f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Confederate Memorial on Morgan Oak

Posted Monday, November 7, 2011, at 12:00 AM

A monument to the Confederate war veterans of Southeast Missouri stands on the Morgan Oak Street plaza at the approach to the old traffic bridge in this undated photo by G.D. Fronabarger. The photo was likely taken before 1957, the year the traffic bridge toll booth was no longer needed. The monument which was placed there in 1931 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy was moved to Courthouse Park in 1995 by the Civil War Roundtable.

Nov. 21, 1931 Southeast Missourian

Memorial to Confederates to be Unveiled

The memory of Confederate veterans of Southeast Missouri will be honored Sunday when the United Daughters of the Confederacy unveil a monument on the Morgan Oak street plaza at 2:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Four granddaughters of Confederate veterans, including the great-granddaughter of Col. Wm. Jeffers, who commanded a Southeast Missouri regiment, will take part in the dedication.

The U.D.C. president, Mrs. Glenn C. Hope, for her chapter, has extended an invitation to the public to attend. Men from all the towns in Southeast Missouri are expected to be present and the chapter hopes for a good representation from Cape Girardeau.

Little Miss Marjorie Ann Bierschwal of New Madrid, 2 1/2-years-old, will unveil the monument. She is a great-great-granddaughter of Capt. Geo. W. Dawson and great-granddaughter of Lilbourn Lewis of New Madrid, who will be here. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bierschwal.

Her attendants will include Mirian Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Miller of Dexter, and great-granddaughter of the late Col. Wm. Jeffers; Lois Lucille Gladish, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. T.A. Gladish and granddaughter of Frank Oldham of Jackson, a Confederate veteran; Mary Margaret Rodgers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Rodgers of Benton and granddaughter of James Rodgers, a Confederate veteran.

Band to Play

The program will open with "America" by the Cape Girardeau Band, followed by invocation by Rev. J.J. McWilliams, president of St. Vincent's College. The principal speaker, Rice A. Pierce of Union City, Tenn., who has just completed a term as commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans, will be introduced by Senator R.L. Dearmont.

His talk will be followed by "Dixie" played by the Cape GIrardeau Band, after which Senator Ralph Wammack of Bloomfield will deliver an address. Just as the Cape Girardeau Band concludes the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner," the monument will be unveiled and presented to the city. Mayhor E.L. Drum will respond in the name of the city. The program will be closed with a benediction pronounced by Dr. Marion Nelson Waldrip, pastor of Centenary Methodist Church.

Weighs 12 1/2 Tons

Although the monolithic structure consists of only four pieces, its weight is approximately 12 1/2 tons. The tapering, skillfully chiseled marker, standing to a height of 14 1/2 feet, is fashioned from Georgia silver gray marble. Its appearance in the plaza has added much to the attractiveness of the traffic bridge approach.

The structure was erected on a base of three marble slabs, sizes of which are graduated toward the central upright structure. This latter structure tapers toward the peak in true monument fashion. On the front, or north, side of the monument appear the letters C.S.A., emblematic of the Confederate States of America, while beneath this and posed on a shelf is the Confederate flag, its background in tough texture and its stars and stripes embellished in polished marble. All of this figure is cut into the one-piece upright marker. On the reverse side appear the words "Dedicated to the Confederate Soldiers of Southeast Missouri."

The monument was erected by J.B. Hoef and Ralph Thurmond of the Murphysboro-Marion Ill., Monument Works, the former drawing the design for the structure.


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  • The history of this monument is appreciated> Although there are differences of thought concerning why our ancestors fought in this great conflict, it is appropriate that we (as individuals, families, and communities) remember the sacrifices that were made and lives that were lost.

    This IS a part of the history of this area.

    -- Posted by Robert* on Mon, Nov 7, 2011, at 8:22 AM
  • We should not be celebrating this aspect of our history. It is a shameful heritage that drives a wedge between the people of this community. Leave it to the individuals who want to commemorate their ancestors--it should not be supported by the public or elected officials and it is an inappropriate and insensitive use of community property.

    -- Posted by fremdschamen on Mon, Nov 7, 2011, at 8:12 PM
  • To fremdschamen: I don't see where the article says public funds were used to make the monument.

    -- Posted by freedomendures on Tue, Nov 8, 2011, at 3:50 PM
  • Get over it people! History is history. There were bad people on both sides of the Civil War. Are we going to take down tombstones in Old Lormier Cemetery because someone said that the person buried there might have been a jerk or a crook. That is how stupid it is to be offended by a memorial that represents a group of Cape citizens that lived 150 years ago. I hope someone remembers me in 150 years! But I doubt it! This is a history blog, not a political forum.

    -- Posted by rockytop10 on Tue, Nov 8, 2011, at 6:41 PM
  • Hmmm, sounds like fremdschamen might be the type of person to spray paint a monument...

    -- Posted by mobushwhacker on Wed, Nov 9, 2011, at 1:29 AM
  • (1) Someone out there responds that this is "hilareous". If you read this, please explain to the rest of us what's so funny? We'd really like to know.

    (2) "Go South"? Most persons are ignorant of the fact that Missouri was a Confederate state. We announced legal secession from the Union and were formally accepted into the CSA by its Congress, Dec. 1861. Missouri is represtented by the 12th star in the various Confederate flags. In other words, had the states in secession won their independence, Missouri would have been part of the new country. The Federal government must have thought so, else they would not have militarily invaded and occupied us during the war, nor treated us during so-called "reconstruction" the same as all the other former CSA states, including carpetbagging, taxation and imposing racial segregation on us for the next century.

    Whomever asks that this monument and our state's honoring of our Missouri Confederate ancestors should take it "South" doesn't realize that we're already "South".

    -- Posted by genspanky@centurylink.net on Thu, Nov 10, 2011, at 11:06 AM


    -- Posted by mobushwhacker on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 11:16 PM