Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
#NC-10110-MM - Notecards
Also available in Assortment Pack #AST-720
June 5, 1914 -- Arlington National Cemetery
Gift to the Nation" from the United Daughters of the Confederacy
In 1900 General
Marcus J. Wright proposed the legislation that allowed Confederate
soldiers to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Secretary
of War William Howard Taft supported a 1906 petition from the
United Daughters of the Confederacy to erect a monument in the
center of the Confederate section and the cornerstone was laid
on November 12, 1912. Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a VMI cadet and
internationally-recognized sculptor, was chosen to create the
memorial to the Southern soldiers. After raising the money to
erect the monument, the UDC presented it to President Woodrow
Wilson who accepted it as a "gift to the nation" on
June 4, 1914.
bronze stands as the tallest bronze sculpture in Arlington. The
heroic-sized figure of the woman atop the monument, her head crowned
with olive leaves, represents the South. Her left hand holds a
laurel wreath, remembering her fallen sons; her right hand holds
a pruning hook on a plow stock. She stands on a plinth embossed
with four cinerary urns symbolizing the four years of the War.
The coats-of-arms of the thirteen Confederate States and of Maryland,
depicted on fourteen inclined shields, comprise a frieze supporting
the plinth. Another frieze below the plinth is of life-sized figures
portraying gods of mythology and soldiers of each branch of the
Confederate service. Six vignettes of Southern families complete
the frieze. The seal of the Confederacy and four inscriptions
surround the base.
As he wished,
Sir Moses J. Ezekiel is buried at the base of the monument to
the left. General Marcus Wright is buried at the front base of
the monument. Over 450 Confederate soldiers, wives, and civilians
are buried around the base.
ON THE BACK OF THE MONUMENT:
for fame or reward, not for place or for rank,
Not lured by ambition, or goaded by necessity
But in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it,
These men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all . . . and died."
Rev. Dr. Randolph H. McKim, D.D.
© 1997 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1997 Bill Harrah