Confederate Soldiers Memorial, Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego

Photo of the Mount Hope Memorial from Howard Lipin of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Photo of Vandalized Mount Hope Memorial from Kim Mathis.
Photo of Removed Mount Hope Memorial. Courtesy of Jerry Hall.

Dublin Core


Confederate Soldiers Memorial, Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego


Confederate Soldiers


The Mount Hope Cemetery Memorial represented the continuation of the Lost Cause legacy as it stretched into the Golden State. The memorial continued this legacy by honoring the soldiers who fought to preserve slavery. It resides in San Diego, California’s Mount Hope Cemetery, a cemetery that has been serving its community since 1869. The cemetery itself is owned by the city of San Diego therefore operating on public land. According to the city however, the plot by which the monument was located is privately owned. The owner of that plot is the Stonewall Jackson Chapter 476 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They purchased the plot in 1905 and erected the monument in 1948. The city maintained the monument for the duration of its residency in the cemetery.

The monument appears to be made of granite. It consists of three joined blocks each with lines of text. When facing the monument, the leftmost block reads "Dedicated to Confederate Veterans and their Wives Herein Buried". The central and tallest block reads, "Stonewall Jackson Chapter 476, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Organized in 1901”. The rightmost block reads, “For their work and devotion in securing this plot and monument we lovingly remember Mattie S. Davis, Mary K. Carter, Kathryn C. Blackenburg”. The monument sat underneath the American flag, surrounded by gravestones of Confederate and Union soldiers.

A flashpoint in the Mount Hope Monument’s history occurred in the aftermath of the killings during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. After those events a national reckoning took place over the use of Confederate monuments in public spaces. For many people, these confederate monuments represent a minimization the role slavery had in the Civil War. This minimization of slavery is believed to help contribute to the racial inequities of today. This includes monuments such as the Mount Hope Memorial. As a result, the Mount Hope Memorial faced numerous amounts of vandalism. In one instance pieces of the monument were chiseled off. In another instance the monument was painted red with the words “This is a monument to racism and white supremacy” written on it. Similarly, an effort to petition the mayor to remove the monument took place with significant support.

In July of 2020, the Mount Hope Monument was taken down at the request of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Many assume this was in response to the growing number of vandalism occurrences. The monument is currently held in city storage. Although the monument’s fate is unknown, its presence served as a reminder for many of the continued inequities that persist in contemporary America. While others may continue to push the notion that the Confederacy fought a noble cause and for states rights, the scars of slavery continue to influence an unequal reality of racism today. Mount Hope’s Confederate Memorial reminds individuals that if this history is ignored, then individuals will take matters into their own hands.


United Daughters of the Confederacy


Chen, Michael. “Confederate monument removed from plot in city-owned Mount Hope Cemetery”. ABC 10 News San Diego. San Diego, California. 23 July. 2020.

Dotinga, Randy. “San Diego's Other Confederate Memorial Sits in a City-Owned Cemetery”. Voice of San Diego. San Diego, California. 18 August. 2017.

Hall, Jerry. “Mr. Mayor, Remove Confederate Monument Celebrating Slavery from Public Mount Hope Cemetery”.

“Mount Hope Cemetery”. The City of San Diego.

Wilkens, John. “For some, Civil War furor is personal”. The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego, California. 28 June. 2015.


History 402A (2021)




Sean Ghafourian




History 402A 2021


San Diego, California