One such veteran was Wilfred Cutshaw, a former colonel who’d lost a leg in an 1865 skirmish but by 1894 had become Richmond’s principal city planner, already responsible for a comprehensive redesign of the city’s layout during the Reconstruction. As an impressionable engineering student at VMI in the 1850s, he’d learned about Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria, Egypt, and its grandeur – utterly imagined, of course – would retain a curious stranglehold on his vision for Richmond more than 30 years later. Evidently prominent in that vision was a monument honoring veterans conspicuously like himself. The Monument to Confederate War Dead had already been built in Hollywood Cemetery, and a statue honoring Robert E. Lee was soon to be unveiled on what would become Monument Avenue, but in 1889 he put forth plans before a handpicked committee to add yet another local tribute to the Confederate cause.
Want to go back in time? Get a heavy dose of historical context from this souvenir pamphlet from the unveiling of the monument in 1894 (PDF).[sep]