How the South Recast Defeat as Victory with an Army of Stone Soldiers
Confederate Monuments to Nameless Infantrymen Were Less About Celebrating History Than Reestablishing Social Order
Monuments to Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders have long been controversial, but monuments to nameless Confederate soldiers, those lone stone figures in public places, are far more common and have long served as an iconic symbol of the South. Understanding the origins of these stone soldiers who still loom over present-day towns and cities may help us better understand current controversies over them.
The white South began to erect soldiers’ monuments soon after the Confederacy’s defeat. In the first two decades after the war, communities most often chose …