—Baltimore's Confederate Monuments —
During the Civil War, approximately 60,000 Marylanders fought for the Union and 25,000 fought for the Confederacy. After the war, Confederate sympathizers erected monuments such as this one to recognize Confederate soldiers and sailors and to illustrate the beliefs of "the Lost Cause" which began shortly after the Civil War to promote the views of Confederate sympathizers about the causes and events of the Civil War.
Funded by the Maryland Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, the monument depicts the allegorical figure of Glory holding a dying Confederate soldier in one arm, and raising the laurel crown of Victory in the other. The soldier clutches his heart with one hand and a Confederate battle flag with the other. Sculptor F. Wellington Ruckstuhl stated that he intended for Glory to uplift the dying soldier from oblivion and glorify his cause "in ages to come." Gloria Victis means "Glory to the Vanquished." Deo Vindice, translated as "God Our Vindicator," was the Confederate motto.
Monuments like this one helped to perpetuate Lost Cause tenets, which portrayed slavery as benign, secession as justified, and advocated for while supremacy. In the same period that this monument was installed, Baltimore City adopted racial segregation housing ordinances and deed covenants,
supported segregation policies in public spaces and programs, and unequally funded African American school budgets, infrastructure improvements, and public programs.
In 2015, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed a Special Commission to Review Baltimore's Public Confederate Monuments to provide recommendations based on informed decisions and citizen input on how to address Baltimore's monuments that honor the Confederacy and the Lost Cause Movement. This commission concluded that this monument was part of a propaganda campaign of national pro-Confederate organizations to perpetuate the beliefs of white supremacy, falsify history, and support segregation and racial intimidation.
This plaque serves to inform the public on the history of Baltimore's Confederate monuments. For more information, please review the Special Commission to Review Baltimore's Public Confederate Monuments Report to Mayor Rawlings-Blake located at w.w.w.chap.baltimorecity.gov.
Sign content developed by the Baltimore City Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation. Graphic design services provided by the Baltimore National Heritage Area.