The Brandon Family Cemetery, a quiet, privately-owned family cemetery, calling five generations of founding area families home, located on the corner of Brandon Blvd. and Lithia Pinecrest Rd., is the new home of a 107-year-old Confederate monument. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last summer to relocate it from the county courthouse after issues were raised about the statue being located on public county property.
According to County Commissioner Stacy White, the decision was made to move the monument to the Brandon Family Cemetery, where the founder of Brandon, John Brandon, and generations of family after him, is buried and members of the family, who served in the Confederate military forces, are buried there. There is also an existing Confederate memorial on the site.
According to White, this option was endorsed by key chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as well as the Brandon family. The Brandon family has a track record of working with both the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in their mission of remembering Confederate military personnel and history.
Some members of the commission stipulated that private funds must be used and had to be raised within 30 days to have the statue moved. The financial goal of $150,000 was met in just one day.
The statue was commissioned in 1911 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The Confederate Battle Flag is depicted on the front of the monument, and the dates 1861 to 1865 refer to the beginning and ending of the war between the states. The poem inscribed on the east side was written by Sister Esther Carlotta, a Roman Catholic nun.
According to the historical marker that accompanied the monument, the soldier facing north has been interpreted as the determined warrior facing the invader at the beginning of the war, while the soldier facing south is viewed as a young soldier returning home from conflict in a tattered uniform, wounded but not forgotten.