Confederate Cannons Removed From Raleigh Now At Fort Fisher

Jun 30, 2020

Protesters gathered near this Confederate monument in Raleigh on Saturday, June 20. Crews began removing the monument the next day.
Credit Jay Price / WUNC

Two Civil War cannons that were at a Confederate monument in Raleigh are now at Fort Fisher.

The Wilmington Star News reports that the naval cannons arrived Sunday after they were removed with the monument they were part of on the orders of Governor Roy Cooper earlier this month after they were vandalized.

Two 32-pounder naval cannons were stationed near the bottom of the monument that stood on state capitol grounds in Raleigh. At the center of it was a 75-foot-tall obelisk, accompanied by two statues; one depicting a Confederate infantryman and the other a Confederate cavalryman. Those two statues were pulled down by protesters on June 19. The next day, Cooper ordered the three Confederate monuments in Raleigh to be removed. Remnants of the monument were removed last week.

According to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, a plaque on the cannons says that they were taken by Confederates during the war from an abandoned U.S. Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia and used at Fort Caswell. They were dismounted by explosives when the Confederates evacuated the fort in 1865.

The monument had stood in Raleigh since May 20, 1895. That day, it was unveiled by Julia Jackson Christian, the daughter of Stonewall Jackson, a Confederate General.

The cannons will now rest at Fort Fisher, another Confederate fort during the Civil War. It is having a $23 million renovation of its visitor’s center and grounds.

Michele Walker, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, says the cannons will remain on display at Fort Fisher, because they are from the same era as those already on display at the historic site.

The removal of the Confederate Monument in Raleigh is just one of the similar actions being taken across the state and the country as the nation grapples with its history of honoring the Confederacy with monuments in the public space.

The newspaper reports that the arrival of the cannons at Fort Fisher is one of the first, if not the first, instances of a recently removed Confederate monument being relocated.