American Civil War Monuments
Kentucky State Monument
Chickamauga National Military Park, TN
Dedicated May, 1899
Photos and Text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore
For Kentucky erecting a monument on the battlefield of Chickamauga was a delicate undertaking because the state had soldiers fighting on both sides during the battle. Kentucky formed a commission in 1893 to locate battle positions, but the task of erecting a monument was not fulfilled until 1899. The commission explained that it was the state’s intention to honor both sides trying not to offend either one. Most of the monuments on the battlefield celebrated the heroic nature of soldiers with a granite soldier ready for battle or carrying a flag. Kentucky chose to forgo the classic soldier, choosing instead, the image of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war. They placed her upon a round sphere with four cannons pointing outward, and placed in her hand a sword pointing skyward. Both the American and the Confederate flags are seen on the monument as are both a Union and Confederate shield. To further capture the idea of unity the commission included the state shield with the two sides shaking hands.