Mountaineer Soldier Statue
In response to the dedication of a statue honoring Clarksburg, West Virginia native and Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson at the old State Capitol in downtown Charleston, West Virginia, veterans of the Union Army received an equivalent statue sculpted by Henry Kirke Bush-Brown in 1912. The bronze statue depicts a pro-Union citizen militiaman carrying a flag and musket, while the two reliefs on the base depict Mountaineer home life.
Backstory and Context
It took sculptor Henry K Bush-Brown two years to find the model and three years to actually sculpt the statue. Bush-Brown modeled the statue after Ellis Hamrick, a mountaineer from Webster County, West Virginia. Col. William Seymour Edwards sent Hamrick to Washington to model for the statue. The statue was originally modeled after one of Hamrick's brothers, but the brother passed away during the creation of the statue. As a result, Ellis Hamrick was chosen as the model. The eight-foot monument was dedicated by Colonel Edwards "To the hallowed memories of the brave men and devoted women who saved West Virginia to the Union."
The statue is over a century old, and it has been restored by the Save Outdoor Sculpture (SOS!) program. The program is a collaborative project with the Heritage Preservation and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art. Moisture damage and corrosion affected the statue, and the restoration included mending those damages and repairing the bronze patina and stone base.
Dick, and Debbie. "West Virginia Capitol (Mountaineer Soldier Statue), Charleston, WV - 2104-09-05." September 6, 2014, Accessed July 2, 2019. http://www.dickndebbietravels.com/?attachment_id=20497.
Work to Begin next week to restore two State Capitol sculptures. West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History. Accessed July 01, 2019. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/statuerenov.html.
Sibray, David. Memory of the mountaineer lives on at W.Va. capitol statue. West Virginia Explorer. May 06, 2018. Accessed July 01, 2019. https://wvexplorer.com/2018/05/06/mountaineer-lives-on-wv-statue/.
Wallace, Jim. A History of the West Virginia Capitol: The House of State. The History Press, 2012.