Restricted Scotland County, North Carolina Confederate Soldier’s Monument

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Jan 28, 2021
Scotland County, North Carolina

Confederate Soldier’s Monument



“WE CARE NOT WHENCE THEY CAME/DEAR IN THEIR LIFELESS CLAY/WHETHER UNKNOWN OR KNOWN TO FAME/THEIR CAUSE AND COUNTRY STILL THE SAME/THEY DIED AND WORE THE GRAY”


This is the inscription on the right side of the Confederate Soldier’s Monument in Laurinburg, North Carolina.​

The monument originally stood in front of the 1901 Courthouse but was relocated to the contemporary Courthouse sometime after 1964. The base is inscribed on all four sides and presents bas-relief carvings of a cannon and crossed swords on the front face.

In June of 2020, the Laurinburg city council discussed the possible removal of the monument. Councilman Andrew Williamson stated, “It seems to me that the topic seems to get traction. And people start talking about it. Then I think it would be an opportunity for everybody to weigh in.” No action was taken at that time.

The monument was dedicated November 15, 1912, the keynote speaker that day as General William Ruffin Cox.

Why was he selected to dedicate this local war memorial?

Born in what would become Scotland County in 1832, the Cox family lost their father and his mother moved them to Franklin, Tennessee. There William grew up and became an attorney and his Nashville practice flourished. In 1857, he married and moved back to North Carolina entered politics and represented the Raleigh area in the state legislature. When the War Between the States began, he helped form the 2nd​ North Carolina Infantry, Confederate States Army and during the course of four years of combat suffered a total of eleven wounds. He would eventually be elevated to the rank of brigadier general and would lead the last offensive action taken by Lee’s Army on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.

Upon his return to Raleigh, to resume his legal practice, he was soon made a Superior Court Judge and was later elected to the US Congress. He was described as a man ‘striking in physical appearance, cultured and courtly.’

As a congressman, he advocated for civil service reform. He spoke for a fair system where workers were hired according to their merit. His stance was not popular and he was not reelected. While there, however, the general made such an impression on those in Washington D.C. that he was appointed secretary of the US Senate in 1893.

He died in 1919 as one of the last surviving generals of the former Confederate Army. During WW II there were three liberty ships built and named for General William Cox.


A son, Albert, would become an army general during WW I and another son, Francis, became an Episcopal minister and chancellor of St John’s University in Shanghai.
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