Dedication of the Tomb of the army of Northern Virginia Association
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 of 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 amphitheatre 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.
and unveiling of the statue of Stonewall Jackson at New Orleans.
The monument and statueare of granite, and in design and execution reflect the highest credit on the taste of the committee and the skill of the artist, Perelli. The monument rises fifty feet above the ground. The shaft rests on a handsome base and is very graceful in its proportions, and on reverse sides are the following simple and appropriate inscriptions:
The likeness is excellent, the form and posture well nigh perfect, while the old cadet cap, tilted on the nose, the cavalry boots, the uniform coat, the spurs, the sabre — all of the details of the man and his dress — combine to give not an ideal Jackson of the artist's fancy, but the veritable “old Stonewall,” whom we used to see standing on some roadside, along which his veterans were hurrying into line of battle. Indeed we could almost see him turn suddenly away, mount his old raw-boned sorrel, and gallop to the advance skirmish line amid the enthusiastic cheers of the “Foot cavalry.” But, no! as on the night before the battle of First Manassas he declined to have sentries posted, (saying, “Let the weary fellows sleep, and I will guard the camp tonight,” ) and through the weary hours of the night stood “lone sentinel of that band of sleeping heroes” --so now let that granite figure stand to guard “the bivouac of the dead,” and the dust of heroes who sleep beneath that mound. 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 fine likeness. After prayer by Rev. Father D. Hubert, the veteran Chaplain, the tomb and statue were presented by Captain W. R. Lyman, Chairman of the Committee, and received by Colonel J. B. Richardson, President of the Louisiana Division, Army of Northern Virginia, in brief speeches, which we give in full:
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, criticised severely his utterances, we are fortunate in being able to give the following verbatim report:
At the close of Mr. Davis's speech, the benediction was pronounced by Father Hubert. Many crowded forward to see the President, General Lee, and the wife and daughter of our great commander, and at twilight the vast crowd were wending their way back to the city. Of what followed in the several succeeding days — the ovation given to Mrs. Jackson and Miss Julia, and General Lee, the drives, the reception, the superb dinners, the various entertainments, the lavish kindness of everybody — we have not space to speak. But we must say that Captain Charles Minnigerode, late of Richmond, who served on General Fitz. Lee's staff during the war, took naturally to his old vocation in serving General Lee, and also extended his kindness to us — that we received appreciated courtesies from General Beauregard, Dr. Jos. Jones, the first secretary of our Society, and others — and that the following committee were untiring in their efforts to entertain their guests, and to make the whole affair a grand success: Tomb Committee: W. R. Lyman, I. L. Lyons, L. A. Adam, F. A. Ober, J. H. Murray, J. B. Sinnot, J. B. Richardson, Joe. 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.