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After the guns fell silent over the trenches of Europe in 1918 and the doughboys returned from “over there,” Americans in big cities and small towns began the effort to commemorate those who served and died in World War I. Throughout the 1920s, Americans raised money and erected thousands of memorials, from ornate artworks crafted by the leading sculptors, artists and architects of the day to simple bronze plaques emblazoned with the names of those who sacrificed it all.
A century later, the bookends of the Civil War and World War II have overshadowed the “Great War,” in spite of its terrible toll. And as World War I has faded from public consciousness, those memorials erected in honor of the 4.4 million who served and the 116,000 who died have grown increasingly forgotten as well.
Art historian Mark Levitch hopes to change this through the nonprofit World War I Memorial Inventory Project, which he launched in 2009 after his unsuccessful attempt to find a monument in Arlington National Cemetery that the French government had reportedly given to the United States after the war. The all-volunteer effort is working to document and compile an online database of the country’s memorials to the Great War. Levitch, who wrote a dissertation on French World War I monuments and studied the war as a State Department analyst covering war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, has identified more than 2,000 memorials by searching through books, newspapers and trade magazines from the 1920s. There is much work to do, however, since he estimates that there may be as many as 10,000 World War I monuments across the country.
Through his lens as an art historian, Levitch, who works at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has noticed that while many Civil War memorials are sculptural, Americans erected a much wider variety of monuments to World War I. One change, in particular, was the creation of honor rolls listing the individual names of not just those who died, but those who served as well. “The names of soldiers was important in the Civil War,” Levitch says, “but there were not these honor rolls of plaques like there were during World War I where every single person is remembered.” In addition to municipalities, religious organizations and even businesses erected honor rolls of its members who fought and died.
Another change in the wake of World War I, Levitch says, was that many of the memorials were also functional, such as the Victory Highway, a transcontinental roadway marked by a series of sculptures of an eagle taking flight that spanned from Manhattan to San Francisco. Municipalities, universities and civic organizations built memorials that ranged from bridges and libraries to city halls and community centers to even football stadiums and swimming pools. “The real problem with these practical memorials, however, is that some are not so practical anymore,” Levitch says. “Some of these buildings were great and grandiose, but now they are white elephants.”
Some dilapidated World War I monuments have already been razed. Others have been vandalized or stolen. Levitch hopes the World War I Memorial Inventory Project will aid in the preservation of these neglected monuments. “The first step to preservation is documentation,” he says.
The public can aid the organization’s effort by contributing a listing for a monument through the World War I Memorial Inventory Project web site or its Facebook page. “In smaller places there is no way of finding out about these memorials unless people go out and hit the pavement,” Levitch says. In addition to names and locations, the project seeks to gather exhaustive information about the country’s memorials, including inscriptions, physical conditions and documents such as memorial dedication programs and newspaper articles covering their construction. “I want the inventory to be more substantive than just a list,” Levitch says. “I hope that people and students will do research on the names that are inscribed and on the memorials themselves.” The organization hopes to have the updated database online soon to allow users to see which memorials or information is currently missing.
Levitch hopes the project will also help World War I to emerge from the historical shadows cast by the Civil War and World War II. “These memorials are great reminders of how momentous World War I was. Cities such as Kansas City, Indianapolis, Baltimore and St. Louis built huge architectural undertakings that reflect how important it was to remember the war and those who fought in it,” he says. “The legacy of World War I is still very much with us in what’s going on in the world, and I hope this project makes the war more vital in some way.”
|Confederate Soldier Memorial||Huntsville, |
Madison County Courthouse
|Oscar Hummel, sculptor |
Georgia Marble Works, fabricator
|granite||unveiled November 21, 1905 ||"In memory of the heroes who fell in defense of the principles which gave birth to the Confederate cause erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy. Our Confederate dead. In memory of General John Hunt Morgan, "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy, born in Huntsville June 1, 1825, died defending the noble cause Sept. 1864" |
|Confederate Monument|| ||Montgomery, |
Alabama State Capitol
|Alexander Doyle, sculptor |
Gorda C. Doud, designer
|Russellville limestone, |
|dedicated December 7, 1898||Inscriptions: 1861-1865 / CONSECRATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS AND SEAMEN|
FAME'S TEMPLE BOASTS NO HIGHER NAME, / NO KING IS GRANDER ON HIS THRONE / NO GLORY SHINES WITH BRIGHTER GLEAM, / THE NAME OF 'PATRIOT' STANDS ALONE.
WHEN THIS HISTORIC SHAFT SHALL CRUMBLING LIE / IN AGES HENCE, IN WOMAN'S HEART WILL BE, / A FOLDED FLAG, A THRILLING PAGE UNROLLED, / A DEATHLESS SONG OF SOUTHERN CHIVALRY.
THESE SEAMEN OF CONFEDERATE FAME / STARTED THE WONDERING WORLD / FOR BRAVER FIGHT WAS NEVER FOUGHT, / AND FAIRER FLAG WAS NEVER FURLED.
THE KNIGHTLIEST OF THE KNIGHTLY RACE / WHO SINCE THE DAYS OF OLD, / HAVE KEPT THE LAMP OF CHIVALRY / ALIGHT IN HEARTS OF GOLD.
THIS CORNER STONE WAS LAID BY / JEFFERSON DAVIS. / PRESIDENT OF C.S.A. / APRIL 29, 1886. 
|Jefferson Davis Monument||Montgomery, |
Alabama State Capitol
|Frederick Hibbard, sculptor |
Roman Bronze Works, founder
|bronze, granite base||unveiled November 19, 1940 ||in part: JEFFERSON DAVIS, JUNE 3, 1808-DECEMBER 6, 1889, SOLDIER SCHOLAR STATESMAN, A GRADUATE OF WEST POINT MILITARY ACADEMY. HE SERVED THE UNITED STATES AS COLONEL OF MISSISSIPPI VOLUNTEERS. MEXICAN WAR: MEMBER OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SENATOR, AND AS SECRETARY OF WAR. INAUGURATED PRESIDENT OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT, CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, FEBRUARY 18, 1861. PRESENTED TO THE STATE OF ALABAMA BY THE/UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY NOVEMBER 19, 1940 |
|Confederate Memorial||Fort Smith, |
Sebastian County Courthouse
|Monumental Cut Stone Company, fabricator||granite||dedicated September 10, 1903||"LEST WE FORGET / 1861-1865 / OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD / ERECTED / BY THE / VARINA JEFFERSON DAVIS / CHAPTER, DAUGHTERS / OF CONFEDERACY / FORT SMITH, ARK. / 1903." |
|Pine Bluff Confederate Monument |
aka David Owen Dodd Statue
|Pine Bluff, |
Jefferson County Courthouse
|McNeel Marble Works, fabricator||Georgia marble||November 10, 1910 ||in part: TO THE MEMORY OF / OUR CONFEDERATE / SOLDIERS. / WE CARE NOT WHENCE THEY CAME, / DEAR IN THEIR LIFELESS CLAY. /WHETHER KNOWN OR UNKNOWN / TO FAME / THEIR CAUSE AND COUNTRY / STILL THE SAME. / THEY DIED AND WORE THE GREY. / THIS TABLET IS INSCRIBED TO/ J. ED MURRAY COLONEL / OF THE 5TH ARKANSAS REGIMENT. / KILLED AT THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA. / JULY 22, 1864 / AGE 21 YEARS. 1861 - 1865 / CONFEDERATE. ERECTED BY THE DAVID OWEN DODD CHAPTER. / UNITED DAUGHTERS / OF THE CONFEDERACY. / NOV 10, 1910 / IN LEGEND AND LAY / OUR HEROS (sic) IN GRAY / SHALL FOREVER LIVE OVER / AGAIN FOR US. A TRIBUTE TO DAVID OWEN DODD / OUR MARTYR HERO / HANGED AT LITTLE ROCK / AS A SPY JAN. 8, 1864 / AGED 17 YEARS / HE WAS OFFERED LIFE AND / LIBERTY BUT PREFERRED TO / DIE RATHER THAN PROVE / FALSE TO HIS TRUST: |
|Bentonville Confederate Monument||Bentonville, Public Square Park||Unknown, from Barre, Vermont ||Granite||August 8, 1908 ||North face inscription: "THEIR NAMES ARE BORNE ON HONOR'S SHIELD / THEIR RECORD IS WITH GOD / CONFEDERATE."|
East face inscription: " THEY FOUGHT FOR HOME AND FATHERLAND / CONFEDERATE."
South face inscription: "1861-65 / CONFEDERATE."
West face inscription: "TO THE SOUTHERN SOLDIERS / ERECTED BY A.J. BATES AND / THE JAMES H. BERRY CHAPTER / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / AUG. 8, 1908. / CONFEDERATE."
Metal plate added to west face on January 30, 1914: "JAMES H. BERRY / 1841-1913 / SOLDIER AND STATESMAN / BELOVED OF ARKANSAS / 2ND LIEUTENANT / CO. E 16TH ARK. INFANTRY, C.S.A / LEGISLATOR - JURIST / GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS / UNITED STATES SENATOR / HE PERFORMED EVERY DUTY / WITH AN EYE / SINGLE TO THE PUBLIC WELFARE / AND HIS OWN UNBLEMISHED HONOR / THIS TABLE IS PLACED HERE / BY THE JAMES H. BERRY CHAPTER / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF / THE CONFEDERACY / THE PAT CLEBURNE CAMP / SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS / AND OTHER FRIENDS / IN LOVING REMEMBRANCE / AND APPRECIATION / OF HIS NOBLE LIFE AND CHARACTER." 
|Wilcox County Confederate Monument||Abbeville, |
Wilcox County Library
|McNeel Marble Works, fabricator||Georgia marble||April 26, 1909 ||in part: "CONFEDERATE / DEAD / CONFEDERATE" "THIS CARVEN STONE IS / HERE TO TELL / TO ALL THE WORLD THE / LOVE WE BEAR / TO THOSE WHO FOUGHT AND / BLED AND FELL, / WHOSE BATTLE CRY WAS / DO AND DARE. / WHO FEARED NO FOE, BUT/FACED THE FRAY— /OUR GALLANT MEN WHO WORE THE GRAY." "ERECTED BY THE / ABBEVILLE CHAPTER, / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF / THE CONFEDERACY, /APRIL 26, 1909. / IN MEMORY OF OUR / HEROES IN GRAY." "IT IS A DUTY WE OWE / TO POSTERITY TO SEE / THAT OUR CHILDREN SHALL / KNOW THE VIRTUES AND / BECOME WORTHY OF THEIR / SIRES." |
|DeKalb County Confederate Monument||Decatur, Old Courthouse (removed in 2020)||1908||(South Face): Erected by the men and women and children of Dekalb County, to the memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy, of whose virtues in peace and in war we are witnesses, to the end that justice may be done and that the truth perish not.|
(West Face): After forty two years another generation bears witness to the future that these men were of a covenant keeping race who held fast to the faith as it was given by the fathers of the Republic. Modest in prosperity, gentile in peace, brave in battle, and undespairing in defeat, they knew no law of life but loyalty and truth and civic faith, and to these virtues they consecrated their strength.
(North Face): These men held that the states made the union, that the Constitution is the evidence of the covenant, that the people of the State are subject to no power except as they have agreed, that free convention binds the parties to it, that there is sanctity in oaths and obligations in contracts, and in defense of these principles they mutually pledged their live, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. (East Face) How well they kept the faith is faintly written in the records of the armies and the history of the times. We who knew them testify that as their courage was without a precedent their fortitude has been without a parallel. May their prosperity be worthy.
ON SUNDAY. MAY 3RD, 1863, GEN. NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST, BY HIS INDOMITABLE WILL, AFTER A RUNNING FIGHT OF THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS, WITH 410 MEN, CAPTURED COL. A.D. STREIGHT’S RAIDERS, NUMBERING 1600, THEREBY SAVING ROME FROM DESTRUCTION.
“FORREST’S CAPACITY FOR WAR SEEMED ONLY TO BE LIMITED BY THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR IT’S DISPLAY.” GEN. BEAUREGARD.
“HIS CAVALRY WILL TRAVEL A HUNDRED MILES IN LESS TIME THAN OURS WILL TEN” GEN. W.T. SHERMAN."
The statue represents Confederate officer, Captain Robert D. Logan
(Front of base:) CSA/UDC (as a monogram)/1861-1865/ERECTED BY THE U. D. C./AND THE VETERANS/OF THE C. S. A. OF BOYLE CO./TO THE CONFEDERATE DEAD (Back of base:) WHAT THEY WERE THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS 
|Confederate Monument||Baton Rouge, |
3rd Street & North Boulevard
|Benjamin Joseph Goodman, sculptor||marble||base dedicated February 22, 1886 |
sculpture dedicated 1890
|ERECTED BY THE MEN AND WOMEN OF EAST AND WEST BATON ROUGE TO PERPETUATE THE HEROISM AND PATRIOTIC DEVOTION OF THE NOBLE SOLDIERS FROM THE TWO PARISHES WHO WORE THE GRAY AND CROSSED THE RIVER WITH THEIR IMMORTAL LEADERS TO REST UNDER THE SHADE OF THE TREES. ORIGINAL MONUMENT ERECTED 1886 A.D. |
|The South's Defenders||Lake Charles, |
Ryan Street & Kirby Street
|marble||base dedicated June 3, 1915 |
June 3, 1915
|OUR HEROES |
|Confederate Monument |
or War Memorial Monument
Humphreys County Courthouse
|Columbus Marble Works, fabricator||marble||Spring 1923||Monument includes three figures, a woman, a CSA soldier and a WWI doughboy|
"The figure of the World War I soldier is the second made for the memorial. The first, modelled after a young ROTC student, included the ROTC insignia on the uniform pocket. The inclusion of the insignia was offensive to the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the statue was sold to State College and replaced with the current one in time for the Dedication Day." 
|Washington County Confederate Memorial||Greenville, |
Washington County Courthouse
|Columbus Marble Works, fabricator||marble||dedicated June 3, 1909 ||in part, "Erected by Private Taylor Rucks Chaper United Daughters of the Confederacy to commemorate the valor and patriotism of the Confederate soldiers of Washington County. it is sure the truth of history that the fundamental principles for which our fathers contended should often be reiterated that the purpose which inspired them may be correctly estimated and the putiry of their motives be abundantly vindicated. Charles B. Galloway", "The sublimest word in the English language is duty. Robert E. Lee," "No braver battle for truth was ever fought in vain, Randolph H. McKim", "For those who encountered the perils of war in defense of states rights and constitutional government. Jefferson Davis." |
|Confederate Monument||Hattiesburg, |
Forrest County Courthouse
|Frank H Hartman, contractor||marble||unveiled April 26, 1910 ||in part: WHEN THEIR COUNTRY CALLED THEY HELD BACK NOTHING THEY CHEERFULLY GAVE THEIR PROPERTY AND THEIR LIVES THRU THE DEVOTION AND UNTIRING EFFORTS OF THE HATTIESBURG CHAPTER NO. 422 OF THE UNITED DAUGHTERS/OF THE CONFEDERACY, THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED TO THE HONOR AND MEMORY OF THOSE WHO WORE THE GRAY |
|Hinds County Confederate Monument||Raymond, |
Hinds County Courthouse
|Frederick Hibbard, sculptor |
American Bronze Company, founder
|April 29, 1908 ||in part: "WE OF THE SOUTH REMEMBER, WE OF THE SOUTH REVERE. ERECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF HINDS COUNTY, IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THEIR MEN WHO IN/1861-65 GAVE, OR OFFERED TO GIVE, THEIR LIVES IN DEFENSE OF CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, AND TO THE HEROIC WOMEN WHOSE DEVOTION TO OUR CAUSE IN ITS DARKEST HOUR SUSTAINED THE STRONG AND STRENGTHENED THE WEAK." |
|General Sterling Price||Keytesville, |
Price Memorial Park
|Allen George Newman, sculptor, |
McNeel Marble Works, fabricator
|bronze, concrete base||dedicated June 17, 1915||"GENERAL STERLING PRICE / BORN IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, VIRGINIA / SEPTEMBER 11, 1809 / RESIDED IN CHARITON COUNTY, MISSOURI / 1831-1865 / SPEAKER / OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES / OF MISSOURI GENERAL ASSEMBLY / 1840-1844 / ELECTED TO CONGRESS 1844 / PARTICIPATED IN WAR WITH MEXICO / 1846-1848/RISING FROM RANK OF COLONEL / TO THAT OF BRIGADIER GENERAL / CHAIRMAN OF CONVENTION OF 1861 / MAJOR GENERAL IN COMMAND/OF MISSOURI STATE TROOPS 1861-1862 / DIED IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI / SEPTEMBER 29, 1867." |
|Confederate Memorial Fountain||Helena, |
|George H. Carsley, architect||granite, copper, bronze, concrete||dedicated September 5, 1916  |
Removed August 18, 2017
|"By the Daughters of the Confederacy in Montana 1916" |
|60th North Carolina Infantry Monument||Asheville, |
Buncombe County Court House
|Cherokee Marbleworks, fabricator||marble, granite base||dedicated November 8, 1905 ||in part, "By the Asheville Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy and Friends, This monument is erected commemorating the heroic part taken by the 60th Regt. N.C. volunteers in the great battle of Chickamauaga, Sept. 20, 1863 where it was given post of honor by "State Commission" appointed in 1893 to locate the position of each N.C. regt. in that battle and a marker placed on east margin of Lafayette Pike in Kelly's Field " |
|Silent Sam||Chapel Hill||Canadian sculptor John Wilson||bronze||1913||Toppled by protesters, August 20, 2018|
|Confederate Heroes Monument||Fayetteville, |
St. James Square
|I.W. Durham, sculptor||bronze, granite base||dedicated May 30, 1902 ||"The women of Cumberland to their Confederate dead, May 20, 1861 - May 10, 1902. The died in defense of their rights. For them should fall the teardrop of a nation's grief. Lord God of Host be with us yet lest we forget, lest we forget"|
|Confederate Memorial Monument||Graham, Alamance County Courthouse Square||McNeel Marble Works, fabricator||Italian marble, granite base||May 6, 1904 ||"TO COMMEMORATE / WITH GRATEFUL LOVE, / THE PATRIOTISM, VALOR / AND DEVOTION TO DUTY / OF THE BRAVE SOLDIERS / OF ALAMANCE COUNTY, / THIS MONUMENT IS / ERECTED THROUGH / THE EFFORTS OF THE / GRAHAM CHAPTER, / UNITED DAUGHTERS/OF THE CONFEDERACY. / OUR CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS. "Dedicated May 16, 1914" "ON FAME'S ETERNAL / CAMPING GROUND, / THEIR SILENT TENTS / ARE SPREAD, / AND GLORY GUARDS, / WITH SOLEMN ROUND, / THE BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD." / 1861 / CAS (sic) / 1865 "Faithful unto death / they are crowned / with immortal glory." "Conquered they / can never be / whose souls and / spirits are free." |
|Memory of N. C. Troops at the Battle of Averasboro - 1865||Harnett County, |
site of the Battle of Averasboro
|Eggerton Monument Company||granite||1968||In part: "Chicoara Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy Averasboro/Battleground Centennial Commission 1968, First at Bethel, farthest to the front ay Gettysburg and Chickamauga, last at Appomattox" |
|Confederate Monument||Monroe, |
Old Union County Courthouse
|Jacob Efird, sculptor||granite||dedicated July 4, 1910 ||In part: "Union County's Volunteers, Erected by the Monroe Chapter of the UDC July 4, 1910 Dedicated to the Memory of the Boys in Gray from Union County Who Gave Their All to the Protection of Home 1861-1865" |
|Henry Lawson Wyatt||Raleigh, |
North Carolina State Capitol
|Gutzon Borglum, sculptor |
Gorham Manufacturing Company, founder
|bronze, granite base||dedicated June 10, 1912 ||First Confederate soldier to die in battle.|
|Confederate Monument||Shelby, |
Court Square, Old Cleveland County Courthouse
|C.M. Walsh Marble Co,. fabricator, |
American Bronze Company, founder
|bronze, granite||installed November 21, 1906 |
dedicated spring 1907
|Confederate Soldier||Winston-Salem, |
Forsyth County Courthouse,
|James Alfred Blum, designer||granite||dedicated October 3, 1905 ||"Our confederate dead..in camp on fames eternal camping grounds, as southern soldiers of the war of 1861-65, they share fame that mankind awards to the heroes who served in that great conflict. As southern soldiers of the war of 1861-65, they share the fame that mankind awards to the heroes who served in that great conflict. Sleeping but glorious dead in fames portal dead but victorious but immortal they give us great glory what more could they give? They give us a story a story to live." |
|Confederate Monument||Yanceyville, |
Caswell County Courthouse,
|J.F. Manning Company, fabricator |
American Bronze Company, founder
|bronze, granite||dedicated September 10, 1921 ||"To The Sons of Caswell County who served in the war of 1861-65 In answer to the call of their country In whatever event that may face our national existence may God give us the will to do what is right, that, like our forefathers, we may impress our times with the sincerity and steadfastness of our lives. Erected by the Caswell County Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy" |
|The Lookout||Sandusky, |
|Moses Ezekiel, sculptor||bronze, granite base||dedicated June 7, 1910 ||In part: Erected by the Robert Patton Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy of Cincinnati, Ohio in memory of the Southern prison on this island during the War Between the States. Dead, but sceptered sovereigns who rule us from the dust. This stone upon which this is inscribed was placed by the Grand Lodge of Mississippi in Remembrance of the Masons who sleep here.|
|Chester Confederate Monument||Chester, |
Main & Gadsden Streets
|McNeel Marble Works||Georgia granite and marble||June 27, 1905 ||"THIS MONUMENT GUARDS THE MEMORY OF THE MEN OF CHESTER DISTRICT WHO OBEYING THE CALL OF THEIR STATE DIED FOR THE CONFEDERATE CAUSE 1861-1865 TIME MAY CRUMBLE THIS MARBLE INTO DUST BUT TIME CAN NOT DIM THEIR GLORY. THEIR PATRIOTISM, THEIR VALOR, THEIR FAITHFULNESS AND THEIR FAME REMAIN FOREVER THE HERITAGE OF THEIR/COUNTRYMEN. NON SIBI SED PATRIAE. (translates as "not for self, but country") Their fame increases like the Branches of a tree through the Hidden Courses of Time ERECTED BY DAUGHTERS/OF THE CONFEDERACY. 1905." |
|Confederate Defenders of Charleston||White Point Garden, Charleston, South Carolina||Hermon Atkins MacNeil||Bronze and granite||October 20, 1932||"TO THE CONFEDERATE DEFENDERS OF CHARLESTON FORT SUMTER 1861–1865" and "COUNT THEM HAPPY WHO FOR THEIR FAITH AND THEIR COURAGE ENDURED A GREAT FIGHT."|
|United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument||800 N. Ocoee Street |
|McNeel Marble Works||Granite base, marble sculpture||Dedicated June 3, 1911||(Center base, north side:) To our known and unknown Confederate dead (Center base, east side:) Man was not born to himself alone, but to his country 1861-1865 (Center base, west side:) Erected by the Jefferson Davis Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy 1910 |
|United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument ||Fayetteville, |
Courthouse Square, Lincoln County Courthouse
|J. L. Mott Iron Works, founder||painted metal||1904||The statue's pedestal features a drinking fountain on either side.|
|Our Confederate Soldiers||Franklin, |
Williamson County Courthouse
|Italinan marble, granite base||November 30, 1899 ||'in part: "ERECTED TO / CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS / BY FRANKLIN CHAPTER / NO. 14 / DAUGHTERS OF / THE CONFEDERACY / NOV. 30, A.D. 1899" " IN HONOR AND MEMORY / OF OUR HEROES / BOTH PRIVATE AND CHIEF / OF THE / SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY. / NO COUNTRY EVER HAD / TRUER SONS, / NO CAUSE / NOBLER CHAMPIONS, / NO PEOPLE / BOLDER DEFENDERS / THAN THE BRAVE SOLDIERS / TO WHOSE MEMORY / THIS STONE IS ERECTED." "WOULD IT BE / A BLAME FOR US / IF THEIR MEMORY PART / FROM OUR LAND AND HEARTS / AND A WRONG TO THEM / AND A SHAME TO US. / THE GLORIES THEY WON / SHALL NOT WANE FROM US. / IN LEGEND AND LAY, OUR HEROES IN GRAY / SHALL EVER LIVE / OVER AGAIN FOR US." "WE WHO SAW AND KNEW THEM WELL / ARE WITNESSES / TO COMING AGES / OF THEIR VALOR / AND FIDELITY. / TRIED AND TRUE. GLORY DROWNED / 1861-1865 |
|General Morgan Monument||Greenville, |
Greene County Courthouse
|Sam Highbarger, sculptor||Tennessee marble||Dedicated May 10, 1931||"GENERAL JOHN H. MORGAN 1825-1864 THE THUNDERBOLT OF THE CONFEDERACY FIRST LIEUTENANT, MARSHAL'S REGIMENT OF CAVALRY IN THE MEXICAN WAR CAPTAIN THE "LEXINGTON RIFLES" 1857 CAPTAIN COMPANY A OF THE KENTUCKY CAVALRY 1861 COLONELL 2ND KENTUCKY CAVALRY 1862 BRIGADIER GENERAL APPOINTED FROM TENNESSEE DECEMBER 11 1862. HIS COMMAND, NEVER EXCEEDING 4000/MEN, WAS COMPOSED LARGELY OF KEN TUCKIANS AND TENNESSEANS. IT WAS RENOWNED FOR BOLDNESS AND CELERITY ON RAID CARRYING TERROR INTO THE RE GION NORTH OF THE OHIO. THE "GREAT RAIDER" WAS SURPRISED AT NIGHT AND KILLED BY A DETACHMENT OF THE COMMAND OF GEN. A. C. GILLEM ON THE PREMISES OF THE WILLIAMS HOME/NEAR THIS SPOT SEPTEMBER 4 1864 HIS HEROISM IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SOUTH"|
|Confederate Memorial Hall |
(women's college dormitory)
Peabody College campus of Vanderbilt University
|Henry C. Hibbs, architect||building||1935||The word "Confederate" was removed from its name in 2016. |
|United Daughters of the Confederacy Memorial||Shiloh, |
Shiloh National Military Park 
|Frederick Hibbard||May 17, 1917 |
|Confederate Monument||Bonham, |
Fannin County Courthouse, NW corner of Courthouse Square
|Bonham Marble Works, fabricator.||stone with granite base||dedicated April 26, 1905 ||"To the Confederate Soldiers who sacrificed their lives for a just cause this monument is loving (sic) dedicated by the Daughters of the Confederacy aided by there (sic) Confederate Veterans Association of Fannin County. From 1861 to 1865 they fought for principal (sic), their homes and those they loved on fames eternal camping ground their silent tents are spread and glory guards with solemn round the bivouac of the dead. Battles fought 2242, total enlistment Confederate army 600,000, total enlistment U.S. Army 2,776,304, federal prisoners captured by confederates 270,000, confederate prisoners captured by federalist (sic) 220,000. CO. E. 11th Tex. Cav./Cof, 11th Tex. Cav. (On north side of base:) The great war unrivaled in history for bravery, gallantry, daring and dash." |
|Queen of the Sea ||Corpus Christi, |
Broadway Bluff, Peoples Street & Broadway
|Pompeo Coppini, sculptor||cast concrete bas relief||dedicated April 26, 1911 ||A fountain flanked by stairs, with an arched bas-relief tableau of Neptune and Mother Earth crowning an allegorical figure of Corpus Christi.|
In part: "In memory of the soldiers of the Confederacy erected by the Corpus Christi Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy." 
|Call To Arms||Corsicana, |
Navarro County Courthouse
|Louis Amateis, sculptor |
Bureau Brothers, founder
|Confederate Monument ||Dallas, |
Pioneer Park Cemetery
(formerly located in Old City Park, 1897-1961)
|Frank Teich, sculptor |
Teich Monument Works, fabricator
|obelisk & bases: Texas granite |
statues: Carrara marble
|cornerstone laid June 25, 1896 |
dedicated April 29, 1897
|A 51.5 ft (15.7 m) granite obelisk crowned by a Confederate soldier statue, surrounded by 9 ft (2.7 m) marble statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Albert Sidney Johnston and Stonewall Jackson|
Inscriptions: "THE BRAZEN LIPS OF SOUTHERN / CANNON THUNDERED AN UNANSWERED / ANTHEM TO THE GOD OF BATTLE."
"THE CONFEDERATE SABREUR KIS / SED HIS BLADE HOMEWARD RIDING / STRAIGHT INTO THE MOUTH OF / HELL."
"IT WAS GIVEN THE GENIUS AND VALOR / OF CONFEDERATE SEAMEN TO REVOLU / TIONIZE NAVAL WARFARE OVER THE / EARTH."
"CONFEDERATE INFANTRY DROVE / BAYONETS THROUGH COLUMNS / THAT NEVER BEFORE REELED TO / THE SHOCK OF BATTLE."
"THIS STONE SHALL CRUMBLE INTO DUST ERE / THE DEATHLESS DEVOTION OF SOUTHERN WOMEN / BE FORGOTTEN."
"ERECTED BY / THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / DALLAS CHAPTER NO. 6. / JUNE 25TH 1896."
|Dignified Resignation||Galveston, |
Galveston County Courthouse
|Louis Amateis, sculptor||bronze||dedicated June 3, 1912|||
|Spirit of the Confederacy||Houston, |
Sam Houston Park
|Louis Amateis, sculptor |
Roman Bronze Works, Bureau Brothers, founder
|bronze||dedicated January 19, 1908 ||in part: "The Spirit of the Confederacy erected by the Robert E. Lee Chapter N. 186 U.D.C. January 1908 To all heroes of the South who fought for the principles of states rights" |
|Confederate Soldier Monument||Llano, |
Llano County Courthouse
|James Finlay, and sons Jack and Jim Finlay||granite||dedicated February 22, 1916 ||"To our Confederate dead 1861-1865. Erected by Llano Co. Chapter U.D.C. 1915"|
|World War I and Confederate Soldier Monument||Memphis, |
Hall County Courthouse,
|G.W. Backus, designer||marble||dedicated March 18, 1924 ||The monument includes two full sized figures, a CSA soldier and a World War I doughboy. |
|John H. Reagan Monument||Palestine, |
John H. Reagan Park
|Pompeo Coppini, sculptor||bronze, concrete base||dedicated July 16, 1911 ||in part: "The old Roman's highest ambition was to do his full duty: consciousness of having done it was his ample reward. A good name is to be chosen that great riches and looking (sic) favor rather than silver or gold. ……Author memoirs of secession and the Civil War." |
|Confederate Mothers Monument||Texarkana, |
United Daughters of the Confederacy Park
|"ordered from Italy" |
Henry Allen, designer
Allen Monuments, fabricator
|marble||dedicated April 21, 1918|||
|The Last Stand||Victoria, |
|Pompeo Coppini, sculptor |
Roman Bronze Works, founder
|bronze, granite base||dedicated July 10, 1912 ||in part: "To the soldiers of the Confederate States of America. This monument is dedicated by the William P. Rogers Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Victoria, Texas. June the Third A.D. Nineteen Hundred and Twelve. On civilizations (sic) height, immutable they stand" |
|Confederate Monument at Marshall, Texas||Marshall, Texas - Harrison County Courthouse||Frank Teich, Sculptor at the request of the United Daughters of the Confederacy||marble sculpture, granite base||dedicated on Robert E. Lee's birthday, January 16, 1906||(On front of base, raised letters:) CONFEDERATE (On back of base, raised letters:) ERECTED IN MEMORY OF OUR/CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS/BY THE/UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY/MARSHALL CHAPTER NO. 412/1905/THE LOVE, GRATITUDE, AND MEMORY/OF THE PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH,/SHALL GILD THEIR FAME IN ONE/ETERNAL SUNSHINE.|
(On one side of base:) SOLDIERS, YOU IN THE WRECK OF GRAY/WITH THE BRAZEN BELT OF C.S.A./TAKE OUR LOVE AND TEARS TO-DAY./TAKE, THEN, ALL THAT WE HAVE TO GIVE,/AND BY GOD'S HELP WHILE OUR HEART SHALL LIVE/IT SHALL KEEP IN ITS FAITHFUL WAY/THE CAMPFIRE LIT FOR THE MEN IN GRAY-/AYE, TILL TRUMPET SOUND FAR AWAY/AND THE SILVER BUGLE OF HEAVEN PLAY/AND THE ROLL IS CALLED AT JUDGEMENT DAY."
(On other side of base:) NO MORE HEAR THE REBEL YELL,/WHERE BATTLE THUNDERS ROSE AND FELL/TIS NOW A WELCOME AND A CHEER/TO FRIENDS, TO FOEMEN, FAR AND NEAR,/AND PEACE, SWEET PEACE, BORN OF DISPAIR (sic)/WALKS FORTH AND SHEDS HER RADIENCE (sic) FAIR/UPON LOST FIELDS OF HONOR." unsigned
Washington & Prince Streets
|bronze with granite base||Caspar Buberl, sculptor, from a painting by John Adams Elder ||dedicated May 24, 1889 ||Statue removed June 2020 by the UDC |
|Confederate Monument||Arlington, Arlington National Cemetery||Moses Ezekiel, sculptor |
H. Gladenbeck & Sohn, founder
|bronze on granite base||unveiled June 4, 1914 ||in part: "And they shall beat their swords into plough-shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Not for fame or reward not for place or for rank- not lured by ambition-or goaded by necessity- but in simple obedience to duty-as they understood it-these men suffered all-sacrificed all-dared all-and died" Randolph Harrison McKim. To our dead heroes by the United Daughters of the Confederacy-Victrix-causa-diis-placuit-sed-victa-catoni" (translated "the victorious cause pleased the gods, but the conquered cause pleased Cato)|
|The Confederate Soldiers' Monument||Danville, Green Hill Cemetery||M Hayes, Samuel Walters, sculptors||copper reliefs |
with granite base
|unveiled September 3, 1878||in part: GEN. ROBERT E. LEE. CONFEDERATE DEAD. MEMORIAL TRIBUTE/OF VIRGINIA'S DAUGHTERS TO THE FALLEN BRAVE. DANVILLE, VIRGINIA. GEN. THOMAS J. JACKSON THEY DIED AS MEN WHO NOBLY CONTEND FOR THE CAUSE OF TRUTH AND RIGHT." THEY SOFTLY LIE AND SWEETLY SLEEP." PATRIOTS! KNOW THAT THESE FELL IN THE EFFORT TO ESTABLISH JUST GOVERNMENT AND PERPETUATE CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY. WHO THUS DIE WILL LIVE IN LOFTY EXAMPLE. QUIDQUID EX HIS AMAVIMUS,/QUIDQUID MIRATI SUMUS,/MANET MANSURUMQUE EST IN/ANIMIS HOMINUM, IN/AETERNITATE TEMPORUM, FAMA RERUM.  Latin translates as :"[Anything out of those we have loved, whatever we admired, would continue to remain in the hearts of men, in the eternity of time, the reputation of things.]"  erected by the Ladies' Memorial Association of Danville, administered by United Daughters of the Confederacy.|
|Confederate Monument at Dinwiddie Courthouse||Dinwiddie, |
|granite||Ben Campbell, Burns and Campbell, fabricator||November 27, 1909 ||"In memory of Dindiddie's Confederate soldiers, that their heroic deeds. sublime self-sacrifice and undying devotion to duty and country may never be forgotten" |
|Soldiers Circle||Front Royal, |
Prospect Hill Cemetery
|John B Graver, sculptor |
McNeel Marble Works, fabricator
|Italian marble||August 24, 1882 ||IN MEMORY OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SIX HONORED MEN WHO LIE BURIED HERE, FROM THIS AND OTHER SOUTHERN STATES THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES IN DEFENSE OF TRUTH AND RIGHT. THEY DIED IN THE CAUSE/OF HONOR AND JUSTICE. VIRGINIA HONORS THE/BRAVE ERECTED AUG. 24, 1882, BY THE LADIES' WARREN MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION |
|Robert E. Lee Memorial||Roanoke, |
|JH Marsteller Monument Company||stone||1960||In June 2020, the Roanoke City Council voted to start the legal process to remove the monument and rename Lee Plaza after the July 1, 2020 date when a new state law removes the prohibition against removing monuments to the Confederate States of America. |
|Confederate Monument||Salem, |
Old Roanoke County Courthouse
|JH Marsteller Monument Company||granite||June 3, 1910 ||'In memory of the Confederate soldiers of Roanoke County, 1861-1865. Love makes memory eternal. Erected by the Southern Cross Chapter U.D.C. Salem Va. Also the Va. Div. Badge of the U.D.C.|
|Monument to the Confederate Soldiers ||Sussex, |
Sussex County Courthouse Green
|McNeel Marble Works, fabricator||stone||November 1912 ||in part: "THE PRINCIPLES FOR / WHICH THEY FOUGHT / LIVE ETERNALLY" / OUR / CONFEDERATE / SOLDIERS / LIST OF COMPANIES ORGANIZED IN / AND SENT OUT FROM SUSSEX COUNTY / FOR ROLL OF MEMBERS SEE RECORDS / IN THE COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE / ERECTED BY / SUSSEX CHAPTER U.D.C. / NOV. - 1912 / CHAPTER ORGANIZED / SEPT. 29, 1909. |
|Confederate Monument||Warm Springs, |
Bath County Courthouse
|McNeel Marble Works, fabricator||stone||unveiled September 20, 1922||"CONFEDERATE / SOLDIERS / 1861-1865 / 'LEST WE FORGET' ERECTED BY / BATH CO. CHAPTER / U.D.C . / 1922"|
|Confederate monument||Seattle, |
Lake View Cemetery
|stone||1926||"In memory of the / United Confederate Veterans / Erected by Robert E. Lee / Chapter Number 885 / United Daughters / of the Confederacy / 1926″ |
This monument was toppled on the July 4, 2020 weekend, by persons unknown (as of July 6, 2020). 
World War I Draft Registration Cards
Draft registration cards for more than 24 million men who registered for the WWI draft in 1917 and 1918.
U.S. World War I Mothers' Pilgrimage
More than 10,000 names of widows and mothers entitled to make the U.S. government sponsored pilgrimage to visit their loved one's grave in Europe.
World War I, World War II and Korean War Casualty Listings
Names of more than 135,000 casualties from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
How D.C.’s Newly Unveiled WWI Memorial Commemorates the Global Conflict
More than a century after World War I drew to a close, a long-awaited memorial commemorating the global conflict has opened to the public in the nation’s capital. As Lolita C. Baldor reports for the Associated Press (AP), the Great War is the last of the United States’ four major 20th-century wars to receive a memorial in Washington, D.C.
“The National World War I Memorial is a depiction of what happened 100 years ago, when soldiers boarded ships bound for France, determined to bring to a close what they thought would be a war to end all wars,” said Daniel Dayton, executive director of the World War I Centennial Commission, during a virtual ceremony held last Friday, per Michelle Stoddart of ABC News. “By themselves they of course couldn’t end all war, but their courage and sacrifice did indeed bring a decisive end to a conflict that had killed millions.”
Though the official opening ceremony and raising of the first flag at the site took place on Friday, Stars and Stripes ’ Carlos Bongioanni points out that the central element of the memorial remains unfinished. A roughly 60-foot-long, 12-foot-tall bas-relief sculpture titled A Soldier’s Journey, the wall of remembrance is scheduled to be installed in 2024. For now, a canvas featuring sketches showing the future sculpture stands in its place.
The wall is the work of sculptor Sabin Howard. Per Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times, its 38 figures tell the story of a reluctant soldier who returns home a hero—a tableau that reflects the nation’s turn from isolationism to a position of global leadership.
“Starting from the left, the soldier takes leave from his wife and daughter, charges into combat, sees men around him killed, wounded, and gassed, and recovers from the shock to come home to his family,” notes the National Park Service (NPS) on its website.
The monument is located in an area previously known as Pershing Park. Now designated as a national memorial, the space incorporates an existing statue of General John J. Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) sent to fight on Europe’s Western Front.
In addition to the design and construction of the memorial elements, the $42 million project included the reconstruction of the park, which had fallen into disrepair. The park is also a recreational facility used by tourists and local residents.
“Our objective was to build a memorial that would stand shoulder to shoulder with other monuments and elevate World War I in the American consciousness, at the same time recognizing that unlike those memorials, this has to be a memorial and an urban park,” Edwin L. Fountain, vice chairman of the Centennial Commission, tells the Times.
The memorial features a “Peace Fountain” and panels engraved with information about the U.S.’ role in the war. Per ABC News, visitors can learn more about the history that the physical monuments commemorate via an augmented reality app, or by scanning “information poppies” outfitted with QR codes. (The red poppies that grew over Europe’s battlefields became a symbol of remembrance for those who died in the war.)
WDVM ’s Anthony Deng reports that the Centennial Commission, established by the Obama administration through an act of Congress, launched a competition centered on the park’s redesign in 2015. Of more than 350 entries, the commission chose the concept submitted by Howard and architect Joseph Weishaar. Construction began in December 2019.
The memorial incorporates a statue of General John J. Pershing. (U.S. World War One Centennial Commission)
Howard tells the Times that his mission was to make a sculpture that was both engaging and educational.
He explains, “My client said, ‘You have to make something that dramatizes World War I in a way in which visitors will want to go home and learn more about it.’”
Still, the artwork has faced criticism for depicting Black soldiers fighting alongside white ones. In reality, most Black soldiers who served during World War I were limited to labor battalions. Combat units were also segregated. Many Black veterans “returned home only to face bigotry and prejudice,” as Joe Williams writes for Smithsonian magazine’s May issue.
Howard says he changed the helmets of the Black troops in response to the criticism but did not otherwise alter their depiction because “they needed to be treated as equal stature.”
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 2 million U.S. troops served overseas during the war. Almost 117,000 were killed. (The National WWI Museum and Memorial, an independent cultural institution in Kansas City, Missouri, commemorates the conflict as the country ’s official museum dedicated to World War I.)
“The Great War [touched] almost every American family at the time,” said President Joe Biden in a recorded presentation screened before the raising of the flag. “For too long, that nationwide service has not been fully commemorated here in the nation’s capital.”
Biden added, “This memorial finally will offer a chance for people to visit and reflect and to remember. More than 100 years [have] passed since WWI ended, but the legacy and courage of those Doughboys sailing off to war, and the values they fought to defend, still live in our nation today.”
About Livia Gershon
Livia Gershon is a freelance journalist based in New Hampshire. She has written for JSTOR Daily, the Daily Beast, the Boston Globe, HuffPost, and Vice, among others.
The Legacy Of The Monuments Men
National Archives American soldiers with stolen art.
Despite the work of the Monuments Men through the end of the war, there are still thousands of priceless pieces missing today. These historical artifacts were most likely destroyed in the war though some of them possibly remain hidden away.
Raphael’s Portrait Of A Young Man painting, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is among the valuables still missing.
Fortunately, the work of the Monuments Men continues to be carried out through initiatives launched by experts in the field of art curation and the Monuments Men Foundation. Progress, however, has been slow.
Flickr A Monuments Man leans over a collection of recovered paintings.
The work of the Monuments Men went nearly forgotten among mainstream consciousness until 2014’s action-comedy, The Monuments Men. The film starred George Clooney, who also signed on as the director, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchett. The movie received worldwide attention from modern audiences, many of who were introduced to the Monuments Men for the first time.
The movie was written based on the book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Hunt in History, by Robert M. Edsel. The film takes a number of artistic liberties, however.
National Archives A Monuments Man rifles through a collection of stolen Torahs at the Offenbach Collecting Point.
Chief among them is how the Monuments Men came to be. According to the movie, the special unit was conceived following the urging of Frank Stokes, Clooney’s character who is based on the real-life figure of George Stout.
Although Stout is considered one of the first to campaign for a task force to protect art during the war, the formation of the original unit was eventually done without his direct input.
Wikimedia Commons General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gen. Omar N. Bradley, and Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., inspect treasures stolen by Germans and hidden in a German salt mine in 1945.
There was also no romantic entanglement between Rose Valland (played by Blanchett) and James Rorimer, the real-life figure who inspired Matt Damon’s character, James Granger. The two did cultivate a close relationship during their work with the Monuments Men but it was strictly professional.
Nevertheless, the film still delivers the most important message of all: that without the men and women of the MFAA, many of Europe’s most prized artifacts would have been lost forever.
Next, see how a priceless 17th-century Caravaggio painting was found behind mattresses in an old French attic. Then, read the true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the Baroque master painter who took revenge on her rapist through her art.
The first world war helped shape modern America. Why is it so forgotten?
I t redefined women’s rights, race relations, civil liberties and America’s role in the world. It caused twice as many American deaths as the Vietnam war. But there is no national memorial to it in Washington DC and, on Thursday, its centenary will pass with little fanfare.
On 6 April 1917, America declared war on Germany and charged into the first world war. After nearly three years of reluctance, its hand was forced by the sinking of neutral US ships by German submarines, and by Britain’s interception of the so-called Zimmerman telegram revealing a German plot to persuade Mexico to wage war on the US.
America mustered more than 4.7 million service members with astonishing speed and suffered 53,402 battle deaths and 63,114 other deaths in service, many from Spanish flu. America’s involvement was crucial to the Germans’ defeat in 1918, profoundly shaping what came to be known as “the American century”. Yet in contrast to the extensive centenary commemorations in Britain three years ago – a memorial at the Tower of London featured 888,246 red poppies to represent each soldier who died – this has for many Americans become a forgotten war.
“America didn’t suffer the way Great Britain did, certainly,” historian A Scott Berg said during a panel discussion hosted by PBS in Washington on Monday. “Woodrow Wilson kept us out of the war for three years we really only fought for about six months. Britain lost a generation. We lost a lot comparatively speaking, but nothing compared to what Britain lost.”
But Jennifer Keene, a historian specialising in the first world war at Chapman University in Orange, California, disagreed: “I hate comparisons like that. I feel like they’re really unuseful in terms of understanding our different experiences of war. We lost 52,000 casualties in six months. If 52,000 Americans had come back [dead] from Iraq in the first six months of fighting there I don’t think that anybody would say that that was insignificant, or that America wouldn’t feel it.”
Along with the huge loss of life, the war had seismic implications for the US economically, socially and culturally. Women played an outsized role in the mobilisation effort and seized the opportunity to demand the vote, staging protests outside the White House and hunger strikes in jail Wilson eventually persuaded Congress that suffrage was a war measure.
A woman looks at a replica of a first world war recruitment poster at an Arlington National Cemetery exhibit. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
The war was a catalyst for the great migration of African Americans, and those who returned from the war, finding inequality intact, demanded civil rights. In addition, the conflict heralded the rise of conscription, mass propaganda, the national security state and the FBI. It accelerated income tax and urbanisation and helped make America the pre-eminent economic and military power in the world.
These transformations are vividly chronicled in the American Experience TV series, The Great War, starting on PBS on 10 April. The show also reveals how immigrants were scapegoated, with those of German ancestry forced to register with authorities and pressured to prove their loyalty to America. There are references to events where steins were smashed and German dogs were slaughtered.
Donald Trump’s German grandfather, Friedrich Trump, emigrated to America in 1885. But Trump’s father, Fred, claimed to be of Swedish descent because of anti-German sentiment provoked by the war. The president himself claimed Swedish, not German, ancestry until 1990. On Thursday the president will be travelling to his luxury estate in Florida for talks with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, bypassing the official commemoration at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, where the most senior official will be the acting army secretary, Robert Speer.
But the fact that he is meeting the leader of the world’s rising superpower – an authoritarian state with little regard for free speech – will carry its own symbolism 100 years after Wilson set the tone for America as global watchdog for democracy.
Speaking on the panel at the Newseum in Washington, Berg, a biographer of Wilson, said: “With all due respect to Tom Brokaw and to Tom Hanks for that matter, I don’t think the world war two generation was the greatest generation. I think the world war one generation was the greatest generation, in large measure because that generation went to war over principles. We weren’t attacked.”
This week, he added, marked the centenary of “what I consider the single most important foreign policy speech in the last 100 years, if not the last 260-odd years, and that was Woodrow Wilson going before a joint session of Congress and asking for a declaration of war, and within that speech, Woodrow Wilson uttered eight words that have been the foundation of all American foreign policy ever since: ‘The world must be made safe for democracy’. Whether you agree with it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you understand it or not, doesn’t matter. That has been the foundation of almost all American foreign policy for the last 100 years.”
It is a thread that has, for better or worse, run through the US interventions in the second world war, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf war, Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, but which Trump has now suggested he will abandon in the name an “America first” foreign policy that no longer seeks to impose democracy abroad.
There were 52,000 US casualties in six months of the first world war. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/Associated Press
Michael Kazin, a history professor at Georgetown University in Washington, said: “Trump is the first president since then I think who’s not really a Wilsonian in his heart. He’d like the US just to bash its enemies and then get out. He says, ‘We should have taken the oil’, which is not something any other American president would say in the same circumstances.
“So we might – who knows – be seeing the end of this Wilsonian tradition – whether it’s a good one or not is a different matter – and the realists will be borne out, that America will go to war only when it’s totally in American self-interest, not for any larger ideals.”
Kazin said it is a “shame” that few in America appreciate the importance of the US entry into the war, both in terms of changing its outcome and transforming American society.
In the introduction to his book, War Against War: The Rise, Defeat and Legacy of the Peace Movement in America 1914-1918, Kazin writes: “Although combatants in the second world war and the Vietnam conflict are memorialised in large and popular sites on the National Mall, the men who fought in the Great War – and the 53,000 who died in battle – still have no such honour in stone.
“Alone among citizens of the former belligerent nations, Americans celebrate a holiday on the anniversary of the Armistice that makes no explicit reference to the war itself. When I ask students why Veterans Day happens to take place on November 11, hardly any know the answer.”
In an interview at the Wilson Center in Washington, he elaborated: “For the US, world war one is messy. Americans don’t quite understand why did we get in so late, and then why isn’t there some famous battle that we all know about as there is of course in world war two, and why aren’t there movies about it, why isn’t there serious literature about it.
“Except for Hemingway, Farewell to Arms, there’s no important world war one literature in this country, nothing compared to all the [Wilfred] Owens and [Siegfried] Sassoons and others. A lot of it’s radical poetry, pretty lousy stuff: doggerel is a better description of it. There’s no important American movie about it, nothing like [Jean Renoir’s] Grand Illusion.”
Woodrow Wilson leads a group of people at the peace conference after the first world war. Photograph: AN2
The centenary is not passing entirely unmarked, however. Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, are staging various exhibitions, lectures and screenings. A centennial commission is finally planning a national memorial for Washington, although it will be in Pershing Park, not on the National Mall.
Matthew Naylor, president and chief executive of the museum in Kansas City, said it has seen a 52% increase in visitors since 2013, reaching more than 225,000 last year. “There is a deep vein of interest,” he added. “We don’t seek to compete with those other wars. We seek to take our rightful place among the monuments that honour those who served.”
But whereas Britain will again commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice in November next year with pomp, America’s reflections on a war that lacked a clear moral lesson – Wilson lost the peace when the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations – will inevitably be more muted.
Mitch Yockelson, chief historical consultant with the World War I Centennial Commission, mused: “You go into a London bookshop and it’s full of world war one books you go into one in the US and there are hardly any.
“As one historian wrote perfectly, world war one got bookended between the civil war and world war two. Many of the soldiers didn’t want to talk about it, it was such a horrific experience. It took a while to sink in and by the time people were ready to write histories, it was into world war two.”
Yockelson added: “I can guarantee that, once the armistice is commemorated in 2018, it will be pretty much forgotten but for a core group of people.”
India’s Forgotten Soldiers
NEW DELHI — The first time I ever saw my grandfather’s name written out was in a leather-bound register of a thousand pages. Each page was busy with names, and it took me a while to find his: misspelled, in diminutive type, buried deep in the thick, creamy leaves. It was late spring, and I was seated inside a shed at the Delhi War Cemetery, reading with my chin tilted up so the sweat dropped away from the paper: I couldn’t risk blotting out the memory of a war hero.
Outside, the sun blazed off the marble gravestones of about a thousand men who died for the British Empire in World War II. I had come to find my maternal grandfather, who joined the army’s medical service in the summer of 1942: the high noon of India’s freedom struggle, as well as of the war. I searched along the headstones until an attendant pointed out that the Hindu dead were cremated, not buried. The small scratching, with a typo, was my grandfather’s only commemoration.
In July last year, the newly elected government of Narendra Modi announced that it would build a monument to India’s fallen soldiers, honoring a long-standing promise to the armed forces. Arun Jaitley, then minister for both defense and finance, set aside $15 million in his first budget for a National War Memorial. It would bear the names, he said, of “all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country after 1947,” the year of India’s independence.
India rarely cares to remember the soldiers of the Raj, especially those who fought in World War II, which ended in Asia exactly 70 years ago. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, and two years later, to the day, India was free. Since then, the authorized history of the period has dwelt only on those who fought to be free of the Empire, forgetting the many who had fought to defend it.
It is often implied that the Indians who served during World War II were mercenaries, and deserve no part in the country’s military legacy. In fact, the war was the start of the army’s modern era, and the men who were tested by it helped build the Indian military into the professional force it is today.
The intended site for the National War Memorial is right next to India Gate, the social heart of the city, where thousands of Delhiwalas converge each evening to have picnics, tear at candy floss and stretch out under the sky. India Gate is itself a war memorial, built by the Raj to honor soldiers who died in World War I. The government’s new memorial will commemorate those who died since 1947. A hundred yards of lawn and asphalt will separate the two structures — a gap that will unwittingly symbolize the war they leave out.
This is not a minor omission. World War II remains the greatest military engagement in India’s history. Over two million Indians served — at that time, the largest unconscripted army ever — and 36,000 died or went missing, as far afield as Italy, Tunisia and Hong Kong. For the first time, large numbers of middle-class Indians were commissioned as officers, a privilege until then reserved for white men.
These new officers came under great moral duress from both Gandhi’s Congress Party, which had boycotted the war effort, and the rebel army of Subhas Chandra Bose, which aimed to liberate India by force, with help from Japan. Most were for independence in private, but almost none ever wavered in their duty to the Raj. They maintained the confidence of their commander in chief, Claude Auchinleck, who once ordered that “no Indian officer must be regarded as suspect and disloyal merely because he is what is called a nationalist.”
The integration of Indian officers into the colonial army was not always smooth, but it was sustained, and in return they resisted the provocations of Gandhi and Bose, and rose through the ranks. Eventually they got to defend their homeland, when they turned back the final thrust of the Japanese Army into India’s northeast in the summer of 1944.
Yet for those who fell, there would be no triumphal arch — they were too late to be honored by the departing Empire, and too early to be accepted by the free nation-state. Today, if they are remembered at all, their moral status is questioned. Last month, Aakar Patel, director of Amnesty International India, declared that the Indian Army was historically “an army of mercenaries that became a national army overnight on August 15, 1947.”
My grandfather did join up for money, it’s true: At Madras Medical College in 1942, he fell in love with a classmate, and when it was discovered by his family that she was a mleccha, a non-Hindu, he was severed from both clan and inheritance. Scared, broke and struggling with weak lungs, he yielded to the recruitment officers who hovered around campus, promising salary and status.
A few weeks later, he found himself not on the front line opposing global fascism, but in a mud fortress on India’s northwest frontier, helping suppress the Pashtun tribes, a colonial routine over a century old. There was little to redeem that effort, even to himself. But he stayed at his post while winter came, and his bronchitis worsened, until he succumbed to it.
Had my grandfather survived the war, he would have slipped out of the uniform of the colonial mercenary straight into that of a patriot. Other subalterns who had saluted the Union Jack would go on to become the top brass during India’s later, nationalist battles. What never changed was that they refused ideology, and stayed loyal to the civilian administration above all.
That is the real legacy of Indian troops: Whether or not they were patriots, they were always professionals. That tradition sustained the Raj in its last hours, and it sustains a vexing democracy today. India’s government does no justice to the armed forces by honoring the soldiers who lived through World War II and forgetting the ones who did not.
Located on the Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C. Fort Hunt was originally a part of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. It was still farmland in 1892 when the War Department, as part of an ambitious nationwide plan to modernize coastal defenses, purchased the land. The site was chosen as a complement to Fort Washington , which had defended the Potomac River since 1809.
Spain Speeds Construction
Construction on Fort Hunt did not begin until 1897 when worsening relations with Spain suddenly awakened the government to the sorry state of America's defenses. Once war was declared in 1898 forty-eight men from the Fourth Coast Artillery were ordered to garrison the fort, even though only one of the four proposed batteries was completed. It was not until 1904 that the all three 8-inch rifles, three 3-inch, and two 5-inch rapid firing guns were finally in place.
In spite of all the consternation engendered by the supposed threats of 1898, the new guns were never fired against an enemy.Its life as a coastal battery was short-lived. Once the emergency that had created it had passed, the new post slipped into the uneventful rhythms of a half-forgotten peacetime garrison. Even in its heyday, it had never been home to more than one company of 109 men.
A clear field of fire surrounded the batteries at Fort Hunt in the 1920s. The battery commander's tower among the trees in the foreground could direct fire toward encroaching ships and signal Fort Washington.
Decommission and Transfer
With the outbreak of World War I, the Army decided that Fort Hunt's guns could be put to better use elsewhere. By 1918 all of the batteries had been dismantled and the armament transferred to other forts. Though no longer needed as a defensive post, Fort Hunt remained an integral part of the newly-constituted Army which emerged after World War I. As part of a vast reorganization meant to expand and modernize the Army, all of the 30-odd service schools were revamped and revitalized. In 1921, the Fort Hunt welcomed the Finance School to its new home. Once again, however, changing social and political climates dictated a shift in activities at Fort Hunt.
A strong anti-militaristic, isolationist mood swept the in the wake of World War I. In 1922, Congress instructed the Army to drastically reduce its manpower, and to consolidate its functions. The Finance School was transferred away from Fort Hunt and back to offices in Washington in 1923.
For the next nine years, Fort Hunt was something of a "white elephant" for an Army which continued to reel under severe budgetary and personnel cutbacks. Except for a brief sojourn by a Signal Company, the fort was essentially abandoned. Although several local governments, a military academy, and the Department of Agriculture expressed an interest in using the land, Congress declined to transfer jurisdiction from the War Department. It was not until 1930 that Congress finally authorized the Secretary of War to transfer Fort Hunt to the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital for development as a recreational site along the newly established George Washington Memorial Parkway.
An African American ROTC unit trained at Fort Hunt in 1931. Temporary--and separate--quarters, a mess, and a lavatory were set up for them near the fort's incinerator.
Fort Hunt's transformation to a recreation area continued until World War II. Searching for a secure place to interrogate prisoners of war, the Army suddenly remembered Fort Hunt. It was transferred back to the War Department for a period not-to-exceed one year after the cessation of hostilities to serve this purpose. For the next four years Fort Hunt would once again assume a decidedly military, top secret air.
Learn more about Fort Hunt's role during World War II when it went by the top secret name of PO Box 1142.
Hear the stories from the people who actually witnessed the World War II history by checking out our Oral History Project Page.
The True Story of the Monuments Men
Captain Robert Posey and Pfc. Lincoln Kirstein were the first through the small gap in the rubble blocking the ancient salt mine at Altausee, high in the Austrian Alps in 1945 as World War II drew to a close in May 1945. They walked past one sidechamber in the cool damp air and entered a second one, the flames of their lamps guiding the way.
There, resting on empty cardboard boxes a foot off the ground, were eight panels of The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan van Eyck, considered one of the masterpieces of 15th-century European art. In one panel of the altarpiece, the Virgin Mary, wearing a crown of flowers, sits reading a book.
"The miraculous jewels of the Crowned Virgin seemed to attract the light from our flickering acetylene lamps," Kirstein wrote later. "Calm and beautiful, the altarpiece was, quite simply, there."
Kirstein and Posey were two members of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allies, a small corps of mostly middle-aged men and a few women who interrupted careers as historians, architects, museum curators and professors to mitigate combat damage. They found and recovered countless artworks stolen by the Nazis.
Their work was largely forgotten to the general public until an art scholar, Lynn H. Nicholas, working in Brussels, read an obituary about a French woman who spied on the Nazis’ looting operation for years and singlehandedly saved 60,000 works of art. That spurred Nicholas to spend a decade researching her 1995 book, The Rape of Europa, which began the resurrection of their story culminating with the movie, The Monuments Men, based upon Robert Edsel’s 2009 book of the same name. The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art holds the personal papers and oral history interviews of a number of the Monuments Men as well as photographs and manuscripts from their time in Europe.
"Without the [Monuments Men], a lot of the most important treasures of European culture would be lost," Nicholas says. "They did an extraordinary amount of work protecting and securing these things."
The Monuments Men
In a race against time, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture by Nazis.
Nowhere, notes Nicholas, were more of those treasures collected than at Altaussee, where Hitler stored the treasures intended for his Fuhrermuseum in Linz, Austria, a sprawling museum complex that Hitler planned as a showcase for his plunder. On that first foray, Kirstein and Posey (portrayed in pseuodyminity by actors Bob Balaban and Bill Murray, respectively) had also discovered Michelangelo’s Madonna, which was spirited out of Bruges, Belgium, by the Nazis in September 1944 as the Allies advanced on the city. Within days, they’d also found priceless works by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.
They summoned the only Monuments Man for the job, George Stout, who had pioneered new techniques of art conservation before the war working at Harvard's Fogg Museum. Early in the war, Stout (given the name Frank Stokes as played by George Clooney in the film) unsuccessfully campaigned for the creation of a group like the Monuments Men with both American and British authorities. Frustrated, the World War I veteran enlisted in the Navy and developed aircraft camouflage techniques until transferred to a small corps of 17 Monuments Men in December 1944.
Stout had been crossing France, Germany and Belgium recovering works, often traveling in a Volkswagen captured from the Germans. He was one of a handful of Monuments Men regularly in forward areas, though his letters home to his wife, Margie, mentioned only "field trips."
Monuments Men like Stout often operated alone with limited resources. In one journal entry, Stout said he calculated the boxes, crates, and packing materials needed for a shipment. "No chance of getting them," he wrote in April 1945.
So they made do. Stout transformed German sheepskin coats and gas masks into packing materials. He and his small band of colleagues rounded up guards and prisoners to pack and load. "Never anywhere in peace or war could you expect to see more selfless devotion, more dogged persistence in going on, much of the time alone and empty-handed, to get it done," Stout wrote to a stateside friend in March 1945.
The Allies knew of Altaussee thanks to a toothache. Two months earlier, Posey was in the ancient city of Trier in eastern Germany with Kirstein and needed treatment. The dentist he found introduced him to his son-in-law, who was hoping to earn safe passage for his family to Paris, even though he had helped Herman Goering, Hitler’s second-in-command, steal trainload after trainload of art. The son-in-law told them the location of Goering's collection as well as Hitler's stash at Altaussee.
Hitler claimed Altaussee as the perfect hideaway for loot intended for his Linz museum. The complex series of tunnels had been mined by the same families for 3,000 years, as Stout noted in his journal. Inside, the conditions were constant, between 40 and 47 degrees and about 65 percent humidity, ideal for storing the stolen art. The deepest tunnels were more than a mile inside the mountain, safe from enemy bombs even if the remote location was discovered. The Germans built floors, walls, and shelving as well as a workshop deep in the chambers. From 1943 through early 1945, a stream of trucks transported tons of treasures into the tunnels.
When Stout arrived there on May 21, 1945, shortly after hostilities ended, he chronicled the contents based on Nazi records: 6,577 paintings, 2,300 drawings or watercolors, 954 prints, 137 pieces of sculpture, 129 pieces of arms and armor, 79 baskets of objects, 484 cases of objects thought to be archives, 78 pieces of furniture, 122 tapestries, 1,200-1,700 cases apparently books or similar, and 283 cases contents completely unknown. The Nazis had built elaborate storage shelving and a conservation workshop deep within the mine, where the main chambers were more than a mile inside the mountain.
Stout also noted that there were plans for the demolition of the mine. Two months earlier, Hitler had issued the “Nero Decree,” which stated in part:
All military transport and communication facilities, industrial establishments and supply depots, as well as anything else of value within Reich territory, which could in any way be used by the enemy immediately or within the foreseeable future for the prosecution of the war, will be destroyed.
The Nazi district leader near Altaussee, August Eigruber, interpreted the Fuhrer’s words as an order to destroy any objects of value, which required the demolition of the mines so the artwork would not fall into enemy hands. He moved eight crates into the mines in April. They were marked "Marble - Do Not Drop," but actually contained 1,100 pound bombs.
"Adoration of the Mystic Lamb," also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, by Jan van Eyck was one of the most notable works found in the Altausse mine. (Wikicommons)
His plans, however, were thwarted by a combination of local miners wanting to save their livelihood and Nazi officials who considered Eigruber’s plan folly, according to books by Edsel and Nicholas. The mine director convinced Eigruber to set smaller charges to augment the bombs, then ordered the bombs removed without the district leader’s knowledge. On May 3, days before Posey and Kirstein entered, the local miners removed the crates with the large bombs. By the time Eigruber learned, it was too late. Two days later, the small charges were fired, closing the mine's entrances, sealing the art safely inside.
Stout originally thought the removal would take place over a year, but that changed in June 1945 when the Allies began to set the zones of post-VE day Europe and Altaussee seemed destined for Soviet control, meaning some of Europe’s great art treasures could disappear into Joseph Stalin’s hands. The Soviets had “Trophy Brigades” whose job was to plunder enemy treasure (it’s estimated they stole millions of objects, including Old Master drawings, paintings, and books).
Stout was told to move everything by July 1. It was an impossible order.
"Loaded less than two trucks by 11:30," Stout wrote on June 18. "Too slow. Need larger crew."
By June 24, Stout extended the workday to 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., but the logistics were daunting. Communication was difficult he was often unable to contact Posey. There weren't enough trucks for the trip to the collecting point, the former Nazi Party headquarters, in Munich, 150 miles away. And the ones he got often broke down. There wasn't enough packing material. Finding food and billets for the men proved difficult. And it rained. "All hands grumbling," Stout wrote.
By July 1, the boundaries had not been settled so Stout and his crew moved forward. He spent a few days packing the Bruges Madonna, which Nicholas describes as “looking very much like a large Smithfield ham.” On July 10, it was lifted onto a mine cart and Stout walked it to the entrance, where it and the Ghent altarpiece were loaded onto trucks. The next morning Stout accompanied them to the Munich collecting point.
On July 19, he reported that 80 truckloads, 1,850 paintings, 1,441 cases of paintings and sculpture, 11 sculptures, 30 pieces of furniture and 34 large packages of textiles had been removed from the mine. There was more, but not for Stout who left on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on Aug. 6 to return to home on his way to a second monuments tour in Japan. In her book, Nicholas says Stout, during just more than a year in Europe, had taken one and a half days off.
Stout rarely mentioned his central role campaigning for the Monuments Men and then saving countless pieces of priceless art during the war. He spoke about the recoveries at Altaussee and two other mines briefly in that 1978 oral history, but spent most of the interview talking about his museum work.
But Lincoln Kirstein didn’t hold back to his biographer. Stout, he said, “was the greatest war hero of all time – he actually saved all the art that everybody else talked about.”
America's forgotten heroes: World War I veterans
WASHINGTON -- A hundred years ago Wednesday, Austrian warships bombarded Belgrade. It was day three of what would be known as The Great War, The World War, and eventually World War I.
Nearly five million Americans would serve.
A century later, there is no national memorial in the nation's capital to honor their sacrifice.
It was supposed to be "the war to end all wars." Instead, in the cruelest of ironies, it began a century of bloodshed. But a hundred years on, few remember the "doughboys," Americans who died for their country.
Family of Private Vincent Costello CBS News
"There's very little mention of the World War I veterans," says James Costello. His uncle, Private Vincent Costello, was the first District of Columbia employee killed in the war. Hundreds came to his funeral on the National Mall.
The family believes Vincent's image was the model for a small statue, titled "The Supreme Sacrifice," tucked under the stairs in a District of Columbia office building. They wish the 116,000 Americans killed in action, like Vincent Costello, were better remembered.
Veterans: Honoring Our Heroes
"There needs to be a beautiful place for people to understand the sacrifices made and the impact on families like ours," says Tom Costello, Vincent's great-nephew.
Immediately following the war, the nation did remember, placing thousands of plaques and monuments across the country. But decades later, many are in poor condition or overlooked.
Many World War I memorials are in poor condition or overlooked.
Historian Mark Levitch is on a mission to document each one. "It is such an important part of our physical and cultural landscape. That that's what I really want to bring out, some of them are hiding in plain sight and I just want to make people look and take notice."
Hiding in plain sight, like the modest monument to Washington, D.C. veterans of World War I that is off on the side of the National Mall.
"It is tucked away. It's interesting. It is very close to the World War II memorial, very close to the Korean and Vietnam memorials, but it is very much forgotten but, in part, that's because it is in part a local memorial," says Levitch.
There is now a push for a national memorial to mark the sacrifice and the human disaster of what was known as "The Great War," but which turned out to be only the introduction to a century of carnage.
Scavenger Hunt: World War II Memorial
Walk to the World War II Memorial, west of the Washington Monument on 17th Street, NW.
The World War II Memorial opened in 2004. It commemorates the largest military experience in US history. Approximately 16 million people wore their county's uniform during the war. It’s a big memorial to a big war, but there are a few little secrets to discover.
Look around the Memorial for images shown below.
When you find them, click on the photo for more information.
During the war millions of women were employed in defense related industries—making airplanes, bombs, rifles, uniforms, everything necessary for the war. Their work was absolutely vital to winning the war. This sculpted relief memorializes “Rosie the Riveter,” the nickname given to those women who worked in these untraditional jobs.
Over 400,000 Americans died fighting in World War II. On this wall, each star represents 500 deaths. Families with members serving in the war would often hang a flag in the window, a blue star for each family member serving. A gold star represented a family member who had died in the war. The gold stars on this wall also recall “gold star mothers,” a term used to describe mothers whose sons or daughters died in the war.
Americans serving in World War II scrawled this graffiti everywhere they went. Its origins are unclear, but those who served remember seeing it in the most obvious and the most unlikely places: on water towers, on walls, inside buildings, on trains and planes and trucks. It was a symbol of the youth and humor of ordinary soldiers, their irreverence and their pride in what they were doing.
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Histories of the National Mall was developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media , George Mason University with generous funding from the National Endowment from the Humanities. Content licensed under CC-BY.