This week for Flashback Friday we feature a tinted white border postcard depicting the capital city’s iconic Confederate Monument. The grandiose 75-foot tall granite obelisk was the second monument to be erected on Capitol Square, and has anchored the head of Hillsboro St. since 1895.
Postmarked Raleigh, May 14, 1918 –
Arrived here this A.M. and expect to leave to-morrow or within a couple days. Frank
A ‘short and sweet’ message from Frank — I imagine he was on a stop-over in Raleigh on a business trip.
Dedicated ‘to our Confederate Dead,’ the memorial was erected on Capitol Square in remembrance of North Carolina’s military sacrifice during the Civil War. Nearly one quarter of all Confederate deaths were from North Carolina.
During construction of the Confederate Monument, a ‘time capsule’ was placed in the cornerstone. It contained various mementos, including Confederate currency, maps, legislative bills, newspapers, copies of journals, flags, a Confederate song book, and personal items belonging to General Robert E. Lee.
The elegantly carved granite obelisk is adorned with three bronze statues: representing the artillery, a soldier holds a cannon ramrod; representing the cavalry, a soldier wields his sword; and, at its summit, representing the infantry, a soldier stands at ease with his rifle by his side, symbolic of peace.
The Confederate Monument was unveiled on May 20, 1895. In attendance were many celebrated dignitaries, including Governor Elias Carr, and Julia Jackson Christian, the granddaughter of Stonewall Jackson.
The rare photo seen below was taken during the dedication ceremony. The view is identical to that of this week’s postcard.
The Confederate Monument occupies a prominent site in Raleigh — Capitol Square. Interestingly, though, the siting of the monument was not without controversy. On December 12, 1892 the Durham Sun reprinted this editorial from the Raleigh Chronicle:
North Carolina’s Confederate Monument — The city of Raleigh will provide the place for [the monument], in what may be termed the most public square in the city [Nash Square] — the one in front of the new passenger station [Union Station]. The monument is to stand in the entire [sic] of the square.
Capt. Octavius Coke has granite quarries near here and generously offers … the stone desired, free of cost. The only cost will be the cutting of the stone, its transportation and placing into position.
Standing in the centre of Nash Square, which is State property, the position of the monument would be far more commanding than if it were placed in the Capitol Square.
The latter square is far too small, and the fine effect of space and elevation would be lacking.
Nonetheless, the Confederate Monument was erected on Capitol Square, after all.
‘Rob’ mailed this postcard to his sweetheart ‘Alice’ in Massachusetts in 1906. He must have made quite a few stops on his sojourn through the South.
Have seen a number of Confederate monuments on this trip.
As I mentioned earlier, the Confederate Monument was the second monument erected on Capitol Square. I wonder if any Goodnight Raleigh readers know which monument was the first? Extra credit question — which was the third?
This week’s ‘white border’ postcard was published by long-time Raleigh stationer James Thiem, and was produced by the renowned Chicago postcard printer Curt Teich Co.
Curt Teich Co. 1893-1974
A major publisher and printer. Their U.S. factories turned out more cards in quantity than any other printer. They published a wide range of national view-cards of America and Canada. Many consider them one of the finest producers of White Border Cards. The Linen Type postcard came about through their innovations as they pioneered the use of offset lithography. They were purchased by Regensteiner Publishers in 1974 which continued to print cards at the Chicago plant until 1978.
“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week end treat!