Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/254

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246 Southern IIi*t<>ri<-<il S<>m f,/ Papers.

that they might receive the loving ministrations of their Virginia brothers.

The very best that the county afforded was placed at the command of the visitors. Every organization in the county participated in the parade and exercises attending the unveiling of the Louisiana monu- ment. Every public building and store was decorated. When the exercises were over on the afternoon of July 4th, and the veterans spoke of returning to Washington or Richmond that night, the hospitable Winchester folk would not hear of it, and insisted that they must remain until Monday at least. On Sunday the visitors were driven around the country, visiting the scenes of the innumera- ble battles around Winchester, in which nearly all of the visitors and hosts had taken part.

The visitors were taken at once to the hearts of their comrades and made members of their families. They were made by every word and act to feel perfectly at home, and when at length the time to leave came, they parted as old friends, and with the tenderest affection for each other. Possibly never before had Virginia hospi- tality been so thoroughly lived up to, or been better exemplified.

While attending the reunion in Richmond, Colonel Laughlin, Chairman of the Winchester Monument Committee, received a let- ter stating that the monument had not yet arrived at Winchester. This was a sore disappointment, and a large portion of the veterans left the Winchester journey off their itinerary, believing the monu- ment would not be unveiled. But the others were determined, and declared they would go anyhow.

Telegrams were sent all over the State inquiring where the car containing the monument was. Just the day before it was discov- ered that by error the granite sections had been sent to Winchester, W. Va. Orders were at once issued to have it sent in haste to the proper destination. In the meantime, Colonel Laughlin, deciding to have the ceremonies at all events, telegraphed Mrs. Love, President of the Ladies' Association, to prepare a wooden monument, of the height of the granite one, and cover it with evergreens, so that no one could tell the difference.

This was done, but happily was not needed. The monument arrived at Winchester on the night of the 3d. The foundation had long been ready, as well as the appliances for placing the granite in position. Early on the 4th, through the energy of Colonel Williams, of the Ashby Camp, and others, a large force was put to work, and the monument completed and made ready for the exercises. The