Marble figure on granite canopy with porcelain fountain, 1917
Front Inscription: Confederate Soldiers
Right Panel Inscription: Murray, KY May 1917
Rear Inscription: Erected by J. N. Williams Chapter UDC
Left Panel Inscription: In Loving Remembrance Tribute to Effie Oury Gatlin Chairman Monument Con. 1913 - 1917
This rather complicated monument consists of a granite slab base supporting a four-columned canopy topped by marble ball on each corner. Atop the canopy is a base supporting a life-sized marble statue of General Robert E. Lee. Beneath the arches formed by the canopy and in the center of the Doric columns, a porcelain drinking fountain rests, with an ornate iron light fixture featuring four incandescent bulbs above and iron fence enclosures around. The drinking fountain was operated by a step pedal. The total height of the monument is approximately 16.5 feet.
The local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy purchased the monument from the McNeel Monument Company of Marietta, Georgia for $2,500.
Only one other Kentucky monument features the likeness of Robert E. Lee, commander over the Confederate Army from 1863 until the end of the war; his likeness appears in relief on the statue in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bardstown.
Calloway County was strongly pro-Confederate, with about 800 men joining the rebel forces, and only 200 enlisting for the Union. In 1862, citizens accused of disloyalty were arrested in federal raids and, in 1863, federal troops briefly occupied Murray. Fort Heiman, built by Confederates in the southeast part of the county, was captured and occupied by the Union for much of the War, but General Nathan Bedford Forrest retook it in 1864, launching his successful assault on Johnsonville, Tennessee, from there.