Rowan Rifles meeting to feature program on Civl War monuments
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., the Rowan Rifles Camp 405 Sons of Confederate Veterans is hosting North Carolina Road Scholar Dr. Douglas Butler, who will present a program on “After Appomattox: North Carolina Civil War Monuments, 1865-1965.”
A solitary Confederate soldier facing north atop a granite pillar guarding the county courthouse is perhaps the 20th century South’s most recognizable image. However, this stereotypical depiction belies the complex and nuanced reality of North Carolina’s Civil War memorials.
From the earliest carved marble shafts above mass graves of unknown Confederates to commercially produced soldiers still watching over many courthouses, the story of our state’s Civil War monuments is as varied as the war was divisive. Fewer than half the state’s 100 counties erected “Confederate soldiers” during the century following Appomattox. Meanwhile, eight Union monuments, including one to African American soldiers, were raised, albeit in less prominent locations.
In this presentation, author and award-winning photographer Butler discusses the historical, artistic and social contexts in which these commemorations were created, shares his images and relates episodes and anecdotes highlighting the cultural and aesthetic evolution of these memorials.
Butler holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) and a doctorate in medicine from Ohio State University. He is an emergency and family medicine physician who has spent much of his career caring for underserved populations and currently works with Project USA and the Indian Health Service.
This project is made possible by a grant from the N.C. Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The event will be held in the Stanback Room at the Rowan Public Library and is free to the public.