Confederate Soldier Monument, Caldwell County, Kentucky

Confederate Soldiers' Monument in Princeton, Kentucky
Registration form picture for National Register of Historic Places
Bennett H. Young

Dublin Core


Confederate Soldier Monument, Caldwell County, Kentucky


     The Confederate Solders’ Monument on the grounds of the Caldwell County courthouse in Princeton, Kentucky, is a small-town monument commemorating the average soldier, one of many like it throughout the south. Confederate statues for the everyman soldier were so common that they were eventually mass-produced, though this monument was sourced to a local architect. The monument was funded by the local Tom Johnson chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy organization, the chapter fundraised for “several years’ time” bringing in a grand total of $10,000 (about $270,00 today).[1] Though “Ladies’ Memorial Associations throughout the South took charge” of raising funds to commemorate the Confederate dead,[2] it was Southern men who gave speeches at the dedications of these memorials. Former Confederate officer and future national president of the United Confederate Veterans Gen. Bennett H. Young was brought in to deliver the address at the memorial's dedication. While General Young’s speech was lost to history, one can surmise that his speech echoed the sentiments he expressed in his other, better-known speeches, where he was instrumental in painting the Confederate cause as a just battle for freedom rather than a war to protect the institution of slavery.[3]  James Young in his work The Stages of Memory, analyzes this type of monument, arguing that traditional monuments boldly convey messages in an attempt to craft a unifying historical narrative, as does this monument in Princeton in declaring that “Our heroes’ deeds and hard-won fame will live”.[4] Still more, by making the monument a tribute to the common Confederate soldier, a statement is made about the “normative white soldier and citizen”, ingraining Lost Cause ideology into the background of everyday life.[5]

In 2020 there were calls for this monument to be removed but county magistrate Jeff Sims reiterated that the removal of the statue without the approval of the owners which happens to be the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission is illegal.


W.L. Davis (likely architect), John Davis & Son Marble and Granite Works, Tom Johnson Chapter #886 United Daughters of the Confederacy


[1] “Granite, Marble, and Bronze”. Vol.22, No. 1. Boston: A.M. Hunt and Co. 1912. “The Press.” The Crittenden Press. July 4, 1901.

[2] Giguere, Joy M. “Bennett H. Young and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation.” Presented at Veterans in Society 2015: Race and/or Reconciliation. 13,17.

[3] Giguere, 17. McAfee, John J. Kentucky Politicians: Sketches of Representative Corncrackers and Other Miscellany. Louisville, Ky., Press of the Courier-Journal Job Printing Company. 1886.

“Gen. Young, Lawyer and Soldier, Dies.” The Courier-Journal. February 25, 1919.

[4] Young, James E. The Stages of Memory: Reflection on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between. Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 2016.

[5] Savage, Kirk. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton University Press. 1997. 167.




Luca Azuma, Kevin Gomez




Granite Sculpture


HIST 402A Fall 2020


Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky, USA