I recently was asked to come up with a list of the five or six most important Confederate monuments in North Carolina. That has been a pretty hard task. The monument in Cross Creek Cemetery in Fayetteville is first on the list, namely because it was the first Confederate monument in the state, erected in 1868. But where to go from there? There are two monuments to women, one on the capital grounds in Raleigh, and the other on the court house grounds in Wadesboro. We have several impressive monuments here in the state: the soldiers monument in Raleigh, the monument in Rocky Mount, and the monument of Fame transporting a dying Confederate soldier to Heaven in Salisbury. But what about the monuments that stand silent sentinel over the mass graves at Wilmington, New Bern, Goldsboro, Bentonville, and Greensboro? Not to mention Silent Sam himself in Chapel Hill.
So, what I have done is to divide the monuments into categories. The categories are cemeteries; courthouses and public parks; battlefields; women, and out-of-state. We will see if this is acceptable.
I was also thinking, if I had to recommend five or six of the most important War-related sites in North Carolina, what would I come up with? That is an equally hard task. Fort Fisher, Bentonville, and the Durham Place make the list for sure. How about the other three spots? The Vance Birthplace? The statehouse grounds in Raleigh? Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh? Fort Branch? The McElroy House? The State History Museum?
Drop me a line and tell me what you would place on your list.