Hillsborough County's Confederate Monument
In 1910, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Tampa Chapter No.113, began to raise funds for a monument to honor the soldiers and sailors of the Confederate States of America, The Hillsborough County Commission granted the chapter, which had been formed in 1897, a plot on the courthouse square on the southwest corner of Franklin and Lafayette Streets. The sculpture was originally intended to be dedicated January 19, 1911, Robert E. Lee's birthday. However, funds for the $3,000 monument were still being raised and groundbreaking did not occur until January 21, 1911. The installation was completed February 3, and the exquisite marble figures were draped in white until the unveiling on February 8, 1911. On that date, thousands attended this unveiling and important dedication ceremony. Accepting the monument in behalf of the City of Tampa was Mayor D.B. McKay, who was joined by the orator for the occasion, Hon. H.S. Phillips, a local attorney. The statue, entitled Memoria in Aeterna,
was fabricated in imported Italian marble and was moved to its current (Reverse text)
location in 1952 following completion of the new Hillsborough County Courthouse. In 1966, Hillsborough County collaborated with the National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property, Save our Sculpture, to access the condition of this prominent sculpture. The County completed the thorough cleaning and conservation treatment, but did not restore the broken rifles in order to maintain the original integrity of the historic piece. The Confederate Battle Flag is depicted on the front of the work and the dates 1861 and 1865 refer to the beginning and ending of the War Between the States. The poem on the east side was written by Sister Esther Carlotta, a Roman Catholic nun, who was president of the Florida Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1911. The solider facing north has been interpreted as the determined warrior facing the invader at the beginning of the war, while the heroic youth facing south is seen returning home from the conflict in a tattered uniform wounded but not forgotten.