Undying Devotion to Duty

It is a beautiful hand-carved memorial. The Rapides Parish Confederate memorial asks the viewer to recall those who served in the Civil War from Rapides Parish and did not return. The front or north face is inscribed:

Dedicated to the Confederate soldiers in Rapides parish

Their memory is enshrined

In the hearts of the people

And the record of their

Sublime self-sacrifice as is

Undying devotion to duty in

The same service of the South and

In the proud heritage of

Loyal posterity.

Erectd by the Thomas Overton Moore Chapter

Daughters of the Confederacy

Alexandria, Louisiana

1914

Faithful to our fallen heroes

On the west face appear these words:

Ye kept the faith

‘Twas glorious thus to die

And woman’s love has

Raised a lofty stone,

To tell the truth to

Those who pass by

On the southern face are carved these words:

In loving memory of the

Mothers and sisters and

Sweethearts of the gallant

Soldiers of Rapides

It was the teaching of the

Southern home which provided

The Southern soldier the

Deep foundation of whose

Duty and reliance of God

By the side of every Southern

Soldier, there marched unseen

A Southern woman

And, on the east side appear the stanza from Rudyard Kipling’s poem:

God of our Fathers,

Known of old, battle line,

Beneath whose awful hand, we hold

Dominion over palm and pine,

Lord God of Hosts be with us yet

Lest we forget, lest we forget

Recessional

Kipling’s poem was first published in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Kipling’s poem, “Recessional,” suggests the British empire will pass one day. But, reliance on God will stand the test of time. The poem warns of a time when all the “pomp of yesterday” recedes. The navies are gone. The achievements of man turn to dust and disappear. Men should be wary of their boasting and pride.

The poem quickly became popular in the U.S. which had seen so many dead just three decades before. The Recessional poem was adopted for many Confederate memorials in this time period. Unlike their Northern antagonists, virtually all Southern boys never saw a proper, marked grave. Few families could visit a grave for their sons and husbands. These memorials took the place of those graveyards.

The memorial includes no words about Jim Crow or maintaining a certain social order. Yet, the Southern Poverty Law Center describes this Rapides Parish memorial as a “symbol of hate and white supremacy.”

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