Legacies: March 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Confederate monument over the mass grave of soldiers

Memorial service at Cedar Groove Cemetery, New Bern, NC on 17/3/2012
this is a monument over the mass grave of soldiers killed in the Battles around New Bern, NC

Cedar Grove Cemetery, one of the oldest in North Carolina, is located in downtown New Bern. The monument was dedicated to the Confederate soldiers killed in the Battle of New Bern. Beneath the monument about twelve feet down in a crypt lies the remains of the soldiers.

On May 2d, 1867, was laid the corner-stone of the mausoleum or vault beneath centre plat. It was completed at a cost of about $2,000. Herein have been deposited sixty-seven bodies of Confederates, who died or were killed in or near the city during the war. Their names are preserved by the Society. Three other interments have been made since; and any Confederate soldier, remaining true to the “Lost Cause,” may be buried here, if his family so desire.

Above this mausoleum, on the summit of the mound, stands the Association's crowning work—the beautiful monument reproduced in the frontispiece. It rises from a bottom base, four feet square, to a total height of eighteen feet. The bottom and subbase, die and shaft, are of fine Rutland blue marble. The life-size statue on top was cut, after a design expressly for this monument, by the best workman in Carrara, Italy. It represents a Confederate soldier in uniform and overcoat, on picket, with every sense awake as he keenly watches for the slightest hostile movement. Calm, faithful, brave, he will never be surprised. A noble face and figure, a typical hero from the ranks! In procuring and setting in place this statue, Mr. J. K. Willis, the skilled marble worker of New Bern, kindly assisted the ladies without charge for his personal care and superintendence.

Just as this statue was put in position, the first and only president of the Association, Mrs. Daves, passed from her service here to her reward. Her last moments were cheered by the announcement of the happy completion of this work, so dear to her noble heart.

The monument was finished in time for the annual May celebration, 1885. So Monday, May 11th, a most charming and auspicious day, was appropriated to the