In the center pedestal is the carved bust of Gen. Albert Johnston, the Confederate commander who was killed during the afternoon of the first day.
At the extreme right, the figure in front represents the Confederate infantryman who has snatched up his flag in defiance of the Northern Army. The figure to his rear is the artilleryman who is calm as he appears to gaze through the smoke of battle.
The central group represents a "Defeated Victory." The front figure, representing the Confederacy, is surrendering the laurel wreath of victory to Death, on the left, and Night, on the right. Death came to their commander and Night brought reinforcements to the enemy; and the battle was lost.
The panel of heads on the right represents the spirit of the first day. The panel of heads on the left represents the second day of the battle and the sorrow of the men, now reduced from 11 to 10.