Confederate Monument of Bowling Green in Fairview Cemetery
Backstory and Context
Brief summary of Fairview Cemetery:
The area originally selected for a cemetery was known as Copley Knob, located in the southwestern part of town near Western Kentucky University. It was considered no longer a desirable site due to the Civil War. Trees were down, cannons were everywhere and bayonets lay all over the ground. In 1864, 30 acres were purchased from William McNeal for $100.00 per acre along Cemetery Pike. This is now known as Fairview Cemetery .Two Revolutionary War heroes are also buried here and the Confederate Monument was erected in 1875. The Bloch Memorial Chapel is a beautiful old English country church of the Gothic period. The City currently owns, maintains and operates 109 acres for burial rights.
The monument is made of white limestone that was locally acquired. It cost $1,500 to build, attained by a subscription drive that ran from 1875 until the monument's dedication on May 3, 1876. The obelisk stands thirty feet tall, and is draped by a carved Confederate flag. A bas-relief of a painting popular in the Reconstruction South, Henry Mosler's "Lost Cause", which typified the devastation Northern invaders inflicted upon Southern homesteads, was placed on the front of the monument. Different reliefs are on other sides of the monument.
Statues of cannons pointed straight up are twenty feet away from each corner of the main monuments, and are eight feet tall. Cannonballs are depicted around the base of the cannon monuments.
A marker describing the monument lies in front of the monument, beside the cemetery road. The marker contains a factual error, saying that Thomas Hines was unable to make it to the dedication due to dying before then. In actuality, Hines would not die for another twenty-two years; his grave is in the same cemetery. Another problem with the marker is that it gives Henry Mosler's last name as Moseler.
Surrounding the monument are the graves of seventy Confederate soldiers, some of them unidentified.
History of monument:
It was built thanks to the efforts of George B. Payne. In 1875 he lived in Topeka, Kansas, but had served in the Confederate 4th Kentucky Infantry during the Civil War, spending much time around Bowling Green as he was a courier under General John C. Breckinridge. He desired a monument honoring the Confederate war dead buried at the cemetery. This caused the Warren County Monumental Association to form, with Thomas Hines, who had served as a spy under John Hunt Morgan but was now living in Bowling Green, serving as president. Popular support for the monument came from the barbaric actions of Union general Stephen Burbridge, who sought to murder Confederate soldiers for any reason, resulting in the deaths of twenty-two residents of Warren County in 1864. Prior to that time, the Union saw more support in the county,though the Confederate government of Kentucky briefly resided in Bowling Green 1861-1862.
Over ten thousand people came to the dedication of the monument. The dedication speaker was William Campbell Preston Breckinridge, who served as a colonel for John Hunt Morgan's 9th Kentucky Cavalry, and was instrumental in many veteran organizations for former Confederate soldiers