Restricted "In their own words", contemporary documents on the creation and dedication of Confederate Memorials

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
As I found out when I looked into the Silent Sam dedication speeches, what we are told today about why these monuments were erected and what the people who placed them over a century ago said about their meaning are often two different things. I began searching for other contemporary documents which discuss the reasons for installing these. Many of these documents have been digitized and are available online. What I would like to do with this thread is post the name, date and link to some of these documents, and then a summation of relevant information about how and why the monument was created.

No modern politics... this thread is for period documentation only, not discussing what modern writers have to say about Confederate monuments or if they should stay where they are or be removed. We're looking at origins here, as told by the people who had them built.

For example:


A Brief History of the Ladies Memorial Association of Charleston, SC
From its Organization in 1865 to April 1, 1880
Together with a roster of the Confederate Dead interred at Magnolia and the various City Church-Yards
H. P. Cooke & Co., Printers, 52 Broad Street, 1880

https://archive.org/details/briefhistoryofla00ladi/page/n3/mode/2up

A brief prefatory note says that the goal was to prepare a list of the Confederate dead buried at Magnolia, and that was expanded to include those in various city church yards. "Correspondence was accordingly entered into with officers and prominent members of the several city churches, and a notice to all relatives and friends of the dead was published in the newspapers soliciting information. Numerous replies were received..."

After a quote by the Rev. J. L. Girardeau from Memorial Day 1871, we are given various pieces of correspondence related to compiling the history of this association and various officers over the decade and a half it had been in existence. The association was formed in 1866, and "... Its primary object was to take care of the Graves of the Confederate Dead, who were buried in Magnolia Cemetery, and to erect a suitable Monument to their memory."

These ladies marked the individual graves as best they could, which was an expensive undertaking. The State legislature donated about a quarter of the funds and some marble and granite that had been intended for the building of the new State House but was not needed. Over 800 headstones were created this way. The ladies also worked hard to recover and re-inter as many of the dead from Gettysburg that they could find and identify.
So what about the monument?

Having thus done honor to the individual dead, it was resolved that a suitable monument should be erected in memory of all who fell; and the President was authorized to take the necessary steps for its accomplishment.​
-------​
The Monument has been appropriately placed in the midst of the graves of those whose death it commemorates. It is plain and unostentatious, but neat and appropriate. As it is a memorial of a lost cause, it should not be a triumphal memorial. Placed in the City of the Dead, and near the entrance, the sight of it cannot fail to call back the memory of the sad history which it commemorates. A splendid monument in the city would be only an ornament to be gazed on with listless and indifferent eyes; and, instead of being a memorial of the dead, would be only the object of cold, art criticism.​
Its proper place, therefore, is just where it is, in the midst of the silent slumberers, whose deeds, and whose failures, it is designed to keep alive in the memories of the people.​

How did these ladies raise the money?

From Subscriptions and Donations...$4,377 06
Donation from State......................... 1,000 00
From Entertainments.....................$1,943 10
Less expenses for Hall.
etc ...........................................225 00 1,718 10
Interest on City Stock .....................1,233 23
Interest on Deposits and Loans ..........251 15
From Collections Memorial Days ................$2,117 31
Less expenses, ....................................$305 40,
including carriage hire and stationery,
$63 83....................... 369 23.................1,748 08
From Raffles and Sale of Marbles, etc..........45 00

Total amount received ............................$10,373 22

The remainder of the book is a list of the known dead, and a few letters discussing the construction of the monument.
 
Last edited:

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
The South Carolina Monument Association
Origin, History and Work
with an account of the Proceedings at the Unveiling of the Monument to the Confederate Dead
and the oration of Gen. John S. Preston

The News and Courier Book Presses 1879


This particular booklet opens with an editorial from the Charleston News and Courier entitled "South Carolina's Dead".

The secret history of what is commonly called " the Secession movement " in South Carolina will, it is probable, never be written. It is useless, indeed, to attempt to separate what sprang from honest conviction from that which had its root in ambition and pride of place. Nor would there be any profit in seeking to determine the extent of the public opinion in the State opposed to going out of the Union. It is sufficient to know that South Carolina did withdraw from the Union of States formed by her and her twelve sisters well-nigh a century before. It is sufficient to know that South Carolina did her part as one of the Confederate States, placing more soldiers in the field, under the Southern Cross, than her people had cast votes in electing delegates to the Secession Convention, and losing in service more than twelve thousand of her children, whose names are on the record. More than seventy thousand South Carolinians, musket or sabre in hand, attested their faith by their works.​

A short history of the South Carolina monument Association is given. After it was clear that the war was lost, one duty remained to the women of the state:

One duty still remained— they must now guard the precious dust of the martyred dead of their State, and erect a monument which should perpetuate the memory of the slain and convey to the latest generations the record of the undying fidelity of the people of South Carolina, to truth, justice and liberty.​
So this monument speaks to the dead, but also has a message to convey to future generations. It's standing on the South Carolina State House grounds to this day, and I've been there a number of times. The Association wrote a constitution for their organization, which among other things, states the purpose of the memorial:


This Association shall have for its object the building of a monument, in the City of Columbia, by the women of the State, to the memory of the South Carolinians who fell in the service of the Confederate States.​


Officers are listed, and the appeal the association made to raise funds is included next.

Women of South Carolina, there needs no urgent appeal t-o your sympathies in a cause so sacred as that which we now undertake. The great tide of adversity, which has swept over our unhappy land, has hitherto stifled effort in this direction ; but not, therefore, have our hearts ceased to beat for the glorious dead. Scarcely is there one among us whose thought does not, on the first mention of our object, turn at once, with loving affection, to some grave which this monument is intended to honor.​
Mothers, widows, sisters, daughters, whose hearts thus cling to the soldier's grave, let us then unite with an earnest, loving effort in this holy duty. Let even our lisping little ones be brought to give their mite to its accomplishment; that, thus impressed upon their minds, they may never forget to love and honor the memory of those who battled and fell in our cause. If a lost cause, even, therefore the more holy. Even, therefore, does it become the more incumbent upon us to bring this great sacrifice of pure purpose and heroic deed, that homage and veneration which the world pays only to success.​
With the wish that all who have shared in a common sorrow may share also in the privilege of raising this testimonial to our lost heroes, the annual subscription for membership is put at the lowest point practicable, that thus it may lie within the means of those who, having little to give, have still the right, through tears and suffering, to join us in the fulfillment of this most sacred duty.​
To all others—men as well as women, old and young—to all who cherish the name of Carolinian, and cling with a fond love to whatever is left to us of our " good old State," we would say, give to us freely according to your means ; give generously; give gratefully to the memory of those who gave their lives for us.​

According to the newspaper report of the unveiling, 15,000 people attended from all over the state. There was a massive military/veteran presence and that is described in great detail. Both the prayer offered at the ceremony and the Governor's speech dead with memorializing the dead soldiers. Gen. John Preston, the keynote speaker, praised both the fallen soldiers and the women who raised the funds and saw to it that the monument was created and installed.

It is built by these mourning women of a conquered people, and here to-day they dare to dedicate it to the memory of men who devoted themselves to a cause which they lost, and are thereby branded by the world as traitors to Truth and to Liberty. Yes, these dead soldiers, to whose patriotism, valor, virtue, honor and truth ; these pure and holy women, with tears of pious gratitude, arc dedicating this consecrated testimony, stand to-day, and in memory, before the world, as defeated and degraded traitors. Their land has been desolated, their " Cause " proclaimed infamous before the nations of the earth ; and yet these chaste women come here, and in the light of the sun of Heaven, and invoking with holy and solemn rites, God's own very presence, consecrate these names to the admiration, the gratitude, and reverence of their children.​
-------------​
Women of South Carolina, these are the men to whose valor you dedicate this monument. They are your fathers, your brothers, your husbands, and your sons. Are you justified in building this monument, and moistening it with proud and sacred tears?​
The article continues:
The ceremonies having been concluded the Washington Artillery fired the salute of the day with their full battery which they brought up with them from Charleston. Eleven guns were fired in quick succession from the central drive in the Capitol Square where the battery was stationed. The immense multitude, which could not have numbered less than ten thousand persons, then began to move towards the centre of the City, and as the sun sank beneath the Western horizon the magnificent monument erected by Carolina's noble daughters to Carolina's heroic dead was left to the silent watching of the stars ; and as the marble soldier stands alone in the gathering shades of the evening, gazing wistfully towards the setting sun, we will endeavor to give some idea of the great work which the ladies of Carolina have accomplished.​
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
The Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery Alabama
Its Origin and Organization 1860-1870
Compiled by Marielou Armstrong Cory
Montgomery Ala. Printing Company
April 1902

https://books.google.com/books?id=6JpPAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

From the opening of this booklet, words to live by when researching history: "No important fact has been chronicled without going to the prime sources for the first and best proof, and no pains has been spared to verify the memory of those who are living by a resort to written or printed records."

You will find a rose-colored reference to race and the post early in this booklet, so the writer does indicate her mindset with this statement that I doubt many of the slaves would agree with: "Happiest of all were the slaves, whose laughter-loving lives and easy days and devotion to the whites are a Paradise Lost to many of their luckless descendants."

A good portion of this booklet deals with the establishment of places to care for wounded and then old Confederate soldiers after the war. It takes a few pages to get to the accounts of how the historical societies were formed, but once we arrive at that point, the motivations will become apparent.

At a preliminary meeting of citizens held yesterday at the Capitol, I was instructed to inform the public that​
to-night at 7 o'clock a meeting of all interested in the subject will take place in the Representative hall of the Capitol for the purpose of organizing an association to preserve the historical facts in relation to the late war and to build a monument to the dead of Alabama. All who take interest in the objects of the meeting, ladies and gentlemen, are invited to be present. The sacred duty of preserving the memory of our gallant dead is one which will command the devotion of all who lament misfortune and applaud virtue. Let the meeting to-night be so attended as to prove that the people of Alabama are willing to leave their deeds to the vindication of history and their memory to posterity.​
------------​
Resolved, That the use of the hall of the House of Representatives be tendered for this evening to the citizens of Alabama, who desire to form an Historical Association to perpetuate the memory of Alabamians who have died in the service of the country."—(House Journal, 1865-66, p. 41).​
This particular passage is telling when it comes to motivation. They want to leave politics and arguments over the cause of the war out of it, and just remember the "heroic dead."

The committee finds it unnecessary, too, to mix with the griefs and duties of the occasion the slightest allusion to the origin of the struggle in which so many have found graves. We wish to preserve the recollection of our heroic dead, unmixed with bitterness.​
We desire a pall dropped upon the past except so far as their patriotic devotion is to be recorded. The grave of a hero is sacred everywhere—the impulses which prompt to its veneration are indifferent to neither friend nor foe. The Englishman, full of the thrills which accompany the memory of Waterloo, bows in reverence to the tomb in which reposes the ashes of Napoleon. The child reads on the monument which marks the resting place of Wolff and Montgomery lessons which inspire to public virtue and self-sacrifice in the cause of his country.​

This particular monument received money from the state of Alabama.

Ist. Resolved, That the Legislature of the State be memorialized by a standing committee of three persons to be appointed by the President of this meeting, to appropriate the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) out of any moneys in the State treasury not otherwise appropriated, as a basis of capital upon which to begin the erection of a monument on the Capitol grounds, with the inscription : "Alabama honors her sons who died in her service."​

The booklet then moves towards the efforts of the women themselves. Like the women of South Carolina, they had begun to collect remains to return them to Alabama, and to raise money for that purpose. They were concerned that Alabama was not providing for this. "We hear of no commission or agent being sent to the battlefields to remove the remains of our beloved sons from the desecration of the ploughshare. Other states are rendering to their dead the pious rites which their remains should receive, but Alabama is permitting the graves of those who laid down their lives for her to be lost forever under the ploughed soil." So they took the job upon themselves, and from there the job grew to raising funds to renovate and care for the graves of the Confederate dead.

The battle is over, but the dead are unburied. They are lying where they fell in the valleys of Virginia and Tennessee. Their bones are bleaching beneath the sun and the storm beside those of the beasts of burden. The ploughshare is striking them from the soil which their blood sanctified. It is true that a single hand here and there is extended to gather their ashes into consecrated ground, where the pious pilgrim may read in a single line the melancholy history of their glory. But a single hand is unequal to the task. To you, daughters of Alabama, comes once more an appeal to help us bury our dead!​

The vast majority of this book speaks to the need to properly bury and memorialize the dead of Alabama, so it should come as no surprise when that is given as the reason for erecting monuments to these men. One was proposed for the Soldier's Cemetery:

Dr. Cox submitted the plan for erection at Soldiers' Cemetery in honor of Confederate dead buried there, the marble work of which should not exceed |700 in cost. Plan adopted and immediate erection of the monument was authorized.​

With the death of the first vice president of the memorial association, we get the following paragraph:
Mrs. Phelan lived long enough, though, to see her most cherished wishes realized; for during the first four years this Association accomplished a work unparalleled in history. The dead upon all the fields of battle were properly interred; a monument and chapel in the cemetery were completed; eight hundred graves were marked with head-boards, and the beautiful Memorial Day custom was firmly established. For the completing of all objects many thousand dollars had been expended. It was a glorious, marvelous record, a fit emblem of our Southern womanhood.​

And then we get back to the monument at the capitol, which the ladies helped complete with their fund-raising.

Anyone who examines this short history should come away with no doubt as to what the purpose of the Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery Alabama actually was.
 

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
Constitution of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans
Revised and Adopted at the Seventh Annual Reunion, Dallas TX April 22-25, 1902


The few references to Confederate monuments are as follows:

Sec. 8.—To urge and aid the erection of enduring monuments to our great leaders and heroic soldiers, sailors, and people, and to mark with suitable headstones the graves of Confederate dead wherever found.​

--------------​
Sec. 94.—Monumental Committee, that shall have charge of all matters relating to monuments, graves and the Confederation's objects and purposes in these respects;​
 

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
The Forrest Monument
Its History and Dedication
A Memorial in Art, Oratory and Literature
Memphis, TN, May 1905

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t15m6ng1q&view=1up&seq=13

This particular monument will be re-erected in Elm Springs, Tennessee this year after it has been given to the SCV since the City of Memphis found a way around the monument protection law of that State and was able to have it removed. From what I understand, General Forrest and his wife will be re-interred there as well, at the wishes of the family.

From the monument itself we get an indication of its purpose, which is printed early in the book:

ERECTED BY HIS COUNTRYMEN IN HONOR​
OF THE MILITARY GENIUS OF​
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST​
CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY​

So it's in honor of Forrest's "military genius", making this is a clear military monument, in honor of a single individual, rather than a more general memorial to the dead. Like the others we've seen so far, an association was formed for the creation of this monument, the Forrest Memorial Association.

At the monument's unveiling, a newspaper story printed in the booklet predicts the following:

New men and new ideas and new interests are thrusting aside the broken fragments of the past. The shadows darken about the survivors of Forrest. A little later and these survivors will become shadows themselves, but the great bronze statue of Gen. Forrest will stand for all time to come a vindication of a nation's hero; a tribute to a great man's greater achievements; a figure of supreme interest; a record of an epoch in the experience of a generation, during a period of awful stress and vicissitude; an illustration that the memory of daring deeds well done can never die.​

It won't stand in Memphis now, but it is going back up. Time will tell how long it remains standing this time.

The original dedication took place on May 16, 1905. The order was as follows:
  • Hon. J. P.Young, a private in Forrent's command, presiding.
  • Invocation by the Rt. Rev. Thomas F. Gailor.
  • Address- "History and Description of the Monument," by Gen. S. T. Carnes, President of the Monument Association.
  • Unveiling of the monument by little Kathleen Bradley, a great-granddaughter of Gen. Forrest.
  • Dedication address by Gen. George W. Gordon.
  • Address by Col. C. A. Stanton, an ex-Federal soldier.
  • Speech of Senator T. B. Turley
  • Benediction, Rev. D. C. Kelley, who commanded a brigade in Forrest's Corps.
In looking through the various speeches recorded in this booklet, we get some indications of what the speakers that day said that the Forrest monument meant. As you might imagine, the men who had ridden with him were reminded of him and of the shared experiences. But it's the president of the monument association who could speak with the most authority about the impetus behind the creation of this monument.

It is most gratifying to the members of the Forrest Monument Association, of which I am the honored President, to announce the completion of this monument, and I hope it will be as satisfying to many of you who have so liberally contributed to it, for the purpose of perpetuating the name and fame of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, that incomparable soldier and military genius.​
He had little else to say about the purpose, instead giving an account of how money was raised and the statue constructed. The group obtained the consent of his son to put the remains of Forrest and his wife beneath the monument, so that had already been done long before the unveiling.

General George Gordon gave the dedication address, and he had a bit more to say about the purpose.

We have not assembled here today to glorify war, that deplorable institution of violence, blood and death. Sed canimus arma virumque*​
No. We are not here to exalt the direful art and sanguinary science of human carnage, but to salute and accentuate the name, and to commemorate in language, in bronze and in marble, the masterful prowess and martial genius of Tennessee's, if not America's, greatest, most original and dazzling soldier. Yes, we meet to dedicate this enduring monument to the honor and glory of an illustrious patriot and "mighty man of valor"—Lieutenant-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who for four stirring and thrilling years did brilliant battle for Southern freedom and independence, in what he esteemed and we still regard as an unavoidable and defensive war.​

Most of the speech was of course devoted to Forrest himself and his life and attributes and military career throughout the war, and how he led and fought.

Major Stanton of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry was the next speaker, and the crowd responded with "tremendous applause" when this former Union officer was done, according to this account. Stanton had much to say in praise of Forrest as a soldier, and in praise of the post-war work of his men in building up their communities. It was a speech that praised the Confederate soldier as well, and how they had helped rebuild the South and the nation.

Forty years of study and reflection over the causes of the civil war have evolved the common judgment of mankind, and it will be the verdict of history for all time that the soldiers of the South and the soldiers of the North both fought for what they believed was right ; both were inspired by convictions of duty ; they were of kindred blood and they fought with the same Anglo-Saxon valor; there was bravery and sacrifice beyond comparison on both sides, but an overruling Providence had decreed that we should continue to be a united people and He ordered it that the blended blood and heroism of the men. who then strove against each other, *' contending for the right as God gave them to see the right, ' ' should make secure the future of the grandest nation the world has ever seen.​
Comrades, you have a right to look with pride upon this monument ; it reminds you of bivouac, camp fire and bugle call ; of marching columns and waving flags; of desperate battles and thrilling scenes which make up an Iliad more stately and splendid than any that genius has immortalized.​
This monument is history in bronze ; it illustrates an eventful era in our national history: it commemorates Gen, Forrest's fame and it represents all the gallant soldiers of his command ; it attests the splendid courage which won triumphant victories and did not fail when reverses came -. it stands for heroic deeds which are now the proud heritage of all American citizens.​
It is most appropriate that this monument should be placed here in this progressive city, which has had. and has now, its able and conspicuous representatives in every field of labor, commerce, religion, law, literature, politics, science and art : this city, which was Gen. Forrest's home and which has been, and is now, the home of so many other distinguished soldiers, some of whom served with the great leader whose memory we honor today.​
It is eminently fitting that this figure should stand here within the borders of the Volunteer State, whose soldiers have marched and fought "from valley's depth to mountain height, and from inland rivers to the sea, ' ' in ever,v war in the history of our republic, with a valor which has helped to make the name and fame of the American soldier immortal. This monument stands as a memorial to Gen. Forrest and his fearless followers, living and dead; it is the tribute of the generous people of this city to a fighting leader and to his fighting men, to a great general whose military record is the pride of his State and to the splendid soldiers of his command, whose deeds of heroism have not been surpassed in any age or land.​

Senator Turley spoke next. And here we do get a "pro Anglo Saxon" comment, so Turley sees a racial meaning behind the Forrest monument. He does not name the "principles of the cause", so we're left to infer.

It has been the custom among all nations, civilized and uncivilized, to commemorate and perpetuate the memory and the great deeds of their heroes, warriors and statesmen by monuments, statues and mausoleums. It is, therefore, in every way fit and proper that this statue of Gen. Forrest should be erected in Memphis, where he passed his young manhood up to middle life, and amongst the people of Memphis who loved him so well, and from whose midst he went forth to his unexampled career of glory and renown.​
But there is, Mr. Mayor, something attached to this statue and other like Confederate monuments which pertains to no other monuments or memorials known to history. The principles of the cause for which Forrest fought are not dead, and they will live as long as there is a drop of Anglo-Saxon blood on the face of the earth.​

And then there is the benediction by Rev Kelley:

For as much as God, our Father, has put it into the hearts of our fellow-citizens and comrades to erect this monument in memory of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, we here dedicate it to the promotion of patriotism, chivalry and devotion to country as God gave him to see these duties. We reverently return our thanks to Almighty God for His gift to us of this man, and this inspiration to virtue of the citizens who, in the erection of the monument, prove themselves not unworthy of God's gift to the man. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost keep us in memory of past heroism and future reverent obedience.​
The booklet ends with a few words, among which is this statement of meaning:

Yet it was meet that this statue should have been erected, not for the good it does for the departed hero, but for the good it does for us and the good it will do for those who are to come after us.​
It carries its lesson of courage and faith and exalted country love.​
It speaks in the language of silence and with dumb lips proclaims that acts of heroism and self-sacrifice live forever.​
An example fashioned in marble, it will stand for ages as the emblem of a standard of virtue which we should endeavor to exceed if we can and which we must not fall below.​

So there is a hint of race-related meaning in one man's opinion, but by and large this Forrest monument is exactly what it appears to be: a memorial to General Forrest meant to inspire and remind people of the man. It's more about the man and his personal qualities than the cause, though those qualities were revealed while Forrest was in service to the cause. The vast majority of sentiments have nothing to do with race, and the fact that both soldiers who fought with and against Forrest spoke well of him does say something about the qualities of the man.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
History of the Wake County Ladies Association
Confederate Memorials in Capitol Square
Memorial Pavilion
The House of Memory
and the Confederate Cemetery
compiled and written by Charlotte Williams, President Gen'l James Johnston Pettigrew chapter UDC
Raleigh, NC September 1938

https://ia802606.us.archive.org/2/items/historyofwakecou00will/historyofwakecou00will.pdf

Another history of a memorial association goes through when and how this association was formed, and gives a short history of James Johnston Pettigrew for whom this chapter of the UDC was named. Some of their activities are detailed, including a graveyard restoration and re-dedication around Pettigrew's grave. Pettigrew survived Gettysburg but was killed on the retreat back to Virginia.

The Association was formed in 1865. "The immediate object in forming this Association was to care for the sacred bodies of the dead in our own city." When the Union army came to Raleigh, they wanted the lot where Confederates from the hospital had been buried for themselves, so the dead had to be moved or else they would be "thrown in the road." These men were re-interred, and then like the Ladies Associations elsewhere, these women went to work recovering the dead that they could from Gettysburg.

It was at this time the Ladies' Memorial Association was formally organized, and work was begun putting the cemetery in order. The walks were laid off, grass sown, flowers and shrubs planted, the Confederate Monument was erected, a handsome iron pavilion was placed in the center of the grounds, wooden head-boards were exchanged for granite, and the present system of marking them by numbers and recording both name and number in a register was adopted.​

In attempting to have a Memorial Day, the ladies were informed they would be shot if they had a procession, so they went in groups of two or three. When the troops left the city they were able to implement more formal ceremonies, and some dead from Arlington re-interred in NC. At the time this book was written, time had take its toll on this organization, and there is an appeal to the future.
It is the hope and prayer of the older members of the Ladies' Memorial Association that the work be not allowed to die with the passing away of its founders, and the generation which knew the birth of the "Storm-beaten" nation, and which mourn its fall, and whose hearts cherish the fadeless glories of the Confederate flag; but that the younger women, to whom these glories are only a tradition, will keep alive the memory of the men who died for our just cause, but who died not in vain, for they gave their lives for a great principle, and their blood sends a message down through all time.​

As the history continues, it reaches 1918 and World War 1 is mentioned, with young men headed off to war. "Many a heart was aching, and the younger members of the assemblage had brought home to them what their mothers, friends and relatives had known during the sixties. Many of these boys never returned, and are sleeping in France."

The Ladies Memorial Association ended as an organization, and the cemetery they had cared for was deeded to the Pettigrew UDC chapter. During the transfer of property and listing of the records of the Memorial Association comes the following statement of purpose:

In the year following- the fall of the Confederacy (1866) the Ladies Memorial Association of Wake County was organized. It was composed of the wives, widows, mothers and daughters of Confederate Soldiers, and its purpose was to aid needy Confederate Soldiers and dependents, as well as to honor the Memory of those who wore the Gray.

----------

That we, the Ladies Memorial Association of Wake County, ask the Johnston Pettigrew Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to accept our membership as its own and to take over and carry on the work in which we are now and have so long been engaged. We especially ask your loving care of the Confederate Cemetery, where lie so many of our gallant heroes.​

The UDC took over the care of the cemetery, and the monument they contributed was a memorial brick wall around the cemetery, as well as a bronze memorial plaque. It was dedicated with a ceremony and gifted to the state of NC. It's a different type of memorial, to be sure, than the column and soldier we so often see on courthouse grounds.

When it was planned to move the Confederate Monument from Capitol Square in 1934 (not placed there by this branch of the UDC ), the chapter gave a public statement noting just why it was in the location it occupied. It was ultimately not moved.

The spot on which the Monument now stands was approved by the State of North Carolina, its Council of State and the Governor of 1895. It should remain in its place of Honor where they placed it and we are in honor bound to keep it there. The monument was built by the State of North Carolina and the Southern Memorial Associations all over the entire State, it does not belong to Raleigh alone, these Associations were composed of mothers, widows and wives of the North Carolina soldiers of the Confederacy.

This was their State as much as ours, they did more for it during- those long dark days of the Sixties, and the dreadful reconstruction times, than we will ever do. To tear down their labor of love and sacrifice which was the work of many long years will be an insult to their memory, and breaking faith with the dead—we cannot do it. We have too much confidence in the Governor and the Council of State to believe they will ever allow the removal of this Monument.​

A few other memorials and incidents are mentioned. The body of Jefferson Davis lay in state in Raleigh, and that is noted. Some other memorials connected with this group are mentioned. As you can tell, the book is not entirely chronological.

On May 10th, 1910 the Memorial Gateway was unveiled and dedicated. Mrs. E. E. Moffitt, introduced by Dr. D. H. Hill, presented the Gateway to the Ladies Memorial Association of Wake County. She said in part, "It is with deepest appreciation that I accept the commission of the Johnston Pettigrew Chapter of presenting to the Wake County Memorial Association the beautiful granite gateway which stands on the border line of the two Cities of the Dead," Oakwood and the Confederate Cemetery."

It is to stand as a Memorial to the boys in Gray, but will likewise commemorate the patriotic service of promoters of this noteworthy association which had for its object the preservation and care of the graves of the Confederate dead. The following inscription is on the bronze tablet on one of the columns "Erected in Memory of Our Confederate Dead by the Johnston Pettigrew Chapter U. D. C, 1910."​

A memorial in the Confederate cemetery was dedicated in 1936. Dr. Frank P Graham, president of UNC, gave the address.

This is not a house of victory or exultation, not a house of defeat and bitterness and hatred, but a house in which are stored many beautiful memories," Dr. Graham said, "First of all, we would remember the 2,000 soldiers and sailors of North Carolina, and the 500 from other states who rest on this quiet hillside—we would remember that they believed in something deeply enough to give their lives. We would remember that North Carolina sent 127.000 of her sons into the armies of the South, and 20,000 of them paid the supreme price.​
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top