This Confederate monument was created in 1889 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was one of the early monuments to the Confederacy created in the decades after the war. Despite the fact that many residents of Alexandria supported the Union, and despite the fact that Union troops the day after Virginia seceded, the statue has stood at this location for over a century. The names of about a hundred of Alexandria's Confederate dead are engraved on the seven-foot bronze statue, which was designed by M. Casper Buberl. The artist made the statue to resemble a Southern soldier reflecting on the loss of his many comrades at the surrender ceremony at Appomattox Courthouse. In this regard, the monument is unique from many other Confederate statues that present Confederate generals on horseback as part of an attempt to erase the history of the Confederacy's defeat in the Civil War and the resulting period of Reconstruction.
Created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1889 and located on city property, this bronze statue has remained in place despite the city council's vote in favor of relocating the statue to a nearby museum in the fall of 2016. The city council has been unable to remove the statue despite overwhelming support for the measure by Alexandria residents owing to an 1890 state law that explicitly forbids removing this statue. Altering the state law would require bipartisan support and many of the Republicans who control the state legislature remain defenders of Confederate monuments even after numerous violent acts were committed by pro-Confederate demonstrators.
The statue depicts a soldier with his head bowed facing South towards the battlefields where his fallen Confederate comrades lost their lives. This aspect of the statue is unique from many others created in their era that faced "enemies" in the North. The soldier is a copy of the painting by John A. Elder that depicts the surrender of Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union army at Appomattox Court House.
At the base of the statue is a concrete monument with the names of all 99 soldiers that died in during the battle of Appomattox Court House. The north side of the monument says,"They died in the consciousness of duty faithfully performed." The south side of the monument says, "Erected to the memory of Confederate dead of Alexandria, Va. by their Surviving Comrades, May 24th 1889." The ceremony of the statue was held on May 24, 1889.
Sullivan, Patricia. Despite Alexandria council vote, little chance ‘Appomattox’ statue will be moved. Washington Post. September 25, 2016. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/Virginia-politics/despite-alexandria-council-vote-little-chance-appomattox-statue-will-be-moved/2016/09/25/2aabcd72-80d6-11e6-8327-f141a7beb626_story.html?utm_term=.63cac3042dff.