Design and Finance Records, 1891, of the| Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Front Page 2009 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
Confederate Monument at Fort Mill (S.C.)
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2009
Fifteen manuscripts, 1891,document the design, dedication, and financing of the Confederate monument at Fort Mill (York County, S.C.).| Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
Three lists, 6 May 1891, bear the names of subscribers to the proposed monument, including the amounts subscribed and notation of those who had paid. Three letters, 7 October, 17 November, and 7 December 1891, from L.D. Childs (Chester, S.C.) to J.M. Spratt (Fort Mill, S.C.) concern the progress of his work on the monument and specify dimensions of the base and soldier.
In order to minimize cost, Childs wrote on 7 October 1891, the monument was to be manufactured at Chester, S.C., where his monuments and headstones business was headquartered - "The soldier will be made at the quarries. Please have the lettering ready so I will not have to wait on it....I can get a cut for the paper as the design shows but that is a Yank and the soldier for this mon[umen]t will of course be a Confederate." Childs’ letter of 17 November 1891 reports that the marble for the statue "works elegantly and...will...give you a good job of the flag and palmetto."
A series of letters from former Confederates responds to invitations from the committee in charge of dedicating the monument. Wade Hampton III (1818-1902) wrote from Columbia, S.C., on 16 November 1891 in response to their letter "extending an invitation to deliver an address" at the unveiling ceremony on 22 December and explained with regret that he was unable to accept as "engagements made some time since, will prevent my having the pleasure of being with you at the time fixed." John Bratton, Ellison Capers, and John Doby Kennedy accepted, however. "My heart will permit no other response," Bratton wrote on 3 December. "Of all with whom I was associated in war on none could I in trying times rely with more confidence than my old comrades from Fort Mill, and they, living and dead, are held in my memory accordingly."
Asbury Coward wrote from The Citadel, Charleston, 2 December, lamenting - "I am not less deeply grieved that it will be impossible for me to attend. My duties here allow me no freedom whatever except during the Summer vacation. My heart will be with you, however, for nothing so profoundly touches it as the public recognition of the patriotic heroism of those men of 1861–65 who gave health and wealth and life itself to maintain their Country’s cause. Many of those whose memory your monument is to honor were my comrades in arms - all of them were the loyal sons of the county of my adoption and in which I spent nearly all the useful years of manhood. You may judge, therefore, how hard it is for me to say I cannot come."
Letters from W.D. Grist, 30 November, and Evander McIvor Law, 18 December, speak to the interest of the Yorkville Enquirer in providing media coverage for the event.