The Ladies' Confederate Memorial is an American Civil War monument erected in 1874 in Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 17, 1997, as part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS. Unlike most Confederate monuments in Kentucky, it represents grief rather than Southern patriotism.
The Ladies Memorial and Monument Association was founded by the wife of John C. Breckinridge on May 19, 1869, after she saw the unveiling of the Confederate Monument in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After six years of funding, the memorial was dedicated on May 26, 1875.
The statue features a marble cross shaped as if made of logs. A broken sword and broken flagstaff are among the motifs, which include lilies, with rugged rocks being the motif for the limestone pedestal. It was designed by George W. Ranck (1841–1901), a Lexington historian, and paid for by the Ladies Memorial and Monument Association of Lexington. The cross was made in Italy, with the pedestal supplied by Louisville's Muldoon Monument Company. It was called "probably the most perfect thing of its kind in the South" by Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper.
It is believed that the memorial might have been inspired by a poem written by Abram Joseph Ryan, a Confederate chaplain:
Take that banner down! 'tis tattered;
Broken is its staff and shattered,Over whom it floated high.
And the valiant hosts are scattered
The Confederate Soldier Monument in Lexington is a few feet away, and was also part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS.