Restricted Confederate War Memorial Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Jan 28, 2021
Confederate War Memorial

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

By Norman Dasinger Jr​

Before the summer of 2020, the city of Cape Girardeau had the unique distinction of being a town with both Confederate and Union Civil War Monuments side by side on the grounds of the Common Pleas Courthouse.

The Confederate War Memorial was unveiled in November of 1931 and originally was located near the 1928 bridge that crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois. In 1995, it was moved to the courthouse joining the Union Monument and Fountain that were erected there in 1911 by the Women’s Relief Corps. This was the ladies auxiliary for the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) which was comprised of veterans of the Union Army.

On June 12, 2020, KFVS-12 news interviewed a community activist who had created a petition for the removal of the Confederate War Memorial. In the interview, Sophie Voss told the reporter, “The statue was originally erected in 1931 near the old Mississippi River Bridge on Morgan Oak Street as a warning to African-American citizens traveling through the area.”

On July 6, 2020, the Cape Girardeau City Council voted 6-1 to ‘accept the recommendation of the Historic Preservation Commission regarding the CSA monument . . .the recommendation states the monument is to be removed immediately and stored until a site could be found’. Commissioner Lauren Clark called the marker, “a symbol of oppression” and Commissioner Ken Markin suggested Confederates were ‘traitors’ to the nation, “per an AP article.

The UDC formulated and executed the funding for the memorial. On the day it was dedicated in 1931, the Cape Girardeau Band opened the ceremony with “America”. The keynote address was by Rice A. Pierce. He was born in Dresden, Tennessee and fought with the 8th​ TN Cavalry, Confederate States Army. After the Civil War, he attended school in Canada and eventually became an attorney in Union City, TN. He served almost continuously in the US Congress from 1883 to 1905. In 1934, he was elected the Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) which was comprised of veterans of the Confederate Army. The playing of “Dixie” followed Mr. Rice’s speech and then the “Star Spangled Banner” concluded the day’s activities

In September of 2020, Mark Trout, Executive Director of the Missouri Civil War Museum in St Louis agreed to take ownership of the monument from the UDC. It was set to be removed from storage in Cape Girardeau and taken away soon thereafter.

CSA War Memorial Removed


Mar 13, 2021
Thanks for the information. I visited there last fall and wasn't sure if it was removed for this reason or due to all the construction in the area.