Washington County Confederate Soldier Monument in Abingdon

Pictures and text by Michael Shaffer

Erected on Memorial Day, May 30, 1907, Washington County commissioned Frederick William Sievers, 1872 - 1966, later to become a famous sculptor, to design and construct the monument. This was Sievers' first commissioned statue; in later years, he designed the "Virginia Monument" at Gettysburg, the Jackson and Maury monuments in Richmond, as well as many others located throughout the nation.

The monument's base is approximately twelve feet square, and with the bronze statue, depicting a soldier "just as he appeared in his last fight at Appomattox - advancing, gun in hand, with a determined fearless cast of mien," stands about twenty feet in height. At the base of the monument is a bronze plaque, sculpted in relief, showing a woman attired in a Greek chiton, holding a Confederate flag. Words found at the top of the plaque: "Our Mothers, Wives, Daughters and Sisters," serve as a reminder of their suffering during the war.

Dedicated on June 3, 1908, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Confederate President Jefferson F. Davis, and originally located in the middle of Main Street, at the intersection of Main and Court Streets, the monument occupied the approximate area where a large majority of local soldiers stood when volunteering in 1861.

An early 1930s postcard depicting the Confederate Monument in its original location.
Current, frontal view of the Washington County Confederate Soldier Monument
Current, side view of the monument
Expanded, side view of the monument
Close-up view of the bronze plaque at the monument's base, sculpted in relief, showing a woman attired in a Greek chiton, holding a Confederate flag
This image, on the backside of the monument, depicts a female Confederate supporter holding the Virginia shield. Sculpted into the lower right portion of this relief is the Latin phrase, fortiter et recte - "With strength and right."
Post 1930s postcard showing monument in the new location adjacent to the courthouse
Virginia State Historical Marker adjacent to the courthouse and monument
1930s image of monument being dissembled in preparation for move to the present location
1908 dedication ceremony photograph

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