Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 1, Number 2, Fall, 1989 Page: 35
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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The Confederate statue in front of the center portico
of the Centennial Building at Fair Park is crowned
with seven stars, representing the original seven
states of the Confederacy.
back wall is a female figure representing the Confederacy.
She holds a shield emblazoned with the
great seal of the Confederate States of America.
Perhaps the least known of the city's Confederate
monuments is the one found in a quiet
corner of Greenwood Cemetery in near North
Dallas. There, just off Hall Street, stands a granite
column, topped by a statue of a Confederate
soldier. It appears at first glance to be a memorial
to all Confederates in general. In fact, it is a
memorial to a particular individual.
The monument honors Captain S. P. Emerson,
a native of Allen County, Kentucky, who
came to live in Dallas after the Civil War. In 1861,
when he was twenty-nine years old, Emerson
enlisted in the Confederate Army. Under the
Command of General Simon Buckner, he saw
action at Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland
River in Northern Tennessee. When the fort fell
to Northern forces under Ulysses S. Grant in
February, 1862, General Buckner surrendered
some 15,000 troops. Emerson, however, escaped
by swimming and wading the river. He subsequently
had a number of adventures; as captain of
a company of Confederate scouts, "his name
became a synonym throughout middle Kentucky
for deeds of incomparable daring. So desperate
and successful were his forays that the federals set
a price upon his head."13
On a raid into Ohio with cavalryman John
Hunt Morgan, Emerson again swam a river (the
Ohio) when faced with imminent capture and
surrender. Unfortunately he was captured soon
after in Tennessee, tried, and condemned to be
shot by a Kentucky federal regiment. As the hour
drew near for his execution, he managed to free
himself and made his way to Nashville, where he
was forced to surrender. To save himself, he
joined a federal outfit, but it was a ruse. The first
chance he got, he escaped back to the Confederate
side and fought on with his old company until the
close of the war. Emerson then made his way to
Texas, eventually settling in Dallas, "where he
became a quiet and useful citizen and by his
energy accumulated a very considerable estate."14
Captain Emerson, who never married, was
particularly close to the Cabell family, and on the
day the Confederate monument in City Park was
unveiled, he revealed to Katie Cabell Currie his
wish that she take charge of his funeral arrangements
when the time came. He asked that the
services "be conducted in a manner befitting an
ex-Confederate who loved the cause for which he
struggled," and he described a monument he
wanted placed over his grave. When Emerson
died in October, 1900, Mrs. Currie carried out his
wishes. His coffin lay in state, covered with a
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 1, Number 2, Fall, 1989, periodical, 1989; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35123/m1/37/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.