Confederate Monument, 1879, Columbus

Confederate Monument Columbus GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

One of the earliest official Cofederate monuments erected after the war was raised in Salisbury Park in Columbus to great fanfare. One of the last battles of the Civil War, albeit two weeks after Lee’s surrender, was the Battle of Columbus. This may account for Frank M. McKenney’s description in The Standing Army: History of Georgia’s County Confederate Monuments (Wolfe Associates, Alpharetta, 1993): “The women of Columbus were fervent Confederates. They were the first to observe Confederate Memorial Day, on April 26, 1866, and plans for a memorial to the local war dead began even before the war ended. The Monumental Club was formed March 10, 1865.” On the date of the monument’s dedication on 26 April, contractors Muldoon and Karnes had failed to erect the shaft. Their defense was that the inscription had not been chosen, which it had not. It lay nearby on the ground as a makeshift platform covered with flowers served as the focal point. Governor Alfred Holt Colquitt was the principal orator and over 5000 guests were in attendance. The Auburn Cadets and other out of town military units marched in a parade, as well as the local militia. The monument was quietly raised sometime in June. It cost $4500. Granite steps were added for $500 in 1881 to increase the height. The inscription: Gather the sacred dust – Of warriors tried and true – Who bore the Flag of our Nation’s trust – And fell in the Cause tho lost still just – And died for me and you

Columbus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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