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20th Century Controversy

Louisville Confederate Monument- Base

Base section of monument with plaque reading “OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD,” seal of the Confederacy, and CSA monogram for Confederate States Army.


Currently, the monument stands in the middle of a busy roadway within the University of Louisville’s Belknap campus. The Louisville monument holds the record as the largest Confederate monument in the state of Kentucky. The fate of the monument hung in the balance several times during the twentieth century. As generations passed away, fewer supporters advocated for the monument. Automobiles also threatened the monument because some people argued that the monument obstructed traffic. The support for the monument continued to outmatch the criticism and the Confederate monument still remained standing.


In 2002, the University of Louisville set in motion plans to construct additional Civil Rights memorial elements around the Confederate pillar. These additions attempted to subdue the conflict stirring over a memorial to soldiers fighting for slavery. The university named the new site Freedom Park. Funds became available in 2008 to start construct on the Civil Rights elements. Over one hundred years later, the efforts of a group of Kentucky women stands as a landmark in Louisville and evidence to Kentucky’s created Confederate memory.