Perryville Confederate Monument
Backstory and Context
Built as a memorial to one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, and the largest battle in Kentucky, the Perryville Confederate Monument is located in Boyle County, in the town of Perryville, Kentucky. Interestingly, there is also a Perryville Union Monument to remember the large loss of Union soldier's lives in the battle as well. On October 8, 1862, the two sides engaged in a brutal battle, in and around Perryville, Kentucky. While the tactical victory for the battle goes to the Confederate Army, Union forces enjoyed the strategic victory, as Confederate General Braxton Bragg quickly took his men and withdrew to Tennessee, which essentially left Kentucky in Union control.
Of the 4,276 Union soldiers fighting in Perryville that day, 894 were killed, 2,911 were wounded, and 471 were either captured or missing. On the Confederate side, of the 3,401 men at the battle, 532 were killed, 2,641 were wounded, and 228 were captured or missing. This enormous loss of life wins the Battle of Perryville the title of the bloodiest battle in the history of the state of Kentucky, and one of the bloodiest in the entire Civil War.
The monument resides near the visitor center at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic site. There is also a small cemetery in the area, where an unknown number of Confederate soldiers are buried. Due to the hasty withdraw of Confederate troops after the battle's end, local farmers were the ones given the task of burying the dead men. The farmers had to work quickly, because hogs were beginning to eat the bodies of the soldiers.
The monument is constructed out of limestone, and was made by the Peter-Burghard Statue Commpany of Louisville, Kentucky. It was designed to be built for and dedicated on the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville. According to a local newspaper, between 5,000 and 10,000 people attended the dedication. The pedestal portion of the monument has three tiers, and is topped by a six foot 2 inch statue of a Confederate soldier. The monument also features the names of 14 Confederate soldiers, along with an inscription on each side:
The front, the south side is inscribed with, "Nor braver bled for a brighter land, no brighter land had a cause so grand."
The east side is inscribed with, "On flames eternal camping ground their tents are spread. And glory guards with solemn round the bivouac of the dead."
The rear, the north side is inscribed with, "Nor shall your glory be forgot while fame her record keeps, or honor points the hallowed spot where valor proudly sleeps."
And on the west, inscribed is, "Nor wreck, nor change, or winter's blight, nor times remorseless doom, shall dim one ray of holy light, that guilds your glorious tomb."