The Preserve > Col. Robert A. Smith Monument
Note: The Smith Monument is on
private property and is not part of the
Preserve. A viewpoint is available from
the Preserve. There is no public access.
South 42' west and ninety poles
is the place of The Sacrifice of
Col. Robert A. Smith
and his regiment
the Tenth Mississippi
on Sept. 14, 1862
The belief and tradition in the family
of Col. Robert A. Smith has always
been that General Chalmers, fearing
Smith's promotion to a higher rank,
planned the battle with expressed
hope that Col. Smith would lose his
life. The loss of the brigade in the
three-hour engagement was 40 killed
and 211 wounded, including Col.
Smith, who was brought back to his
men in excruciating pain. Col. Smith
died a few days later.
Coming to America in the year 1884,
Mr. James Smith, brother of Col.
Robert Smith, visited the battlefield
at Munfordville and purchased a piece of land on which he contracted to have erected a massive and costly monument in honor of his brother.
The monument is a most imposing and beautiful one. It is composed of a solid block of white gothic limestone, quarried near Bowling Green and put in shape and erected by Oman & Stewart of Nashville. With the exception of Cleopatra's Needle, it is said to be the largest single stone in America. Its gross weight in its finished form is about 35 tons, and is 21 feet high, four feet around at the base and three feet at the top. It is put on a foundation of rock and cement, extending ten feet under the ground. The stone took two months to erect, at a cost of $4,000. The monument is located at the southern end of the Railroad Bridge, at the location of a Confederate redan constructed in 1861.