Yesterday I spoke of how an aged Jefferson Davis came to Montgomery for the last time to lay the cornerstone for the Confederate Monument which was to be built on the north side of the Alabama State Capitol. 30,00 people gathered to honor Jefferson Davis, their wartime commander-in-chief, in a colorful and emotional time of evoking shared history, but it took another 12 years for the untiring women of the Ladies Memorial Association to raise the money to complete the job.
For the unveiling on December 7, 1898, once again thousands of southerners gathered for yet another festive occasion – this time without Jefferson Davis, who died 9 years earlier.The orator of the day was Governor and former Confederate officer, Thomas Goode Jones.(I wrote about him in my blog of November 5th, 2010).
The monument is massive, 82 feet tall, 3 feet in diameter with a base of 34 square feet, which consists of four layers of Alabama limestone with four steps leading to four pedestals. A statue rests upon each pedestal, representing the four branches of service of the Confederate States of America – cavalry, infantry, artillery, navy.
At the top of the monument is a figure of a woman, symbolizing patriotism and southern womanhood. She is holding a broken flag in one hand and a sword in the other, for her sons in defense of their flag.
If you haven’t seen it lately, do go by and visit it, and stop by the First White House of the Confederacy on the way. We are right next door, on the South side of the Capitol!