Page:Confederate Veteran volume 01.djvu/9

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

In an address to the Southern people, the committee has ratified the preference expressed by Mrs. Davis for Richmond, Va., as the proper site for such memorial. It has determined that not less than $250,000 shall be raised for that purpose, and that there shall be an organization in every state in the South, through which the offerings of the people may flow to the accomplishment of this patriotic and pious work. Continuing its appeal the committee say:

"This money will be raised speedily. This monument will rise, and soon, to be an everlasting memorial, not only to the patriot and statesman who purely and bravely led your fortunes in the times that wrung your souls, but of the ineffable valor and devotion of the must heroic soldiery which the world ever saw, whom he typified while he commanded.

No other hands than ours can be relied upon to put stones upon this pile. Our own hard-earned mite must mainly accomplish its rearing. Our own sweat must chiefly stream upon its uplifting.

If our poverty has been and continues to be great, it has at least made us rich in love for each other. If our lives have one long tale of sacrifice, and threaten more, the most willing of those to come must be that one which will keep green forever the memories of our loved land and of our dead brothers.

Love and self-sacrifice build more monuments than money ever did or ever will, and we now gladly and confidently bid you to illustrate it. The men and the women who fought for the Confederacy and their descendants, must quarry this monument out of their heart's blood if need be. It were I best in every case that they should. There is not a discordant element anywhere. Let us all be at work!

All remittances for this purpose should be made to John S. Ellett, President of the State Bank at Richmond, Va., who is the bonded Treasurer of the general organization."


Various opinions prevail about the kind of structure to be reared. Some want a shaft with Mr. Davis on horseback, others want groups of figures in a temple, etc. In his oration before the United Confederate Veterans at their last reunion. New Orleans, Senator John W. Daniel, of Virginia, said :

"Let there be reared no unmeaning shaft, but a temple, in which his own figure shall be the central object, and around which shall be grouped the heroic relics of the battles of the Confederacy, and the pictured faces and the sculptured forms of the great and true and brave men who fought them. I hope to see the movement grow until the temple shall stand—the Battle Abbey of the South—the undying memorial of the people who fought their own battles in their own way, for their own liberty as they conceived it, for their own independence as they desired it, and who need give to the world no other reason why."


Soon after the fall of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston at the battle of Shiloh, and the transfer of his remains to New Orleans, a lady visiting the cemetery found pinned to a rough board that rested on the temporary tomb the following beautiful epitaph. It was written in a delicate hand with a pencil, and the rain had nearly obliterated the characters, but she made a verbatim copy of the manuscript and sent it to one of the New Orleans papers with the request that if possible the name of the author should be published. This was gladly done, and the exquisite lines went the rounds of the press of this country and England as a model of English composition. Lord Palmerston pronounced it "a modern classic, Ciceronian in its language." Public curiosity being aroused, the authorship was traced to John Dimitry, a young native of New Orleans, and a son of Alexander Dimitry, who before the war occupied a distinguished position in the State Department at Washington. Young Dimitry, though only a boy served in Johnston's army at Shiloh, and on visiting New Orleans and the grave of his dead chieftain wrote the lines on the inspiration of the moment and modestly pinned them on the headboard as the only tribute he could offer. When the question arose concerning the form of epitaph to be placed on the monument erected to the memory of the dead Confederate General the committee of citizens in charge with one voice decided upon this, and it is now inscribed upon the broad panel at the base of the statue.—Exchange.


Beyond this stone is laid.
For a season,
Albert Sidney Johnston,
A General in the Army of the Confederate States,
Who fell at Shiloh, Tennessee,
On the sixth day of April, A. D.,
Eighteen hundred and sixty-two;
A man tried in many high offices
And critical enterprise.
And found faithful In all.
His life was one long sacrifice of Interest to conscience;
And even that life, on a woeful Sabbath,
Did he yield as a holocaust at his country's need.
Not wholly understood was he while he lived;
But, in his death, his greatness stands confessed in a people's tears
Resolute, moderate, clear of envy yet not wanting
In that finer ambition which makes men great and pure.
In his honor—Impregnable;
In his simplicity—sublime.
No country e'er had a truer son—no cause a nobler champion
No people a bolder defender—no principle a purer victim
Than the dead soldier
Who sleeps here.

The cause for which he perished Is lost—

The people for whom he fought are crushed—
The hopes In which he trusted are shattered—
The flag he loved guides no more the charging lines,
But bis fame, consigned to the keeping of that time, which,
Happily, is not so much the tomb of virtue as its shrine,
Shall, In the years to come, Are modest worth to noble ends.
In honor, now, our great captain rests;
A bereaved people mourn him,
Three commonwealths proudly claim him
And history shall cherish him
Among those choicer spirits who, holding their conscience unmixed with blame,

Have been, In all conjectures, true to themselves, their country and their God.