The memorial is a smooth faced granite slab with rusticated sides on a single base. It rests on a small half oval shaped brick patio in front of a low brick retaining wall. The top of the marker steps up to form a square center block. This block frames an incised Confederate battle flag. Inscribed around the flag is “Sons of Confederated Veterans 1896.” As the inscription states, the monument is dedicated to the memory of veterans who “defended their southern homeland against Northern Aggression.”
Built in 1859, the Old Wilkes Jail (203 N. Bridge Street) was in use as a jail until 1915 and now serves as a history museum. One famous inmate, Tom Dula (of the famous ballad “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley”) was incarcerated here until a change of venue was obtained by his defense attorney, former Governor Zebulon Vance. The old Wilkes County jail is one of the best preserved examples of nineteenth century penal architecture in North Carolina.