|Confederate Monument, Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern, N.C.|
In October 1866 a number of New Bern women came together to form the Ladies Memorial Association. They were the near relatives of deceased Confederate soldiers and their aim was to see to the proper burial of their husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. These men lay in hastily dug graves scattered across the city and the countryside. Some lay abandoned in distant fields and woods hundreds of miles from where they had been born and raised. By November the ladies had secured a large lot in Cedar Grove Cemetery on which to construct a tomb. The cornerstone of the structure was laid May 2, 1867. When completed at the cost of $3,000 this remarkable subterranean brick vault measured approximately sixty feet in length by ten feet in width with the floor of the tomb being approximately twelve feet beneath the surface. The remains of seventy-one Confederate soldiers were then placed in the tomb. In subsequent years the Ladies Memorial Association sought to erect a suitable marker above the tomb. Constructed in stages over ten years the large marble monument topped by a life-sized Confederate soldier was dedicated on May 11, 1885.
|Poem composed by Mary Bayard Clarke for Confederate Memorial Day, 1878.|
Confederate Memorial Day remained popular in New Bern and throughout the South well into the 20th century although attendance declined as the veterans and those closest to them passed away. The last addition to the memorial in Cedar Grove Cemetery occurred on May 10, 1955 when a large granite and bronze marker was dedicated. Supplied by the Department of the Army, through the auspices of Congressman Graham A. Barden, the marker listed the Confederate soldiers interred in the tomb beneath the monument.
|Dedication of bronze memorial tablet, Cedar Grove Cemetery, 10 May 1955.|
|Anonymous tribute left May 10, 1994 following the vandalism of the Confederate tomb.|