|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.
THE MONUMENT AND STATUE.
are of granite, and in design and execution reflect the
highest credit on the taste of the committee and the skill
The monument rises fifty feet above the ground. The
"ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, LOUISIANA DIVISION," and "FROM MANASSAS TO APPOMATTOX, 1861 TO 1865."
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
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
After prayer by Rev. Father D. Hubert, the veteran Chaplain,
the tomb and statue were presented by Captain
REMARKS OF CAPTAIN LYMAN.
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
This occurred in September, 1875. Since that time we
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
Now, sir, it remains for me to say to you what my committee
as a whole would express to the members of
REMARKS OF PRESIDENT JOHN B. RICHARDSON.
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Tomb Committee:
On behalf of the members of the Louisiana Division,
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.
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
The dead shall guard the dead,
Mr. Edward Marks then read in fine style a beautiful and
appropriate poem, written for the occasion by Mary
And then followed the oration of the day, for which
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,
REMARKS OF MR. DAVIS.
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
In Europe, so far as I had opportunity to learn, he was
regarded as the great hero of our war, and appreciative
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
At Port Republic, a battle as noticeable for the strategy
which preceded it as for the daring and resolution by
Taylor's brigade was marching in rear of the column, and
Jackson seeing the enemy advance in force where there
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
In one sentence may be comprised the substance of all
I could say-Jackson gave his whole heart to his country,
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
Of what followed in the several succeeding days-the ovation
given to Mrs. Jackson and Miss Julia, and
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
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