Appomattox (statue)

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Coordinates: 38°48′14.1″N 77°2′49.9″W / 38.803917°N 77.047194°W / 38.803917; -77.047194

Appomattox statue in Alexandria.jpg
Appomattox is located in Alexandria Historical District
Appomattox is located in Virginia
Appomattox is located in the United States
ArtistCaspar Buberl
Year1889 (1889)
LocationAlexandria, Virginia, United States
Coordinates38°48′14.1″N 77°2′49.9″W / 38.803917°N 77.047194°W / 38.803917; -77.047194

Appomattox is a bronze statue commemorating Confederate soldiers from Alexandria, Virginia It is positioned in the center of the intersection of South Washington Street (Virginia Route 400) and Prince Street in the Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.


It was created by sculptor M. Caspar Buberl and commissioned and erected by the Robert E. Lee camp of the United Confederate Veterans in 1889. The form of the soldier was designed by John Adams Elder, who modeled it after a painting of the same title that shows a lone Confederate viewing the aftermath of the battle of Appomattox Court House, where Gen. Robert E. Lee ultimately surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant.[1]

The dedication ceremony was held on May 24, 1889, and was attended by a vast crowd.[2] It was noted that by noon of that day, a great influx of visitors had swarmed the town of Alexandria to take part in the ceremony, which was overseen by Fitzhugh Lee, who was governor of Virginia at that time. Joseph E. Johnston, former Confederate general of the Army of Tennessee, was also in attendance.[2][3] The UCV foresaw the controversy that would arise over the monument. Thus, they petitioned the Virginia House of Delegates in the same year to have it protected by state law.[3]

On August 20, 1988 a car crash toppled over the statue though it was later restored. During the same crash, a time capsule, that had been placed at the base of the statue, was dislodged and a majority of its contents were lost. What little remains of the contents of the time capsule is housed in the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment's Museum in the nearby R. E. Lee Camp Hall.

In September 2016, after a period of public debate, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to move the statue to another location. However, state legislators declined to introduce legislation to make this possible, seeing its passage as unlikely.[4][5] In August 2017, Democratic state lawmakers stated that they want to propose a bill to remove the statue once their legislature reconvenes.[6]

At 7:00 AM on December 14, 2019 a vehicle struck the statue in a car crash and it was slightly turned. However, unlike the 1988 crash, the statue did not topple over. [7]


The statue is cast in bronze and stands upon a square stone base with inscriptions on each side. The figure is that of a lone Confederate soldier, who stands facing south with his arms crossed. His wide-brimmed hat is clasped in his right hand and he is looking down toward the ground with a somber expression on his face. The soldier is facing south, the general direction of the battlefields of the Civil War.

The base is made of concrete and marble and bears several inscriptions. The north side of the base reads, "They died in the consciousness of duty faithfully performed." The south side reads, "Erected to the memory of Confederate dead of Alexandria, Va. by their Surviving Comrades, May 24th 1889." The east and west sides bear the names of those from Alexandria who died during the Civil War.[2]

A short way from the statue is a stone historic marker with a bronze plaque upon which is engraved the following:


The unarmed Confederate soldier standing in
the intersection of Washington and Prince
Streets marks the location where units from
Alexandria left to join the Confederate Army
on May 24, 1861. The soldier is facing the
battlefields to the South where his comrades
fell during the War Between the States. The
names of those Alexandrians who died in service
for the Confederacy are inscribed on the base
of the statue. The title of the sculpture is
"Appomattox" by M. Casper Buberl.

The statue was erected in 1889 by the Robert E. Lee Camp
United Confederate Veterans."[8]


  1. ^ "The Confederate Statue". The Historic Marker Database. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "The Confederate Statue". The Harrington Genealogy Association. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Sturgill, Willard. "Confederate "Appomattox" Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia". Sites of Memory. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (2016-09-17). "Alexandria will seek to move Confederate statue and rename Jefferson Davis Highway". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (2016-11-30). "Not so fast: Alexandria's Confederate symbols will stay put for now". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  6. ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (2017-08-17). "Confederate Memorial in Arlington: Honoring Rebels on nation's sacred ground". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  7. ^ "Growing up in Alexandria, VA Public Group". Facebook. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  8. ^ "Appomattox: Alexandria Confederate Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia". DC Memorials. Retrieved May 29, 2010.

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