Friday, Aug. 1, 9:55 a.m. — TALLADEGA — Alabama 21’s 279 miles have a few commonalities. One of them is the abundance of war memorials scattered around the towns on this highway.
The one here in Talladega is unique, both in its topic and its architecture. Sitting on the east side of 21 just before the main part of downtown, the monument memorializes the Battle of Talladega during the Creek War in 1813 and marks the spot of a spring around which the city’s first settlers lived.
Covering the monuments is an unusual-shaped canopy — that’s the first, and largest, thing that catches your eye as you drive past. Underneath the canopy are different monuments that explain, in words and maps, the battle and the people who fought it. (Andrew Jackson led a group of soldiers from Tennessee against hostile Native Americans, and won.) Another monument in this small, fenced park, over to one side, lists the names of the Jackson soldiers who died in the battle. That monument dates back to 1913, the 100-year anniversary of the battle.
Talladega’s war memorial isn’t the largest on Alabama 21; that honor goes to Anniston’s Centennial Memorial Park. It, however, may be the most eye-catching.
— Phillip Tutor