The monument in La Plaza de la Constitution in St. Augustine was constructed about 1880. The St. Augustine monument was erected by the Ladies Memorial Association of St. Augustine and honors "Our Dead," that is those from St. Augustine who died in the Civil War.
The monument is full of symbolism carried in its design and on the marble tablets set into the monument itself. Of great interest are the names engraved on two of these tablets, and which speak to the cultural and ethnic diversity of this Florida community at the time of the Civil War.
The marble plaques on this monument were first used on an earlier Confederate monument constructed in 1872 on the south side of St. George Street between Bridges and St. Francis Streets. The ca. 1880 monument also apparently had a marble finial, but this was destroyed by lightning and replaced with the cannonballs now visible on top of the obelisk.
This monument is said to have been visited by President Ulysses S. Grant during a stop in St. Augustine in 1880.
The monument was surrounded by cannon that were once part of the armament of Fort Marion (most know this as Castillo de San Marcos) before, during, and after the Civil War. These cannon were a gift of the U.S. War Department to the City of St. Augustine in 1900. Other guns from Fort Marion can be found in this and other parks in downtown St. Augustine.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network is dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, both on land and underwater, and to involving the public in the study of their past.
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