Berryville, Virginia, Clarke County, Virginia, John Adams Elder

The Clarke County, Virginia Courthouse That Was Built In The 1850s And The Ongoing Legal Battle Over Berryville’s “Appomattox” Confederate Monument

On August 30th, 1884, during the one year anniversity of the Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Calvary, a Confederate group that was formed in 1883, the group passed a resolution to create a monument to honor the Confederate dead of Clarke County. Less than two years later, on March 1st, 1886, an act of the Virginia General Assembly, to incorporate the Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Cavalry, passed in both the House of Delegates and in the Senate. This incorporation of this private veteran group allowed the organization to both hold real estate and to be exempt from taxation.

Photograph of the “Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Calvary” that was taken between 1916 to 1918.

Members of the Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Calvary commissioned Burns & Campbell to create a monument based off of John Adams Elder’s 1888 painting named “Appomattox”.

John Adams Elder’s painting of a solemn Confederate soldier in “Appomattox”.

Due to the Confederate soldier’s resemblance to the historical painting the monument was hence named “Appomatox”.

The Monumental Bronze Company’s advertisement for a variety of monuments.

On July 21st, 1900, Berryville’s “Appomatox” monument was dedicated in front of the Clarke County Courthouse at a ceremony that began at 11:45AM.

In May 1903, the only other “Appomattox” monument, that was erected in Virginia, was named “To All Confederates” and was placed in the cemetery on Rude’s Hill in Mount Jackson, Virginia. The Mount Jackson Chapter of the U.D.C. raised the funds for Virginia’s second “Appomattox” monument.

Author’s Note:

In the fall of 2021, the Turner Ashby Confederate Camp No. 1567, filed a lawsuit against the Clarke County Government over the ownership of the Berryville Appomatox monument. The original Confederate group that erected the monument dissolved in the 1900s, and the Turner Ashby Confederate camp has argued that, since their group consists of Confederate decendants, they are the private organization with the greatest interest in the monument, besides the Daughters of the Confederacy. However, during a jury trail ruled in favor of the Clarke County Government, by giving the county ownership of the monument, and the case is currently being reviewed under an appellate court.

Maral S. Kalbian, was hired by the Clarke County Board of Supervisiors, to research the history of the “Appomattox” monument and created a public presentation with her findings. The Clarke County government issued a report called a “Summary Timeline For The Confederate Monument In Berryville, VA”.