Inscription (south): Here off duty til the last reveille, rest the Southern soldiers, few in number, who were slain in this and in adjoining counties during the War of Secession. They fell among strangers, unknown, unfriended, yet not unhonored for strangers' hands have gathered their ashes here and placed this shaft above them. That constancy, valor, sacrifice of self, though displaced in fruitless enterprise, may not be unremembered.
Inscription (east):Kentucky Tennessee
Inscription (north):Constantes Esque Ad Mortem Animas Perjecere
Inscription (west): Georgia Texas
Dedicated in 1872, this ten-foot obelisk is situated on a mound and encircled by thirty headstones that radiate out about fifteen feet from the centerpiece. Made of marble and carved to appear draped, with a rounded finial at the top, its inscription indicates that it is dedicated to Confederate soldiers from four states who fought and died at the Battle of Wildcat Mountain. The 30 soldiers, originally buried at the battle site, were reinterred at this spot in 1871, following an elaborate ceremony. Funds to erect the monument were collected by the community, with $125 raised by performances of the Dramatic Company of Crab Orchard.
On October 21, 1861, Federal troops under the command of General Albin Schoepf repelled a Confederate attack on Wildcat Mountain in Laurel County. Wildcat Mountain was an important site strategically, for it enabled control of the Rockcastle River and the Wilderness Road.
Read the inscription on this monument and discuss its meaning. Analyze the phrase, "though displaced in fruitless enterprise," in relation to what you know about the feelings of Kentuckians during and after the War.
Find Wildcat Mountain on a map. What is its elevation? Compare this elevation with others in Kentucky.