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West Point Mounument, Norfolk, Virginia
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member AZkayaker
N 36° 51.679 W 076° 17.096
18S E 385461 N 4080258
Quick Description: Located at 238 E. Princess Anne Road, The West Point Monument is one of only a few African-American Civil War Memorial located in the South.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 2/17/2009 8:49:17 PM
Waymark Code: WM5VYC
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 2

Long Description:
Compiled from the West Point Monument Sign & National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - This Monument was built as a tribute to African American veterans of the Civil War and Spanish American War. James E. Fuller (1846-1909) of Norfolk, a former slave and a Civil War Veteran quartermaster in the First United States Colored Cavalry, and later elected as the 1st black Norfolk City Councilman, was the motivating spirit behind the erection of Norfolk's African-American Civil War Memorial, known as the West Point Monument.
After the city granted land to the Veteran’s Association, the committee decided to have a monument erected in honor of their fallen comrades. Such an undertaking, however, entailed a lot of money and there was very little in the black community. City Councilman James E. Fuller was not deterred. Over a span of more than two decades, Fuller and others slowly raised money by selling pies, chicken dinners, and tickets for raffles and concerts. Before the Civil War dead had been properly honored, the Spanish-American War intervened and Norfolk blacks once again volunteered. By 1906, the committee had enough funds for the construction of the base of the monument. The Monument's Cornerstone was set by William Fuller on Decoration Day, 30 May 1909, however, the monument was not completed until 1920. A plaque honoring the Spanish-American soldiers was attached to the base. A host of churches, lodges, and civic and social groups operating under the leadership of the Norfolk Memorial Association continued the fund raising crusade until the monument was completed in 1920.
The Civil War soldier depicted on the top of the West Point Monument is Norfolk native Sergeant William H. Carney of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. While his parents were born slaves, they secured their freedom and left Norfolk with their son for New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1855. Carney enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts in 1862, and fought with his regiment during the July 18, 1863 attack on Fort Wagner, South Carolina. When the color bearers were shot down in the failed assault, Carney, despite being severely wounded, managed to save the U.S. flag from capture. Carney was the first of 16 African American soldiers to receive the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.
On the North Face of the Monument's Pedestal are two bronze plaques. The top bronze plaque is a shield with the following in relief, a Maltese Cross over crossed rifles over an eagle with outstretched wings looking to the left, over the dates "1861 - 1865" over the date "1920". the bottom square bronze plaque has the following inscription in relief; "ERECTED BY - THE - NORFOLK MEMORIAL - ASSOCIATION - TO - THE MEMORY OF - OUR HEROES - 1861 - 1865"
There are a total of 8 marble inscribed plaques on all four sides of the base of the West Point Monument. Starting on the East Face, left to right the first of these three reads: "LANGSTON CAMP No.1 - UNITED SPANISH WAR VETS." The middle marble plaque reads "The Whole of Section No. 20 - Donated to the Union Veterans Hall Association by resolution proposed by Comrade James E. Fuller; adopted by the Common Coun-cil March 3rd 1886, and by the Select Council April 13th 1886. - THIS MONUMENT ALTER - Laid for dedication May 30th 1906 by the Norfolk Memo-rial Association to receive the shalt already pledged by the - citizens in honor of all the colored soldiers and sailors buried in West Point Cemetery and Berkley from 1860 - to the last veteran to be buried in these Cemeteries, as - amended and approved by contributors March 2nd 1906. - FOUNDERS OF NORFOLK MEMORIAL ASSO. - Jas E. Fuller, 1st President. Mrs. R. Langley, 1st Vice President - Mrs. L. J. Lynch 1st Secretary. - James P. Carter President - Abel C. Carter, Secretary - Magnes Riggins Treasurer - James E. Fuller - Custodian." The third marble plaque on the Eastern Base reads: "NATIONAL CAMP No. 2 - UNITED SPANISH WAR VETS." On the North side of the base is one marble plaque that reads "SHAW POST No. 5 - G.A.R. - SHAW WOMAN RELIEF CORPS No.3" On the West Face of the Monument are three marble plaques that read from left to right; "JOHN C. FOW - POST NO. 67 - G.A.R.", "CAILLIOUX POST No.2 - G.A.R. - CAILLIOUX WOMAN RELIEF CORPS No.1", and "LADIES AUX. No.4 - U.S.W.V." On the South Base is one marble plaque that reads "DAHLGREN POST No.4 - G.A.R. - DAHLGREN WON RELIEF CORPS No. 12"
Date Installed or Dedicated: 05/30/1906

Name of Government Entity or Private Organization that built the monument: Norfolk Memorial Association

Union, Confederate or Other Monument: Union

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