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Athens Confederate Monument facts for kids

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Athens Confederate Monument
The monument in 2007
Year 1872 (1872)
  • Marble
  • granite (base)
Location Athens, Georgia, U.S.

The Athens Confederate Monument is a Confederate memorial that was formerly located in the median strip of Broad Street in the Downtown Local Historic District of Athens, Georgia, United States. It is a Carrara marble obelisk mounted on a granite foundation engraved with names of the city's soldiers who were killed during the American Civil War. It has been dismantled and is in the process of being re-erected in a location near Barber Creek.


The monument is made up of two different sections, an obelisk made of Carrara marble that has six shafts, and a granite base. Only the marble obelisk is engraved. The names of white Confederate soldiers from Athens who were killed during the Civil War are inscribed on the marble. A veteran of the war called for the names to be arranged in alphabetical order rather than by rank so none of their deaths would be perceived as greater than the others, but his request was left unfulfilled. The master of a local Masonic Lodge, William King, included a time capsule in the monument's cornerstone. The time capsule, which according to an interview with William King contains Confederate memorabilia and a list of Athens Freemasons, was removed after the monument's most recent relocation.


The monument was one of the first monuments to the casualties of the American Civil War to be raised in the South after the war's conclusion. Construction of the monument began on May 5, 1871, and was completed on June 3, 1872, at the cost of $4,444.44 (about $933,000 in 2020) raised by the Ladies' Memorial Association from the residents of the city, though another professor at the university, Akela Reason, proposed that it was actually funded by the city's wealthy men because "it would have been easier for women to build a memorial mourning the dead than for men to build one in defiance." It has been moved twice since it was first erected at the intersection of College Avenue and Washington Street. It was first moved north one block in the center of College Avenue, but was relocated again in 1912 when it caused congestion there. It then stood in the median of Broad Street until August 10, 2020.

2020 relocation

In response to the local outcry it is planned for the monument to be moved again from its current location in downtown Athens in 2020 by Athens mayor, Kelly Girtz. The mayor's desire to move the monument is challenged by Senate Bill 77, which prevents the city from moving Confederate monuments from prominent locations to another of lower prominence, but a loophole in the bill could allow the monument to be removed. On June 16, 2020, the mayor proposed a $450,000 plan that would have the monument moved from Broad Street to Timothy Place in proximity to the site of Athens' only skirmish during the Civil War at Barber Creek. The mayor's plan was approved by the city commissioners on June 25 as part of a project to make the surrounding area more pedestrian-friendly.

Work began on August 10 to remove the monument from the intersection at Broad Street. It is being moved according to the plan approved by the city's commissioners on June 25, but is temporarily being stored in a field until October or November when it can be installed on a new foundation.

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