West Virginia State Capitol Complex Walking Tour


Stonewall Jackson Statue

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()

Overview Listen

On the grounds of the WV State Capitol stands a statue to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, The artist, Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel, was commissioned by Daughters of the Confederacy to cast the high-plinth bronze sculpture while living in Rome. Ezekiel was a former Confederate soldier and VMI graduate.

Photos

Photo Jackson statue at southeast corner of Capitol grounds. Photo courtesy of W.Va. Legislative Photography by Perry Bennett
Photo SJ statue inscription, Photo by Jodie Groves, edited by Billy Joe Peyton
Photo Photo from the 2017 protest

Backstory Listen

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was a famous Confederate general, born in what is now Clarksburg, West Virginia in 1824.  He was better known as “Stonewall,” a nickname earned at the First Battle of Manassas in 1861. A graduate of West Point, Jackson taught at VMI before the Civil War.  He died in 1863 after his troops accidentally shot him; following the amputation of his arm he later died of pneumonia. 

The Stonewall Jackson Statue was constructed in 1909 by Moses Ezekiel and was the first statue on the grounds of the former capital in downtown Charleston. When the statue was unveiled, the city celebrated with a parade, an event attended by 5,000 people. The statue was funded by the Charleston chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. The group intended the statue to honor all West Virginia Confederate soldiers and had another statue built to honor Robert E. Lee. The statue of Jackson was moved to its current location after the original Capitol burned in 1921. A replica of the statue stands in the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia.

After the infamous 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, about 150 protestors gathered around the statue. The protestors held a vigil for the victims in Charlottesville and called for the removal of the Jackson statue, arguing that it is inappropriate to honor Confederate soldiers at the state’s capital. Counter-protestors were also present on the scene to advocate for the preservation of the statue. Though the statue is still standing, it remains a controversial issue. 


1900 Kanawha Blvd E
Charleston, WV 25305

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Sources
http://www.jewish-history.com/civilwar/moses_ezekiel.html

Wallace, Jim, A History of the West Virginia Capitol: The House of State. The History Press, 2012.

Steelhammer, Rick. Charleston’s Civil War soldier statues erected with private funds. Charleston Gazette-Mail. August 22, 2017. Accessed February 09, 2019. https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/charleston-s-civil-war-soldier-statues-erected-with-private-funds/article_301056fc-a75d-5bb8-81a3-fd72b1c4015b.html.

McGee, Jatara. Calls to remove W.Va. Confederate statue in wake of Va. unrest. WSAZ. August 13, 2017. Accessed February 09, 2019. https://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Charleston-gathering-to-call-for-removal-of-Stonewall-Jackson-statue-at-WVa-Capitol-440190913.html.


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