What: Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 94, in Jackson County is dedicating a statue of a Confederate soldier
When: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 1
Where: Jefferson town square
Noteworthy: The event is open to the public at no charge.
A statue of a Confederate soldier will once again stand in downtown Jefferson, some 70 years after a stone figure was broken during a town celebration.
Jackson County Volunteers, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 94, has scheduled an unveiling and dedication ceremony for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Jefferson square.
“The city of Jefferson ... will once again enjoy the presence of a Southern soldier standing vigilant on the town square,” states an SCV press release.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy put up the city’s first statue in 1911, 50 years after the start of the Civil War.
Then, in 1940 or 1941, Jefferson was celebrating the U.S. Postal Service’s release of a commemorative stamp for Dr. Crawford W. Long, a Danielson native who first used ether for surgical anesthesia in 1842 and went on to practice medicine in Jefferson.
“The city had tied streamers to the statue and it was pulled off its monument and broken,” said Randy Evans, camp adjutant. “The statue broke into several pieces, (which were) scattered around town.”
The UDC replaced the statue with a Confederate cross, which stands today.
A few years ago, local history buffs found parts of the statue and brought them together. They talked to a University of Georgia expert who said the statue “could be repaired, but it wouldn’t be able to be placed outside in the weather,” Evans said.
When the SCV camp was founded in 2006, commander Steve Satterfield asked members for some long-range projects and one of the group’s members suggested putting up a new soldier statue.
As part of the effort, Michael Bowen, chairman of the camp’s monument committee, took pictures of the Confederate soldier statue in Gainesville’s square, or “Old Joe.”
“I liked the quality of the work,” he said. “I actually took a 10-foot ladder (to the square) to get some detailed pictures to show my people the quality we wanted.”
The group hit a couple of obstacles in its work.
The UDC wouldn’t agree to putting the statue on the original site, forcing the group to scout out a new location.
And the SCV discovered that a stone statue would be too costly, so it pursued a bronze sculpture, which, along with the base, is costing close to $47,000.
The granite base is 10 feet tall.
Proceeds from the Georgia SCV’s car tag fund are paying for the project.
“This is a very accurate representation of a Confederate soldier,” Evans said. “His uniform and gun are accurate. They modeled all of his equipment basically after stuff that re-enactors use.”
The soldier is at ease, holding the rifle upright with the butt of the weapon on the ground, he said.