The monument depicts in stone a Confederate Common Soldier at parade rest, both hands resting on the barrel of his rifle. The sculpture rests atop a tall column on a tiered base, with the entire structure rising to approximately thirty-five feet. The front of the monument bears a bas-relief of the Confederate flag, waving from a broken pole. And the initials of the Confederacy — “CSA” — in raised lettering adorn each side of the tier above the inscribed faces.
The monument was originally located on South Street in front of the 1911 Gaston county courthouse where it faced northward. It was relocated to the new county court building on Marietta Street after construction in 1998 where it was placed facing east.
Despite the general reluctance of the citizens of North Carolina to endorse secession and the Confederacy, Gaston County residents strongly supported the Confederate war effort and sent many men to the war along with neighboring Cleveland County. Following the war, there was strong support for the memory of the Confederacy and its meaning for the South, and Gaston County became the home of an active chapter of the Ku Klux Klan between 1868 and 1872.