Original Design for Monument

This photograph depicts the original sketch of the monument in Forsyth Park. On April 24, 1874, the Ladies Memorial Association secured permission to erect a monument in Forsyth Park or as it is lovingly referred by Savannahians, The Big Park. These ladies had proposed raising money for a monument to the Confederacy as early as 1867. Seven years later the cornerstone was laid on June 16, 1874 with an impressive ceremony. Capt. George A. Mercer delivered the address, while for the most part, all of Savannah took part. Savannah has the only monument raised to the Confederate Soldiers in which no "Yankee" products were used. There was still some bitterness lingering from the War Between the States. At that time the only granite available was Yankee granite from Vermont. The Ladies Memorial Association (LMA) stated that no Southern lady wanted her money spent in Vermont. So they sent to Canada for the sandstone for this monument. The cost was high, the freight and duty on the stone was more than the original cost. This did not stop the Savannah Ladies who were determined not to erect a Confederate Memorial using Yankee granite. They engaged Mr. Robert Reid of Montreal Canada to furnish the design for a modern Italian style monument. On Christmas Day 1874, the British schooner Mary Louise docked from Halifax with the makings of the monument. By traveling in this manner, the monument also never touched Yankee soil. By error of the ship's Captain the custom laws were not satisfied, and the U. S. Customs authorities seized the shipment. There was talk of selling the pieces at auction, but the Customs Officer knew the Savannah ladies would make his life a burden if he sold their monument and he gave them time to raise the money. This monument was a creation in symbols, with the white Marble statue of "Judgement," or "Resurrection," crowning it, with a trumpet and a scroll, assuring that in time to come the Confederate soldier would stand in his true light. Worse yet stood a white marble goddess of "Silence" symbolizing death. It is said to be 50 feet in height form the base to the crown. The ladies were very disappointed because it wasnít at all what they expected. The long awaited moment came for the Ladies Memorial Association to present it to the people of Chatham County and the tens of thousands who came for the ceremony on May 24, 1875. Some cheered and laughed, some shed a tear, others cried, and some smiled, but they all went home and agreed the monument looked awful.


A grave disappointment came over the (LMA). But their worries were almost immediately laid to rest as a good spirited citizen made the Ladies a proposition which they immediately accepted. Mr. G. W. J. DeRenne offered to fix the monument at his own expense if given a free hand. He commissioned David Richards, a Yankee bronze sculptor. Two ex soldiers, Mr. H. M. Branch and Mr. A. S. Bacon were the technical advisors.Mr. DeRenne presented the Association his plan to remove the marble figures of "Judgement" from the top and "Silence" from within the sandstone cupola in the center of the monument. He proposed to replace the goddesses with a bronze statue of a soldier. The cupola was bricked in with such decorations as could be removed and chiseled away to bring the monument to a more beautiful simplicity, befitting the figure of a Confederate soldier. The sculptor, unacquainted with the Confederate soldier used a photograph of Mr. Bacon as the model for the statue. The statue faces north and stands about 50 feet in height from the base to the crown of the figure by which it is surmounted. On the base are pilasters with appropriate mottoes. The north panel depicts a figure in alto relievo, a prostrate woman representing the south in mourning. From her left hand she lets fall a branch of laurel. In one corner is a groups of weeping willows. The reverse panel is vacant. On each corner there are cherubs. Above the panels is a rich cornice. The two sides or lateral panels bear inscriptions:

"To the Confederate dead. "

"Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon those slain that they may live".

This comes from Ezekiel 37:9.
Around the monument is another stage deeply recessed and molded, ornamented with draped banners, guns, and sabers.
Unveiled 30 May 1876.


City Council voted February 7, 1890 to honor both distinguished Confederate Officers as recorded in the council minutes

ďIn recognition of the distinguished Character of Gen Lafayette McLaws and Gen Francis S. Bartow."

It agreed to tender to those charged with the duty of erecting a tablet or monument to the memory in a site In public domain that they maybe mutually agreement upon the site to be conferred by ordinance.

The Memorials through the great effort of Capt. Purse were executed in the form of bronze bust on stone pedestals. They were placed in Chippewa Square that of General McLaws facing north at the Hull street side of the square. That of General Bartow facing South at the Perry street side of the square. These monuments have Since been removed to positions they now occupy in the lot with the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park.
These monuments were both unveiled in 1902.


Massie School is known as the Cradle of Public Education. It was the first public school in Savannah. This is the original building of Georgiaís oldest Charted School. A history of the first public school in Savannah is exhibited on one wall of the Centerís Library. The collections found there are on State and local history, urban planning, architecture, historic preservation, and public education. The center houses a Heritage Studies program in all disciplines and at each grade level. It promotes interdisciplinary studies and provides for cooperation among departments, schools and other institutions in the community. Barriers between the school and the world are broken down as the student utilizes experiences from his own environment. You will find a nineteenth century classroom here where elementary students experience a 19th century school day.

In 1841 Peter Massie, a Scottish planter in Glynn County, Georgia bequeathed a sum of $5,000 to educate the poor children of Savannah. His donation was invested until it accumulated enough money to build a school. Mr. John S. Norris was retained to design and build Massie School. The center portion is the original structure, costing $ 9000.00. Massie School was constructed in 1855-56. The doors opened for classes on October 15,1856. The west wing was built in 1872 from the plans of Mr. John B. Hogg, and the east wing in 1886. The building was used briefly as a hospital by Federal troops after their occupation of Savannah in 1864. In May 1865, it was operated for a few months as a school for the freedmen. The teachers were from the American Missionary Association. When the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education was established in 1866 Massie became a unit of that body and established in 1866. It was closed to regular classes in June, 1974, having educated Savannahians for 118 years. Today it is Massie Heritage Interpretation Center and is located on the South East corner of Calhoun Square and East Gordon Street. It is of the Greek Revival and is listed on the National Resister of Historic places.


Fort Pulaski monument is 15 miles east of Savannah via US Highway 80. It encompasses 427 acres on Cockspur and McQueens islands at the mouth of the Savannah River. Building on the fort began in 1829. Heavy wooden piles had to be driven about 70 feet into the mud on Cockspur Island to support the weight of the proposed structure. The work was completed in 1847. Robert E. Lee, a West Point graduate, was among the engineers who built the fort. Early in the construction it was decided that the fort would be named Pulaski for the Revolutionary War hero, Casimir Pulaski, wounded in the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779. He died on board the brig Wasp and was buried at sea. The fort became a massive irregular pentagon surrounded by a moat crossed by drawbridges. The galleries are distinguished by brick arch masonry.

Georgia State troops seized the fort on January 3, 1861 under the command of Alexander R. Lawton, when The War Between the States seemed imminent. Several weeks later Georgia seceded from the Union and the fort was turned over to the Confederacy. Newly developed Union rifled cannons bore through the fort in what was presumed impenetrable walls during the 30-hour bombardment in 1862, forcing the fort to surrender. Projectiles fired at the fort during the conflict are still embedded in the walls. Confederate Commander, Col. Charles H. Olmstead, surrendered along with 384 officers and the men were sent north to Fort Columbus on Governorís Island in New York. My grandfather William R. Bailey died in the USA hospital on the island and is buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn New York.

In 1924 the island was made a National Monument. Restoration of the fort began in earnest in 1933. Today it serves not only as a memorial to the valor of those connected with its bombardment and defense, but also to those connected with the construction and dedication

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