Dedication of the Tomb of the Army of
                                                          Northern Virginia Association*
                                      Unveiling of the Statue of
                                                           Stonewall Jackson at New Orleans*
Dedication of the Tomb of the Army of Northern Virginia Association and Unveiling of the Statue of Stonewall Jackson at New Orleans.

It was our privilege to be present on this memorable 10th of May, 1881, in New Orleans, and while we have not space for a full report, we must make a brief record of this grand historic occasion.

The Louisiana Division, Army Northern Virginia Association, with a zeal and enterprising liberality worthy of all praise, had completed their tomb, which has vaults capable of receiving twenty-five hundred of their dead comrades, mounted upon it the statue of their old commander, Stonewall Jackson, and invited Mrs. Jackson and Miss Julia, President Davis, General Fitz. Lee, their comrades of the Army of Tennessee Association, the Lee Association of Mobile, and a number of others, to be present on the occasion.

Accordingly, on the afternoon of the 10th, a crowd numbering from twelve to fifteen thousand assembled in the beautiful Metairie Cemetery. The vast throng occupying the comfortable seats, arranged amphitheater style, or standing in the open space, the beautiful granite shaft decorated with Confederate flags and floral designs of most exquisite taste and beauty, the "Guard of Honor," composed of nineteen disabled veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia, the clouds in the distance hanging like the smoke of battle, and the muttering thunder, which recalled the sound of artillery, all conspired to make a picture not easily forgotten.   But when at the appointed hour Mrs. Jackson and Miss Julia, President Davis, and General Lee appeared on the platform and the statue was unveiled, amid the beating of drums and the cheers of the multitude, the scene presented was one far beyond our poor powers of description.


are of granite, and in design and execution reflect the highest credit on the taste of the committee and the skill 
of the artist, Perelli.

The monument rises fifty feet above the ground. The 
shaft rests on a handsome base and is very graceful in its proportions, and on reverse sides are the following simple and appropriate inscriptions:


The statue itself is eight feet nine inches high, and the remarks of an old soldier present, as the veil was drawn aside, but echoed the universal verdict of those familiar with the form and features of the great chieftain: "That is old 'Stonewall,' as I used to see him."

The likeness is excellent, the form and posture well might perfect, while the old cadet ap, tilted on the nose, the cavalry boots, the uniform coat, the spurs, the sabre-all 
of the details of the man and his dress-combine to give 
not an ideal Jackson of the artist's fancy, but the veritable "old Stonewall," whom we used to see standing on some roadside, along which his veterans were hurrying into line of battle. Indeed we could almost see him turn suddenly away, mount his old raw-boned sorrel, and gallop to the advance skirmish line amid the enthusiastic cheers of the "Foot Cavalry." But, no! as on the night before the battle of First Manassas he declined to have sentries posted, (saying, "Let the weary fellows sleep, and I will guard the camp to-night,") and through the weary hours of the night stood "lone sentinel of that band of sleeping heroes"-so now let that granite figure stand to guard "the bivouac of the dead," and the dust of heroes who sleep beneath that mound.

It will not be improper to add, as a matter of deep interest to all, that Mrs. Jackson and Miss Julia are both delighted with the statue, and Mrs. Jackson pronounces it a very
fine likeness.

After prayer by Rev. Father D. Hubert, the veteran Chaplain, the tomb and statue were presented by Captain 
W. R. Lyman, Chairman of the Committee, and received by Colonel J. B. Richardson, President of the Louisiana Division, Army of Northern Virginia, in brief speeches, which we give in full:


Mr. President and Members of the Army of Northern Virginia:

In the execution of the trust which you committed to us as a committee from your body to erect a moment and tomb to the memory of Stonewall Jackson and his men, we are here to-day to show yet the result of our work, and ask your acceptance of it and our discharge as a committee.

Perhaps it may be well, as in this vast audience there are many who have come to manhood's estate since the war, to set forth the character and objects of the Association which we represent here to-day.

Some time in 1874 the survivors of the Army of Northern Virginia, who had fought under Lee and Jackson, organized an association which should be commemorative and non-political in character. A few months after the organization of that Virginia Association, a branch 
division was organized in the State of Louisiana, which we have named the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia, Louisiana Division.

This occurred in September, 1875. Since that time we
have had three presidents-Major E. D. Willett, the first, Governor Frank Nicholls, the second, and Major J. B. Richardson, the third. Our objects, like those of our brethren in Virginia, are purely benevolent, historical, and non-political. Any man whose record is clear as a soldier
in the Army of Northern Virginia is welcome to our ranks, whatever be his present political feeling. We have been very careful to exclude those applicants whose records were not clear to the end of the war. 

The Army of Tennessee has organized a similar association of the members of that army.

During the epidemic of 1878, it will be remembered by most of you, the Army of Northern Virginia cared for its members whenever they were found sick, cared for their families, and buried their dead. But we felt always the necessity for a proper receptacle where we could put our honored braves away. To-day we are able to dedicate that tomb and monument. From its outer appearance many persons may not realize the fact that underneath it we can place the bodies of 2,500 men. We have ample room for the remains of our dead who sleep in Virginia.

I deem it my duty to say to the association that the Metairie Association we owe much. They gave to us, as
a donation, this ground, and have assisted us in every way. The plan of the monument, out of many presented, was that brought to us by Mr. Charles Orleans, agent for the Kinsdale Granite Company. To his perseverance we owe much of our success. The statue is the work of that master of his art, Perelli.

Now, sir, it remains for me to say to you what my committee as a whole would express to the members of 
the association. At the first meeting of the committee we resolved that no living man's name should be placed on the monument, and we make this request, that no name of living man shall be placed on it. The simple inscription, "Army of Northern Virginia, Louisiana Division," tells its own story. If you wish more look on the other side of the die-there is the whole story: "From Manassas to Appomattox, 1861-1865."


Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Tomb Committee:

On behalf of the members of the Louisiana Division, 
Army of Northern Virginia, it becomes my pleasing duty
to accept from your hands this handsome tomb and sculptured shaft, designed to perpetuate the memory of those who fought and fell for the Lost Cause, and at the same time a fitting place of rest for those who must soon follow.

Most of your old comrades are scattered over the battlefields of Virginia, from Manassas to Appomattox, sleeping quietly on its mountains and in its valleys. 
Some you left on the banks of the James river, the Chickahominy, the Rappahannock, the Shenandoah and the Potomac; many in places long since forgotten, with nothing left to mark the spot, except perhaps, in some lonely place in that beautiful valley of the Shenandoah, under the shadow of the Blue Ridge, Nature's kind hand may have planted in spring time a lily, pure and white as angle's hands, which stands as a sentinel drinking dews from heaven, and bowing its head in grief at night to kiss the spot, and with the first greeting of the morning sun, leaves its dew-drop tears on the unknown soldier's grave.

You have nobly performed the task assigned you by your companions in arms, and this grand mausoleum, surmounted by that life-like statue of out immortal commander, is now the mute witness of your untiring labors.

When we shall have run our course in life, and our bodies lie moldering in mother earth, beneath the shadows of this noble monument, our children, and our children's children will revisit this sacred spot to learn a new lesson of patriotism from those who offered up their lives, a precious sacrifice, on Freedom's bleeding altar.

Strangers from other lands will pause here and recall the scenes of that memorable struggle of our years, in which you bore so prominent a part.

The first rays of the morning sunlight, and the last gleam
of evening will linger around you silent, solitary sentinel, and in the still, quiet watches of the night, when the pale moon's beams fall upon the dreamless sleepers here, the spirit of the great Stonewall, loosened for a while from the prison-house of the faithful departed, will wander forth to guard the noble band of martyrs who are slumbering here in peace. Yes, comrades-

The dead shall guard the dead, 
While the living o'er them weep;
And the men whom Lee and Stonewall led,
The hearts that once together bled,
Shall here together sleep.

Mr. Edward Marks then read in fine style a beautiful and appropriate poem, written for the occasion by Mary 
Ashley Townsend. We propose at some future day to 
give it in full to our readers. 

And then followed the oration of the day, for which 
service the committee had been fortunate in securing General Fitzhugh Lee, of Virginia. 

General Lee was received with enthusiastic cheers, was frequently interrupted with applause, and delivered in admirable style, an eloquent and most appropriate address. We regret that our space will not allow us to publish the address in full, or to give now even extracts from its finest passages. 

When General Lee took his seat, amidst thundering applause, there were loud and persistent calls for President Davis.   When he arose, the scene witnessed was indeed inspiring.   Men flung their hats around their heads, and cheered wildly, the women waved their hand-kerchiefs, and as with clear, ringing voice and graceful gesture he delivered his gem of a little speech, he was again and again interrupted with an enthusiastic applause, which showed that he is not only still "a Master of assemblies," but has a warm place in the affections of the people.

As imperfect reports of Mr. Davis's speech were published at the time, and as several of our Southern papers have, strange as it may seem, criticized severely his utterances,
we are fortunate in being able to give the following verbatim report:


Friends, Countrymen, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am thrice happy in the circumstances under which you have called upon me. The eloquent and beautiful address to which you have listened has been so full in its recital as to require no addition.

Again, the speaker saw all, and was a large part of that which he described, giving a life and vigor to his narration, which could not be attained by one who only, at second -hand, knew of the events. Your honored guest and orator, General Fitzhugh Lee, rode with Stuart in his perilous campaigns, shared his toils and dangers, took part in his victories, and became the worthy successor of that immortal to Appomattox Court-house, a numerous foe hovering on his flanks and rear, "little Fitz" was there with the remnant of his cavalry to do and dare, and, if need be, die for Dixie. How vain it would be for any one to add to what has been said by such a witness. 

Again, and lastly, Jackson's character and conduct so 
filled the measure of his glory that no encomium could increase or adorn it. When he came from the academic shades of the Virginia Military Institute, who could have foreseen the height of military fame to which the quiet professor would reach. He rose with the brilliancy of a meteor over the blood-stained fields of the Potomac,
but shone with the steady light of the orb of day, a light around which no evening shadows gathered, but grew brighter and brighter the longer it shone. It is not alone 
by us that his merit has been recognized. 

In Europe, so far as I had opportunity to learn, he was regarded as the great hero of our war, and appreciative 
men in England have contributed the bronze statue to him, the first and only one which they have given to one of our soldiers. The column which stands before me, crowned 
with a statue of enduring stone, which you have reared to commemorate his services and virtues, is a fit tribute from you, and teaches a useful lesson to posterity, because it is erected not to perpetuate the story of his military prowess merely, but also, and perhaps even more, to record his pure patriotism than this for such a testimonial, for the fame of Jackson is closely identified with the heroic 
history of Louisiana.

In the beginning of the war the Confederate States were wanting in all the material needful for its prosecution,and there was nothing which it was more difficult to supply 
than field batteries. Then the Washington Artillery came full-armed to fill that want. From the first battle of Manassas, where Jackson won his sobriquet of Stonewall, 
in the East and in the West, the guns of the Washington Artillery were heard wherever battles were fought. In the ever memorable campaign of the Shenandoah, where Jackson, with the swoop of the eagle, attacked the divided columns of the enemy, and, beating them in succession, drove his vast host from out soil, the sons of Louisiana 
were a staff on which he securely leaned.

At Port Republic, a battle as noticeable for the strategy which preceded it as for the daring and resolution by
which it was characterized, Jackson in making the disposition of his forces, assigned an important duty to 
the Louisiana brigade commanded by General Dick Taylor. This was to gain a position on the mountainside above the enemy's most effective battery and descend to attack him in flank and reverse. After Taylor had put his troops in motion, he went to receive from Jackson his final orders. He found him in front of his line of battle which had just been forced back. Shot and shell were hissing and bursting around him, and there he sat motionless on his old campaigner, a horse as steady under fire as his master,
the bridle-reins were hanging loosely, and Jackson was wrapt in prayer. He had done all which his human foresight could devise, and now was confiding himself, his compatriots and his cause, to the
God of the righteous.

Taylor's brigade was marching in rear of the column, and Jackson seeing the enemy advance in force where there 
was none to check him, directed Taylor to form line of 
battle for resistance. Taylor said this was done, though at fearful cost, and added, "This brigade would, if ordered, have formed line to stop a herd of elephants." I will not, 
at this late hour, longer detain you.

Jackson died confident of the righteousness of his country's cause and never doubting its final success. With the same conviction I live to-day, and reverently bowing to the wisdom of Him whose decrees I may not understand, I
still feel that the Confederacy ought to have succeeded because it was founded in truth and justice. 

In one sentence may be comprised the substance of all I could say-Jackson gave his whole heart to his country, 
and his country gave its whole heart to his country, and 
his country gave its whole heart to Jackson.

At the close of Mr. Davis's speech, the benediction was pronounced by Father Hubert. Many crowded forward to see the President, General Lee,a and the wife and daughter of our great commander, and at twilight the vast crowd 
were winding their way back to the city.

Of what followed in the several succeeding days-the ovation given to Mrs. Jackson and Miss Julia, and 
General Lee, the drives, the reception, the superb dinners, the various entertainments, the lavish kindness of everybody-we have not space to speak. But we must say that Captain Charles Minnigerode, late of Richmond, who served on General Fitz. Lee's staff during the war, took naturally to his old vocation in serving General Lee, and also extended his kindness to us-that we received appreciated courtesies from General Beauregard, Dr. Jos. Jones, the first secretary of our Society,a and others-and that the following committee were untiring in their efforts to entertain their guests, and to make the whole affair a grand success:

Tomb Committee: W. R. Lyman, I. L. Lyons, L. A. Adam, F. A. Ober, J. H. Murray, J. B. Sinnot, J. B. Richardson, Jos. Buckner, D. R. Calder, E. D. Willett.

We were most reluctantly compelled to tear ourselves away, (for it did really seem that "the Confederates had re-captured New Orleans," and it was indeed pleasant to linger there,) but it was with a full purpose to go again and tarry longer. 

*Taken from the Southern Historical Society Papers
Volume IX, January to December, 1881, Page 212-218

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