Ladies' Confederate Memorial
The Ladies' Confederate Memorial.
Lexington National Cemetery
Lexington National Cemetery Fall
Backstory and Context
The Ladies Memorial and Monument Association was founded by the wife of John C. Breckinridge on May 19, 1869, after she saw the unveiling of the Confederate Monument in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After six years of collecting funds, the memorial was dedicated on May 26, 1875.
The statue features a marble cross, shaped as if made of logs. A broken sword and broken flagstaff are among the motifs, which include lilies, with rugged rocks being the motif for the limestone pedestal. It was designed by George W. Ranck (1841–1901), a Lexington historian. The cross was made in Italy, with the pedestal supplied by Louisville's Muldoon Monument Company. It was called "probably the most perfect thing of its kind in the South" by Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper.
It is believed that the memorial might have been inspired by a poem written by Abram Joseph Ryan, a Confederate chaplain:
Take that banner down! 'tis tattered;
Broken is its staff and shattered,
And the valiant hosts are scattered
Over whom it floated high.
The Confederate Soldier Monument in Lexington is a few feet away, and was also part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS.
Civil War in Kentucky Joseph E. Brent (January 8, 1997). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Submission: Civil War Monuments in Kentucky, 1865-1935 PDF (1.81 MiB)". National Park Service. trailsrus.com