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Confederate monument work to begin soon

March 04, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

Sculpting work will soon begin on a monument to Confederate soldiers at the South Mountain State Battlefield.

The monument at Fox's Gap will honor Confederate soldiers from North Carolina who fought in the Battle of South Mountain on Sept. 14, 1862.

Rex Hovey, president of the Living History Association of Mecklenburg, N.C., said Wednesday he has been working since 1997 to get a monument funded and built.

Gary Casteel of Four Winds Studio in Gettysburg, Pa., said he is expected to start work within the next few weeks on a sculpture to be placed on the black granite monument. The work will take about a year.

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The dedication date for the monument is set for August 2003, Hovey said.

Cast in bronze, the monument will portray a mortally wounded soldier lying supine, struggling to raise a Confederate flag. It rests on a black granite pedestal about 4 feet high. North Carolina's 1862 state flag will be at the base.

The monument will be on four acres of land donated by the Central Maryland Heritage League. The area will be cleared and landscaped to appear as it did at the time of the battle.

The total cost of the monument is $70,000, about $45,000 of which has been raised, Hovey said.

Hovey said the battle, and those who fought in it, are often overlooked because it took place just three days before the Battle of Antietam.

About 25,000 Union troops clashed with 10,000 Confederate soldiers at the two mountain gaps between Boonsboro and Middletown, Md. More than 6,000 soldiers on both sides were killed, wounded, or missing in the first major Civil War battle fought in Maryland.

Hovey and others from North Carolina retraced the route of the 13th North Carolina regiment more than four years ago.

He said he plans to organize another march for Sept. 12 and 13 to raise money for the monument. Each participant will sign up sponsors who will pledge $1 per mile for the 13-mile march and a minimum of $50.

To raise more money for the North Carolina South Mountain Monument Fund, the group is selling bricks - $50 for clay, $75 for marble - to be placed at the monument.

The money goes into the association's North Carolina South Mountain Monument Fund.

For information go to www.13thnc.com.

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