veteran present at the ceremony said the statue recalled memories of Jackson “through the weary hours of the night [who] stood ‘lone sentinel of that band of sleeping heroes’—so now let that granite figure stand to guard ‘the bivouac of the dead,’ and the dust of heroes who sleep beneath that mound.” Confederate President Jefferson Davis was first laid to rest there when he died in New Orleans in 1889, although he was later moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. The Army of Tennessee has a similar monument, topped by an equestrian statue of that other martyr of the Lost Cause, General Albert Sydney Johnston. Jackson’s bust also appears on the Confederate monument in the city’s Greenwood Cemetery.