History of DeKalb
County Alabama - Unveiling of Confederate Monument
With much pomp and ceremony,
including five speeches, dinner for veterans, and a parade march from Hawkins
Springs, (near the site of the old high school building) with N.S. Davenport of Valley
Head serving as master of ceremonies, Reverend I.K. Waller opened the services with prayer
and the Honorable W.W. Haralson gave the welcome address, to which C.G. Ward, of Lydia
responded. Then Judge J.E. Blackwood of Gadsden delivered the principal speech of the day.
At noon the Daughters of the
Confederacy, assisted by other ladies of the town, spread a bountiful lunch for the old
veterans and their wives. About two oclock, with G.M.P. Lowery, the commander of
Camp Estes, acting as marshal for the day, the line of march to the monument was formed.
It consisted of the commander and his aides, other veterans, Woodmen of the World, and a
platoon of children carrying Confederate flags and singing "Bonnie Blue Flag,"
and "Dixie." The march ended at the monument, located on First Street between
the courthouse and the fountain and watering trough built by Col. Godfrey.
Mrs. Chappel Cory, of Birmingham,
addressed the crowd before the monument was unveiled by ten small boys dressed in
Confederate gray and ten little girls dressed as ladies of the Old South. Then the final
speech was made by E.M. Baker, who spoke from a platform, which had been constructed at
Erected through the efforts of the
Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy, with the assistance of other interested citizens,
the Confederate monument was the first public monument of any kind in DeKalb County. The
tall monument with the Confederate soldier on top, was inscribed on all four sides with
tribute to those who had fought for the Confederacy half a century before.
The day of the monuments
unveiling was an eventful and memorable one marked by the oratorical splendor and colorful
pageantry of that period. This was a day and a monument honoring a defeated army whose
valor and glory remained unscathed forever in the hearts of those who had supported their
cause. Late in the day the aging veterans and other tired participants of the grand events
dispersed by means of horseback, wagon or carriage. But a new era had already begun and
the horse was soon to be replaced as the chief means of transportation in DeKalb County.
The familiar old water trough in front of this monument was no longer needed. The monument
itself became a traffic hazard and fell victim to the modern craze for speed and
convenience. With its base bearing scars of numerous attacks by motor vehicles, the
monument was moved from its location of a quarter of a century. The new site for the proud
Confederate monument was the northwest corner of the City Park, which when created by New
England promoters during the boom, had been given its original name Union Park.
Statue of a Confederate Soldier in Union Park.