Confederate Monument in Owensboro

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Confederate Monument in Owensboro
Confederate Monument in Owensboro 2.jpg
Confederate Monument in Owensboro is located in Kentucky
Confederate Monument in Owensboro
Confederate Monument in Owensboro is located in the US
Confederate Monument in Owensboro
Location212 St Ann St, Owensboro, Kentucky
ArchitectGeorge Julian Zolnay, sculptor; John Williams Foundry, New York, N.Y., bronze casting; Weony & Brown, Richmond, Va., granite pedestal
MPSCivil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS
NRHP reference #97000708[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 17, 1997

The Confederate Monument in Owensboro is a bronze sculpture based on a granite pedestal. It is located at the southwest corner of the Daviess County Courthouse lawn in Owensboro, Kentucky.[2]


In the summer of 1861, one of Kentucky's first Confederate companies was raised at Owensboro. The war hurt the city, as it disrupted river traffic that the city relied upon, and Confederate forces occasionally raided the city, including burning down the courthouse.[3] A historical marker near the monument tells of three residents of Daviess County who received the Confederate Medal of Honour; one at the Battle of Murfreesboro, and two at the Battle of Chickamauga.[4]


The monument consists of two parts: a pedestal and a sculpture. The granite pedestal is nine feet tall. On the front of the pedestal is the inscription


above the bas-relief logo of the United Daughters of the Confederacy — a wreath encircling the first Confederate national flag and a figure of the interlocking letters "D" and "C." The Confederate national flag depicted is the 13-star version, adopted by the Confederacy on 28 November 1861 and in use until 1 May 1863. This flag — which added two stars to the 11-star version of the Confederate national flag that had been in use since 2 July 1861 — reflected the Confederacy's claim to having admitted Kentucky to the Confederacy. In fact, although Confederate sympathizers in Kentucky did establish a shadow Confederate government in late 1861, Kentucky's pro-Union state government never joined the Confederacy. Below the emblem is inscribed


On the rear of the pedestal is the inscription


Atop the pedestal is a seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a Confederate soldier on alert bearing a rifle and wearing a short jacket and slouch hat. The sculpture was created by the Romanian-American "sculptor of the Confederacy" George Julian Zolnay and was cast at the John Williams Foundry in New York.[2][1]


The monument was placed on the Courthouse lawn on 21 September 1900 by the John C. Breckinridge Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (U.D.C.), after several years of fund raising. The dedication ceremony included speeches and music. Unverified reports claimed that some 4,000 or more people attended the event.[5][6] Among the dignitaries present was S.A. Cunningham, the editor of The Confederate Veteran, which was the official magazine of the U.D.C. and a number of other Confederate heritage organizations.[2][7]

National Register of Historic Place[edit]

On July 17, 1997, the Confederate Monument in Owensboro was one of sixty-one different monuments related to the Civil War in Kentucky placed on the National Register of Historic Places, as part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky Multiple Property Submission. The only other monument on the list in Daviess County is the Thompson and Powell Martyrs Monument.[8]



  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c Owensboro, Ky., Accessed November 12, 2008
  3. ^ Bigham, David. On Jordan's Banks: Emancipation and Its Aftermath in the Ohio River Valley (University Press of Kentucky, 2006) p. 62.
  4. ^ Daviess County Archived June 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Kentucky Historical Society, Accessed November 12, 2008
  5. ^ "Memorial to the Confederate Dead Uncovered to the World, etc.," Owensboro Messenger, 22 September 1900. "There was a large attendance, the audience being estimated at 5,000 to 7,000 people. There were 2,000 chairs, and not more than one-half the audience was seated." See page 15 of the Daviess County (Ky.) Public Library's subject file on George Julian Zolnay here
  6. ^ "Confederate Monument at Owensboro," Confederate Veteran, vol. 8, no. 9, September 1900. The Confederate Veteran, the official magazine of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the organization that funded and put up the monument, wrote: "It is estimated that 7,000 people attended the ceremonies." See page 19 of the Daviess County (Ky.) Public Library's subject file on George Julian Zolnay here
  7. ^ Brent, Joseph Confederate Monument in Owensboro NRHP Nomination Form (Kentucky Heritage Commission, 1997) p. 1.
  8. ^ Joseph E. Brent (January 8, 1997). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Submission: Civil War Monuments in Kentucky, 1865-1935" (pdf). National Park Service.

External links[edit]