Georgia stone company to move park monument

Published 11:57 pm Friday, August 12, 2011

A Georgia firm’s stone workers can be expected to take special care of a Vicksburg National Military Park monument they will be moving next month — it’s the Georgia state memorial recognizing the efforts of its troops here during the Civil War.

The selection of Lexington Blue Granite Company of Elberton, Ga., to lift and move the monument was coincidental, park Superintendent Mike Madell said.

“But they’re kind of excited about it,” he added.

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Madell announced Thursday that all approvals for relocating the Georgia Memorial have been received. Acting as primary contractors will be Davidson Marble and Granite, of Canton, he said.

The 18-foot-tall gray granite monument will be moved about 300 feet closer to the South Loop of the park tour road, “remaining in an area of historical integrity, resting along the line occupied by Brig. Gen. Alfred Cumming’s Georgia Brigade during the 1863 siege of Vicksburg,” Madell said.

Park officials filed an Environmental Assessment report earlier this year detailing options for improving public access to the monument, which before the tour road was rerouted in the mid-1960s was along Confederate Avenue.

Visitors can still see and walk to it across a stretch of grass near Fort Garrott at Tour Stop 14, but Madell said the move will make it safer and easier to observe close up.

A new foundation for the monument will be poured next week, Madell said, and the move is expected to follow after Labor Day.

The monument is identical to Georgia memorials at Gettysburg, Antietam and Kennesaw Mountain, according to the VNMP website. It exhibits the state seal and bears the inscription, “We sleep here in obedience to law; When duty called, we came, When country called, we died.”

The VNMP, established by Congress in 1899, is home to more than 1,350 monuments, tablets and plaques.