Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/130

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124 Southern Historical Society Papers.


It was a pleasing spectacle to see with the Confederate veterans of the neighborhood their children and grandchildren with zeal and enthusiasm assisting in the noble work of removing and erecting this memorial stone. It stands upon and is buttressed by quartz rocks, which were used as a part of the rifle-pit breastworks on the skirmish line in their front. It is beautifully shaded in a grove of oak and hickory, pine and cedar in Tapp's old field, and is sixty feet north of the Orange plank-road, and eighty feet in rear of the Con- federate breastworks to the east.

Near to that great forest known as the "Weird Wilderness Woods," where, like shells buried in ocean depths, that have caught from the roar of contending waves and cliffs perpetual murmurs, so here the myriad piney-tops have caught from the din of battle and the shock of arms a requiem which they whisper in musical mono- tone over the graves of our martyred dead.


A lot surrounding this stone is to be deeded by the owners of Ell- wood estate to the Ladies' Southern Memorial Society to be held in trust forever for the sacred uses and objects for which this memorial was erected, believing this society to be the best custodian for the battle monuments of the South.

The writer is not of the number of those who so rejoice in a recon- structed and restored Union that they are ever singing pseans for a centralized Government being established by a subversion of our dearest constitutional rights and liberties, but sees in the sponta- neous erection of these simple monuments to perpetuate truth, valor and patriotism the evidence that the spirit which animated the heroes of old still burns in the hearts of their children. Some one has rightly said that "a country without monuments is a country without a history," to which we would add that a country without heroes in her past, remembered, revered and loved in her present, is without hope for her future.


" Wilderness," Spotsylvania county, Va.,

September 10,