BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore city crews took down all four Confederate monuments across the city overnight.
On Monday night, the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution calling for the immediate deconstruction of these monuments, days after a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that drew both white nationalists and counter-protesters turned violent.
Here’s more information about each of the now-removed monuments, all courtesy of Baltimore city records.
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Mount Royal Avenue
When the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Baltimore Chapter No. 8 was officially recognized in 1898, it began a campaign to erect a monument to the Confederacy. After several years of fundraising and political consensus building, the club held an event unveiling the Soldiers and Sailors monument on May 2, 1903.
It was sculpted by a French-born sculptor who was based in New York, F. Wellington Ruckstuhl, and depicts a winged figure descending from the heavens and grabbing a dying Confederate soldier, clutching him tightly as she prepares to ascend back into the heavens. The soldier clutches his heart with his left hand and in his right tightly hangs onto to the Confederate Battle Flag.
Confederate Women’s Monument, West University Parkway
The Baltimore chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was also instrumental in the erection of the Confederate Women’s Monument, which was dedicated in 1917. It was funded by the United Confederate Veterans, the UDC, and the State of Maryland.
Its erection was part of a larger movement spearheaded by Confederate veterans beginning in 1906 to place a monument to honor the sacrifices of Confederate women in the capital of each of the thirteen Southern states. The original plan was for the states to erect a replica of the Confederate Women’s Monument located in Richmond, Virginia. However, by 1910 the Maryland Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy decided to create their own design.
After raising funds for several years, they requested additional funding from the State. In 1914, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill that donated $12,000 for the monument.
The sculpture was created by J. Maxwell Miller, a Baltimorean, who taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and eventually became the director of the Rinehart School. It depicts depicts a woman standing tall and looking out into the horizon. In front of her, a kneeling woman cradles within her arms a dying Confederate soldier who holds tightly onto a tattered Confederate Battle Flag.
Roger B. Taney Monument, Mount Vernon Place
The Roger Brooke Taney Monument is not explicitly a Confederate monument. But Taney, a Supreme Court justice, was most famous for his decision in the Dred Scott case, which deemed black Americans were not to be considered citizens of the U.S.
This sculpture is an 1887 copy of an 1872 original that was made by William Henry Rinehart. The original sculpture was commissionedby William T. Walters for the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where it is still located today (although Governor Larry Hogan announced this week that he wants to see it removed). Fifteen years later, Walters had this copy made and gifted it to the City of Baltimore.
Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument, Wyman Park Dell
The funding for the sculpture was provided by J. Henry Ferguson, a banker who left in his will specific instructions for a monument to his childhood heroes, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
The monument depicts the two men on their horses right before departing for the Battle of Chancellorsville. While Jackson was fatally wounded in the battle, the Confederate army ultimately won, and the battle was later considered to be Lee’s greatest victory.
Although Ferguson died in 1928, the sculpture was not dedicated until 1948 due to numerous factors, including World War II.
The sculpture was made by Laura Gardin Fraser, who won the design competition for the commission in 1935. She commissioned the architect John Russell Pope (who designed the Baltimore Museum of Art ) to design the base of the monument. The sculpture was cast in 1946 and the monument was dedicated on May 1, 1948, the 85th anniversary of the eve of the Battle of Chancellorsville.