This colossal monument consists of a tapered pedestal upon which stands a uniformed Confederate soldier holding his gun in a resting position. The pedestal itself contains several inscriptions and images. There are crossed sabers carved onto the north side of the foundation, while the western side that faces the street displays mounted cannons. Above the base is an inscribed image of the Confederate flag. Stanzas from the poem “The Bivouac of the Dead” by Theodore O’Hara appear on the north face.
“The Bivouac of the Dead” by Theodore O’Hara is an elegiac poem that expresses feelings of melancholy, sorrow or lamentation—especially for a person or persons who are dead. Although O’Hara wrote “Bivouac” as a remembrance of the many casualties suffered in the Mexican War by the Second Kentucky Regiment of Foot Volunteers it seemed to capture the attention of a patriotic nation after the Civil War. It began to appear in various forms at Civil War battlefields and cemeteries across the county, including the first monument placed in North Carolina at Cross Creek Cemetery inFayetteville, in Lenoir, and Goldsboro.