Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Column of the Confederacy - Richmond, Virginia

Rising out of the broad boulevard of Monument Avenue at the intersection of the avenue of his namesake stands Jefferson Davis' memorial, emanating brightly through the manicured trees and magnificent townhouses of the Fan District.  The curtain fell on the third of June, 1907, and the 200,000 attendees of the Confederate Reunion saw the statue for the first time.  Two Virginians were named to be the designers and sculptors of this project, William Noland, regarded as the state's leading architect of the time, headed up the project after he completed his task of the Virginia Capitol's expansion in 1906.  Edward Valentine, a native Richmonder, was the artisan behind the memorial and was called forth after his distinguished work on the Recumbent Lee statue in Lexington.  In all, the exedra is made up of 13 white Doric columns, eleven representing the states that made up the Confederacy and the two states that were represented in the Confederate Delegation.  Towering in the center of the hemisphere of columns stands the central Doric column ascending sixty feet, giving a perch to "Vindicatrix", more commonly known as "Miss Confederacy", overlooks the statue of Jefferson Davis.  Looking east with his hand uplifted as if making on last proclamation to his Southern people, stands the first and last President of the Confederate States of America: Jefferson Davis.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Field of American Victory - Yorktown, Virginia

The Yorktown Victory Monument standing before the mouth of the York River pouring into the Chesapeake Bay.

Driving north on the George Washington Memorial highway to the banks of the York River on a crisp and clear autumn morning made for an impeccable historical experience for me!  The marble monument marks the ground on which the new American nation received her final acceptance of independence from Great Britain as white handkerchief waved in the hand of a British officer on the morning of October 17, 1781.  Ten days after the surrender's conclusion, the people of Yorktown wrote to Congress asking for a memorial to commemorate "an event that terminated the struggle of our fathers for liberty and independence".  Standing in the morning sun reading about the siege and the dedication put into this memorial after more than 200 years was a rallying sensation knowing that here is where the War for Independence was won.