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Civil War Statues Around the Southeast

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

If one visits the county courthouse, or other prominent section of a southern town, there is a good chance that they will see a statue or monument recognizing the historical role played by the men of that area 160 years ago - a monument to the Civil War soldier.

A statue of a Civil War soldier
A statue of a Confederate soldier has stood at the Limestone County courthouse in Athens, Alabama since 1909

With rare exception those statues are old. In recent years some have been called offensive or bad, while many people don't see them that way at all. That question is not what Picture Americans wants to discuss. The statues are real. They are scattered around the Southeast. They were put there for a reason and many are still there for a reason.

Those statues reflect American history and, for better or worse, they reflect American culture.

confederate solider statue in front of the Limestone County courthouse
The statue at the Limestone County courthouse in Athens, Alabama

In 1909 the United Daughters of the Confederacy led efforts to place a statue of a Confederate soldier at the Limestone County courthouse in Athens, Alabama. That same pedestal remains there today, but in 1918 the statue atop the pedestal was replaced when the new courthouse was built. Many in the community at that time felt that the original statue had a sad or defeated look because the head was bowed. That earlier statue was moved to the Athens Cemetery.

a tree and a statue
The large oak tree fell near the statue but missed it

In February of 2020 the current statue dodged disaster when the nearby oak tree, around 100 years old, was uprooted and blown over in a storm and barely missed falling on the statue.


Confederate soldier statue against green tree and blue sky
The Confederate soldier statue representing the Bigby Greys in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

In Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, about ten miles southwest of Columbia, stands a beautiful statue dedicated to the Bigby Greys. The Bigby Greys were a group of about 100 local men who were sworn into the Confederate States Army on April 20, 1861. They would later be known as Company C of the 3rd Tennessee infantry. The Greys fought many long and bloody battles in the war but were not know for their good fortune. One of the original members of the Bigby Greys was a soldier named Sam Watkins, whose account of the war made him the most famous writer of all the enlisted Rebel soldiers in the war.

Today, right by the statue, visitors can visit the Mount Pleasant Museum of Local History and enjoy lunch at the Mount Pleasant Grille.


statue of a Civil War soldier
A statue of Colonel W.P. Rogers stands in Corinth, Mississippi

At the corner of the grounds of the Alcorn County courthouse in Corinth, Mississippi stands a statue of a specific Confederate soldier who served well and was recognized for his bravery. Colonel William P. Rogers of the Second Texas Infintry died in the second battle of Corinth on October 4, 1862.

Years earlier Rogers, while living in Mississippi, had beeen a medical doctor, and newspaper editor, and later became a lawyer. When the US war started with Mexico, Rogers served as a Captain, leading Company K of the First Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment, also known as the Mississippi Rifles. After the Mexican war ended Rogers and his family settled in Texas where Rogers practiced law as well as taught law classes at Baylor University.

Rogers became close friends with Sam Houston, who later became the governor of Texas. While Rogers and Houston agreed on many issues, they also disagreed on some - most importantly the issues of slavery and secession from the Union. Houston always looked for some compromise in the issue of allowing slavery to spread west from the traditional southern states. Houston never supported the states seceeding from the Union. Rogers was elected as a delegate to the Texas Seccession Convention and was one of the signers of the Ordinance of Seccession on February 1, 1861. Goverrnor Houston chose to resign as Governor rather than sign that bill and Texas left the Union.

When the Civil War started, Rogers became a Colonel in the Second Texas Infintry. That unit arrived in Mississippi just in time to fight in the battle of Shiloh where they suffered heavy losses. That would lead Rogers and his unit to eventually fight in the second battle of Corinth, where he died leading his men in a fierce battle.

His bravery was recognized by the commanding Union General, William Rosecrans, who ordered that Colonel Rogers be given a proper burial as well a marker to identify the grave so that his family could later memorialize the grave and the man.


Also in Corinth, one can find the Civil War Interpretive Center. part of the National Park Serive and Shiloh National Military Park. It is a pretty place and a memorial to the men who fought on both sides of the Civil War.

At the Interpretive Center, you can find a beautiful bronze statue of an African American Union Soldier handing a book to an African American girl. That lovely work is part of the story of how schoolls were opened for black children after the war.

statue of a soldier and a school girl
A powerful part of the Civil War Interpretive Center

bronze statue of a soldier
Beautiful bronze statue of an African American Union soldier

Part of the exhibit is a schoolroom with a blackboard where these words are written, "Corinth was the beginning of Freedom for the African Americans who lived here".

The statues of the soldier and the schoolgirl are both beautiful and powerful. Don't miss out on seeing the Interpretive Center if you are ever in Corinth and have a little time to spare.


A short drive east of my home is the bustling city of Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County and therefore the home of the Madison County courthouse.

a Civil War statue
A Confederate soldier statue at the Madison County courthouse a few weeks before it was removed

In 1905 a Confederate statue was erected at the Madison County courthouse depicting a Confederate soldier. In 1966 when the old courthouse was rebuilt/replaced the statue was accidentally crushed by a falling wall, but it was replaced in 1968.

On the night of Octrober 22, 2020, during a period of civil unrest around the nation, the statue was removed from the courthouse and relocated to Maple Hill cemetery in Huntsville, and placed in a section that contains the graves of many Confederate soliders.


A statue in front of trees and a big building
Confederate statue in Lewisburg, Tennessee

Lewisburg, Tennessee is the county seat of Marshall County and therefore home of the Marshall County courthouse. In 1904 the Marshall County Confederate Memorial was erected there. The memorial is a Confederate statue on a large pesestal. The pedestal is inscribed with names on all four sides.

a statue on a large pedestal
The Marshall County Confederate Memorial in Lewisburg, Tennessee

The southwest side is inscribed with the names of all men from Marshall County serving in the Conferate States Army who died or were killed in that service.

Above the names on the southeast side is inscribed: To the patriotism, valor, and self-sacrifice of our soldiers in defense of the sovereign rights of the states under the flag furled at Appomattox - Gloria victis.

Above the names on the norteast side is inscribed: To the women of the South whose patriotism and devotion, sacrifice and courage - unsurpassed in history - furnished the inspiration to those daring deeds of the Confederate soldier.

And above the names on the northwest side is simply inscribed: Erected and dedicated - A.D. 1904

In Closing:

Civil War statues are scattered around the Southeast. These statues and other monuments hold messages - more that one message. As in most works of art, different people look at the same item and see a different meaning.

As Americans we value freedom of expression. Freedom is very Americana.

And remember that comments are welcomed here in the box at the bottom of this page. I really like reading those comments. You can ask questions there as well. I will try hard to give you a good answer.

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Dec 16, 2023

Rocky, thank you for a reminder of our deep history (@hreedwork

Dec 16, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Harvey for the kind words.

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