Confederate monument

The Confederate monument on South Jefferson Street is whole again after the soldier standing on the west (right) side was returned Monday to his post. The statue was damaged three years ago when a car struck the monument, leaving the soldier in pieces. The monument was originally erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that also paid for the recent restoration.

A local monument that was damaged three years ago was restored Monday. 

Located on South Jefferson Street across from the Mary Vinson Memorial Library, the Confederate War monument was struck by a vehicle in August 2016, leaving it significantly damaged. The memorial to the Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War stands with a tall obelisk at its center and originally featured two soldiers’ likenesses on its east and west sides. When the vehicle crashed into the monument three years ago the western soldier and his base were left in pieces.

The memorial was constructed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s (UDC) Robert E. Lee Chapter and first unveiled in 1912. First located at the intersection of Hancock and Wilkinson streets across from the old courthouse, the monument was later moved to South Jefferson Street near Georgia Military College’s north gate and the library.

Nancy Kennedy, current president of the local UDC chapter, was on-site watching a work crew return the soldier to his post-Monday morning. She said she and her fellow UDC members are “elated” they were able to get the monument back to its former state. 

“There has been so much controversy with monuments,” Kennedy said. “These statues commemorate these young mens’ lives who fought for a cause they believed in. Today, we all have our opinions on everything from peanuts to the president, but it means an awful lot to see this restored. We’ve been working hard on this. It’s a tribute to the people here in Milledgeville and our Robert E. Lee chapter.”

After the monument sustained damage, the local UDC chapter did some research which turned up Century Harmony, a granite-working company located in Elberton.  

“They came down and looked at it, picked up the pieces, and took it back,” said Kennedy. “It took them over a year to get that statue back intact.”

Kennedy stated the cost of getting the statue restored was around $30,000 — some of which was covered by insurance while the rest was raised through private donations.  

The main inscription on the monument’s north side reads: “To the memory of the Confederate soldier; whose fame is as imperishable as the everlasting hills; whose courage is unrivaled since the dawn of civilization; whose name shines in undying glory on the pages of history….”

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