A replica of the Sterling Price Civil War marker returned to Jefferson City, although in a different place and appearance to the original.
The Rev. Richard Frank blessed the marker Tuesday morning on the anniversary of the original’s dedication with a crowd of about 50 people in attendance.
The marker, which is a replica of the original except on a stand rather than a stone, is now on display at 801 Armory Drive and visible from U.S. 54.
Jefferson City native Edith Vogel placed the replica on private land she owns, but with the goal of it being something everybody could enjoy.
“Historically, some of the people that protested it said they would not mind if it was put up, but they wanted it off public property,” she said. “So, that was my lead-in to say, ‘OK, I can take care of that.’”
Vogel wanted to get the original marker, but the city returned it to the original dedicators, the Winnie David Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, with the intention to donate it to the Missouri Civil War Museum in St. Louis.
The Jefferson City Council voted in mid-October to remove the marker from the city right-of-way on Moreau Drive after months of discussions with residents on the topic.
Supporters of removing it argued it does not represent an accurate or full history of Jefferson City during the Civil War and the donating group has ties to the Ku Klux Klan and racist propaganda.
Those in favor of keeping it argued removing it would erase history and that the marker doesn’t glorify the Confederacy.
When Vogel wasn’t able to get the original marker, she said, she found a bronze casting company in Florida that could make a replica based on photos and information she provided.
Frank, who is a charter member of the Missouri Civil War Museum, blessed the marker with holy water.
“In dedicating it, we express our desire to preserve history rather than erase or forget it,” he said. “We do not espouse any political cause or opinion, but wish to preserve the memory of our past history — good and bad — so that we can learn from any errors and make progress toward the future.”
The original marker is a large brown stone on a gray stone base, bearing a plaque that reads: “Deciding against attack, the Confederate Army under Gen. Sterling Price turned from Jefferson City October 7, 1864.”
Vogel had the plaque recast and put on a stand.
“In dedicating this replica of an 88-year-old Civil War monument, we recall and are grateful for the intrepid dedication and courage of those Union soldiers and citizens of the City of Jefferson who on Oct. 7, 1864, defended our city from possible great death and destruction by turning away the Confederate invaders under Gen. Sterling Price,” Frank said.
Vogel encourages people to come visit the marker for themselves.