previous next

Starting Point.

Ample as the proportions of Broad street are, it was with difficulty that room for the movements of troops was secured. Every window from Adams street to Fourteenth on either side of the street, all the doorways, the sidewalks, and portions of the street, the house tops, and improvised seats were filled with spectators. On Main, from Nineteenth to Eighth, the same condition of affairs existed, and from Eighth up Franklin to the monument, there was the same generous recognition of the great event. Beautiful women, in the blush of maiden beauty, cheered the bullet-riddled flags of the Confederacy; matronly Virginia dames smiled their approval upon the brave survivors of the Confederacy, as with bent forms and heavy steps they again kept time to the tune of Dixie. [265]

It was a compliment to the marshals that the arrangements for moving the men were so admirably arranged as to ensure promptness in moving forward. For this (it required skill and experience both) General John R. Cooke, chief of staff, deserves great credit. At noon the order was given to move forward, and the great parade, the like of which will never be seen again in the history of events, took up the line of march.

Empty sleeves, crutch-supported figures, battle-scarred faces and gray locks showed the ravages of war and time. Few there were in that vast assemblage of the true and tried who had not climbed the hill of life and begun the descent on the other side.

The scene was unprecedented in the annals of the historic city. From early morn till night the tap of the drum and the tramp of soldiers forcibly reminded the elder citizens of the stirring days of 1861. Never were there so many people gathered within the gates of the city; never were decorations so elaborate; never were there so many old veterans and military organizations on the streets in the time of peace; and never was there such a genuine and general enthusiasm over any event. It would be an onerous task to describe in detail the many happy blending of colors, or describe the taste displayed by all in the harmonious grouping of flags, or repeat the fruitful and beautiful themes expressed on the mottoes that greeted the eye in the streets through which the magnificent pageant passed.

One of the most striking banners displayed bore this inscription: ‘Lee, the chieftain, peacefully sleeps; we honor his memory in living bronze.’ Many fine pictures of Washington, as well as Lee, were observed on every hand, while thousands of flags were wafted to the breeze; the national flag was displayed in proportion of fifty to one of the Stars and Bars. It was truly a Confederate day, however, as the presence of many Confederate veteran camps and airs played by the bands pertaining to the ‘Lost Cause’ fully attested, and this was emphasized by the many manifestations of delight that they brought forth from the crowds all along the line. Often the young men of the military would gather into glee clubs, and with their fresh, happy, soulful voices, make the air musical with songs of love or home, of war or patriotism.

The scene along the whole route, from beginning to end, was a memorable one. Although the most extensive preparations had been made to receive the large number of visitors, no one expected to see the host that visited the city, yet they were all cared for, and no complaints were heard. It is asserted on all sides that the parade, [266] decorations, and everything connected with the jubilee excelled anything every witnessed in the South.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert E. Lee (2)
John R. Cooke (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: