I am a citizen of Washington County who is interested in the history of the Confederate monument that must be moved for expansion of the courthouse facilities.
Old newspapers reveal that Confederate veterans began efforts for a memorial in 1905. They were supported by the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Board of Supervisors. With $4,000, they were able to secure the services of the prominent sculptor, William Sievers.
The statue was erected in the middle of Main Street in front of the courthouse in May 1907 and dedicated on June 3, 1908. In dedicating the statue, Judge [John A.] Buchanan said, “That ragged and tattered uniform tells of limbs chilled by cold and of unshod and bleeding feet as he marched and fought to guard homes of poverty and want — where children begged for food.”
Judge Buchanan could speak for the “common foot soldier” as he served as a private in a Virginia unit, was taken prisoner at Gettysburg and was a POW for two years.
In his closing remarks, Judge Buchanan said, “To the young men and maidens gathered here today, to this generation it calls to you to cherish and emulate the virtues of the men and women of that day, to follow their example and serve your country in peace as they served in war, and to hand down to coming generations unimpaired the rights and liberties inherited by you.”
The back side of the statue shows a woman in bronze with the inscriptions, “our mothers, wives, daughters and sisters,” a dedication to the family members of the common soldier who also suffered.
I hope that the town and county leaders with agree upon an appropriate location for this statue at Veterans Park that will honor all our veterans.