Confederate Monument at Forsyth County Courthouse
Description: A Confederate soldier stands in uniform holding a rifle with its butt resting on the ground. The sculpture rests on a column that is decorated with two trumpets and a rosette containing the United Daughters of the Confederacy emblem. The sculpture itself is 6' tall by 2'6" wide, on a base 24' high by 6' wide.
Front: ERECTED BY THE JAMES B. GORDON CHAPTER / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / OCTOBER 1905 / WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -and lower in raised letters- OUR CONFEDERATE/ DEAD.
Left: AS SOUTHERN SOLDIERS OF THE WAR OF 1861-1865, THEY SHARE THE FAME THAT MANKIND AWARDS TO THE HEROES WHO SERVED IN THAT GREAT CONFLICT.
Right: IN CAMP ON FAME'S ETERNAL CAMPING GROUND.
Rear: SLEEPING, BUT GLORIOUS / DEAD IN FAME'S PORTAL / DEAD BUT VICTORIOUS / DEAD BUT IMMORTAL / THEY GAVE US GREAT GLORY /WHAT MORE COULD THEY GIVE? / THEY LEFT US A STORY, / A STORY TO LIVE!
Dedication date: 10/3/1905
Creator: James Alfred Blum, Designer
Materials & Techniques: Granite
Sponsor: United Daughters of the Confederacy, James B. Gordon Chapter #211. Mrs. R. J. Reynolds and Mrs. J. K. Norfleet contributed $100 each. Fundraisers for the monument included the first motion picture ever shown in Winston-Salem.
Unveiling & Dedication: Alfred M. Waddell gave the dedication speech, which praised the loyalty of Forsyth County residents to the Confederacy.
Post dedication use: The monument was enclosed by a fence in 1906; the fence was removed in the early 1920s.
Subject notes: In 1903 the James B. Gordon Chapter #211 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy began a movement to place a Confederate monument in Court House Square in Winston-Salem. Dr. James Alfred Blum exhibited to the chapter a sketch of a soldier he proposed for the monument. It was approved and plans were begun to obtain a monument for no more than $3,000. The first motion picture ever shown in Winston-Salem was brought to the town as a fundraiser for the sculpture. Mrs. R. J. Reynolds and Mrs. J. K. Norfleet each donated $100 towards the monument. The sculpture was originally fenced. The fence was removed in the early 1920s.
Controversies: On August 18, 2017, the statue was defaced with black paint on at least two sides. This monument was among several that was vandalized 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. In the aftermath of Charlottesville and prior to the Charleston (SC) Church Massacre in 2015 there were calls across the south for removal of public place Confederate statues and monuments. In response to the Charleston event, the South Carolina legislature had removed the Confederate battle flag that flew over the South Carolina State House. The North Carolina response just weeks after South Carolina lowered the battle flag was to pass the North Carolina Heritage Protection Act. This legislation pushed through quickly by the Republican majority House and Senate restricted the removal, relocation or alteration of any monument that was considered permanent in nature and located on public property. Although located on the grounds of the old Forsyth County Courthouse, the law did not prevent removal of this statue. The old courthouse had been sold to a private developer in 2014 and converted into upscale apartments. Seeing the statue as a liability the hotel owners sent a letter to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) which stated that in “order to protect the residents of the property, the owner cannot allow the statue to remain on the property.” Despite objections from the UDC the City of Winston-Salem had the statue dismantled on March 12, 2019. As of December 2019 and a failed lawsuit, the UDC was still attempting to find a legal remedy that would force the city to restore the monument to the old courthouse.
Location: As of December 2019, the statue was in storage until a site could be prepared at the Salem Cemetery near the graves of 36 Confederate soldiers. Salem Cemetery is located at 301 Cemetery Street in Winston-Salem, NC.
Subjects: Civil War