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Confederate Monument in Owensboro
Confederate Monument in Owensboro 2.jpg
Location 212 St Ann St, Owensboro, Kentucky
Built 1900
Architect George Julian Zolnay, sculptor; John Williams Foundry, New York, N.Y., bronze casting; Weony & Brown, Richmond, Va., granite pedestal
MPS Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS
NRHP reference No. 97000708
Added to NRHP July 17, 1997

The Confederate Monument in Owensboro is a bronze sculpture based on a granite pedestal. It is located at the southwest corner of the Daviess County Courthouse lawn in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Owensboro

In the summer of 1861, one of Kentucky's first Confederate companies was raised at Owensboro. The war hurt the city, as it disrupted river traffic that the city relied upon, and Confederate forces occasionally raided the city, including burning down the courthouse. A historical marker near the monument tells of three residents of Daviess County who received the Confederate Medal of Honor; one at the Battle of Murfreesboro, and two at the Battle of Chickamauga.

Description

The monument consists of two parts: a pedestal and a sculpture. The granite pedestal is nine feet tall. On the front of the pedestal is the inscription

TO
OUR CONFEDERATE HEROES

above the bas-relief logo of the United Daughters of the Confederacy — a wreath encircling the first national flag of the Confederate States of America ("Stars and Bars") and a figure of the interlocking letters "D" and "C." The Confederate national flag depicted is the 13-star version, adopted by the Confederacy on 28 November 1861 and in use until 1 May 1863. This flag — which added two stars to the 11-star version of the Confederate national flag that had been in use since 2 July 1861 — reflected the Confederacy's claim to having admitted Kentucky to the Confederacy. In fact, although Confederate sympathizers in Kentucky did establish a shadow Confederate government in late 1861, Kentucky's pro-Union state government never joined the Confederacy. Below the emblem is inscribed

1861—1865

On the rear of the pedestal is the inscription

ERECTED
BY THE BRECKINRIDGE CHAPTER
DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY
1900

Atop the pedestal is a seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a Confederate soldier on alert bearing a rifle and wearing a short jacket and slouch hat. The sculpture was created by the Romanian-American "sculptor of the Confederacy" George Julian Zolnay and was cast at the John Williams Foundry in New York.

Dedication

In April 1893, the Daviess County Fiscal Court — the legislative body of the county government — gave the Daviess County Confederate Association permission to place "a monument...in memory of the Confederate dead" on the courthouse lawn.

After several years of fund raising, the monument was placed on the courthouse lawn on 21 September 1900 by the John C. Breckinridge Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (U.D.C.).

The dedication ceremony included speeches and music. Unverified reports claimed that some 4,000 or more people attended the event. Among the dignitaries present was S.A. Cunningham, the editor of The Confederate Veteran, which was the official magazine of the U.D.C. and a number of other Confederate heritage organizations.

National Register of Historic Places

On July 17, 1997, the Confederate Monument in Owensboro was one of sixty-one different monuments related to the Civil War in Kentucky placed on the National Register of Historic Places, as part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky Multiple Property Submission. The only other monument on the list in Daviess County is the Thompson and Powell Martyrs Monument.

Removal

In 2012 and again in 2017, there were local grassroots efforts urging the Daviess County Fiscal Court to remove the Confederate monument from the courthouse lawn.

Following another such effort in summer 2020, the Court voted unanimously by resolution on 6 August 2020 to remove the monument. The resolution stipulates that the Court will establish a 5-member relocation committee within six weeks of the vote. This committee is to recommend a relocation site(s) within six months of the vote. The monument will remain in place until the Court passes an ordinance approving this recommendation.

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