John Brown Gordon Statue
Public Art : John Brown Gordon Statue
Sculptor : © Solon Borglum (1868-1922)
Description : Bronze statue of of the proudly sitting
General John Brown Gordon astride his warhorse.
Date Unveiled : Saturday, May 25, 1907. Mr and
Mrs Borglum and Governor Jarrell were guests of honor.
Funding: Private contribution
$10,000 state granted $15,000
Location : On the grounds of the State Capitol,
|John Brown Gordon, son of Rev. Zachariah Herndon Gordon and Mrs Malinda Cox Gordon,
was born in Upson County Feb.6, 1832. He attended a rural school in Walker County, Pleasant Green
Academy in La Fayette, and the University of Georgia. He left the university in his senior years to
study law under the noted Logan E. Bleckley, but soon gave up the practice of law to join his
father in coal mine operations in Northwest Georgia.
At the beginning of the War between the States, John B. Gordon organized a company of mountaineers who
wore coonskin caps and called themselves "The Raccoon Roughs". When his company was merged with the 6th
Alabama Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army, Captain Gordon was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of
the regiment. Early in 1862 he became a Colonel and later that year had fought up to the rank of
Brigadier General. On May 14, 1864, he was promoted to Major General and had been recommended for the
rank of Lieutenant General when the war ended, at which time he was in command of half The Army of
Dougals Southall Freeman, in "Lee's Lieutenants" wrote ; " If the final order of march has been
arranged to honor those who had fought hardest and with highest distinction during the last days of the
war, Gordon rightly would have been put first." In 1873 General Gordon was elected to the United States
Senate. He was re-elected in 1878, but resigned in 1880 to develop mining and railway interest. In 1886
he was elected Governor of Georgia and re-elected in 1888. At the end of his second term he was sent to
the United States Senate for the third time, serving from 1891 to 1897. He died on January 9, 1904
while visiting his son, Hugh Haralson Gordon in Miami.
History of the John Brown Gordon Statue : In 1906, it was decided
to erect a commemorative statue in honor of General John Brown Gordon. In addition to the $15,000 set
aside, $10,000 was collected by the Gordon Monument Association and other contributors. Well known
sculptor Solon Borglum was given the commission. When the statue of John Brown Gordon was unveiled in the
grounds of Atlanta's Capitol grounds, the local newspaper wrote, "Never before have the capitol grounds been so
packed with an animated mass of humanity as that gathered around the Gordon monument yesterday". The day included
speeches by General Clement A. Evans, Captain Tip Harrison, Colonel Nat Harris, and the Honorable Joe Hill Hall, a
100 voice choir and a poem performed by Governor Joseph M. Terrell.
Trivia : The sculptor, Solon Borglum, is the brother of Mount
Rushmore famed, Gutzon Borglum.
Solon died in 1922 after complications following an appendics operation. It is believed that two gas wounds he
recieved during the War lowered his immune system.