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On the southwest corner of the Daviess County Courthouse lawn sits a seven foot tall bronze sculpture on a nine foot tall granite pedestal. On the front of the pedestal is the inscription "To our Confederate Heroes" along with the logo of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Their logo consists of the Confederate National flag along with the letters"C" and "D" encircled by a wreath. Below the emblem appears "1861-1865." On the rear of the pedestal appears the inscription "Erected by the Breckinridge Chapter Daughters of the Confederacy 1900." The bronze sculpture atop the pedestal depicts a Confederate soldier on alert bearing a rifle. The soldier is wearing a short jacket and a slouch hat. The sculpture which cost $3500 in 1900 was created by "sculptor of the Confederacy" George Julian Zolnay and was cast at the John Williams Foundry in New York.

  • United Daughters of the Confederacy pose with cannon in front of the Confederate Monument
  • Daviess County Courthouse winter scene
  • Historical marker beside the statue
  • Confederate Monument in front of the Daviess County courthouse
  • Confederate Monument with fish-eye lens 1960's

In 1899 the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, reacting to the success of recently unveiled monuments all over the south, contacted George Julian Zolnay to sculpt a monument to the Confederate dead in Owensboro. The monument committee which was composed of Miss Rosa Shelby Todd, Miss Bessie Long, and Mrs. J.W. Whitehead acted in connection with the Rice E. Graves Camp and the Daviess County Confederate Association. The funds for the erection of the monument were collected in small amounts over the course of seven years through various fundraising efforts. All in the hope to see "the emblem of love and veneration for their heroes perpetuated in a fitting monument." (Confederate Monument to be Erected...)

The Fiscal court of Daviess County granted the UDC a permit to erect the monument on the south west corner of the courthouse lawn.

The unveiling and dedication occurred on September 21, 1900. The day was chosen because it was the anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863. Captain W.T. Ellis gave a speech at the unveiling and spoke to the meaning behind its placement. He said, "They have placed it here as a mute witness to remind all those who come after us, and who may pass this way, that while the Confederacy failed in the struggle to establish its independence, those who fought and died under its flag neither fought nor died in vain."

The newspapers put the attendance at the unveiling between 5000 to 7000 people. Services opened at 9 am with music by Ringgold's band of Terre Haute. The dedication platform was decorated with Confederate colors including the battle flag, review flag and official flag of the Confederacy. Ceremonies closed at 11 am.

A Civil War canon sat next to the monument until it was donated to the War scrap drive in 1942.

In 1950 it was discovered that a local man, James Gamble Stuart, served as the model for the bronze soldier when he was an understudy with Zolnay. Stuart agreed to keep his involvement a secret since he was a Republican.

"Bronze and Granite: Memorial to the Confederate Dead Unveiled to the World." Owensboro Daily Messenger (Owensboro) September 22nd 1900. .1.

"Confederate Monument to be Erected in Owensboro." Twice a Week Messenger (Owensboro) November 22nd 1899. .3.

"Owensboro's Confederate Monument." Twice-a-Week Messenger (Owensboro) December 2nd 1899.1.

"Secret is Out at Last! James Gamble Stuart, Now 83, Model for Confederate Monument." Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro) August 27th 1950. , B sec.2.

"Speech of Capt. W.T. Ellis." Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro) September 22nd 1900. , 3-6.

"The Unveiling." Owensboro Daily Inquirer (Owensboro) September 5th 1900. .1.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Daviess County Public Library

Daviess County Public Library

Daviess County Public Library

Daviess County Public Library

Daviess County Public Library