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[389]

The orator and Chief marshal.

Brief Sketches of Generals James A. Walker and Harry Heth.


General James A. Walker, the unveiling orator, was born near Mt. Sidney, Augusta county, Virginia, August 27, 1833, and educated at the Virginia Military Institute. On leaving the Institute, where he had a difficulty with Stonewall Jackson, which led to his sending the latter a challenge, he accepted a position in the engineer corps of the Covington and Ohio railway, now the Chesapeake and Ohio, but after eighteen months of service resigned and commenced the study of law under the late Colonel John B. Baldwin. Later he took the law ticket at the University of Virginia. About the year 1855 he removed to Northern Pulaski county, Virginia. He secured a good practice, and in 1865 was elected Commonwealth's attorney of his adopted county. When the war broke out General Walker entered the Confederate army as captain of the Pulaski Guard. Subsequently he commanded the Thirteenth Virginia, and later was made a brigadier-general, and commanded the Stonewall brigade. He was desperately wounded at the Wilderness, but in July, 1864, though still suffering with his wound, returned to the field and served to the end of the war. Nominated in 1868 for Lieutenant-Governor on the Conservative ticket with Withers, which ticket was withdrawn, he was in 1871 elected a member of the House of Delegates. In 1877 he was put on the ticket for LieutenantGov-ernor, and was elected. Of late years he has devoted himself almost entirely to his profession. General Walker, or Stonewall Jim Walker, as he is known to the veterans, was one of the most desperate fighters in the Army of Northern Virginia.


The Chief marshal.

General Harry Heth, chief marshal of the parade, was born in this State in 1825, and graduated from West Point in 1845. He was assigned to the Sixth Infantry, became first lieutenant in 1853, adjutant in 1854, and captain in 1855. At the breaking out of the war he promptly resigned his commission in the United States army, and offering his services to his native State, was made a brigadier-general. In May, 1863, he was promoted to major-general, and commanded a division in Hill's corps. [390]

General Heth in war and in peace has been one of the most modest of men, but whenever duty called he has responded. His record as a soldier, Virginia claims as one of her brightest jewels.


His Chief of staff.

Colonel William H. Palmer, General Heth's chief of staff yesterday, is a native of this city, and one of our most prominent and popular business-men. He entered the Confederate army with the old First Virginia, who still claim him, and rose to the position of General Hill's assistant adjutant-general and chief of staff. He was every inch a soldier, and, like his beloved commander, won every insignia of rank he wore by his gallantry.


Features of the celebration.

Incidents observed along the line of March—Notes about prominent visitors.


The parade, which was well managed throughout, while devoid of startling incidents, partook of a great many interesting features. As the soldier boys and veterans proceeded out Franklin street their march was through unbroken chains of spectators, among which the female element predominated in great numbers.

The street on both sides was lined with pretty girls and their gallant beaux, who endeavored apparently to split their throats with cheers, as company after company, camp after camp would pass.

The music of the merry multitude, coupled with that of the several bands in the parade, was enough to make the ‘old vets’ step spryly and toss their hats into the air as they passed the residences of well-known comrades.


Moving out Franklin street.

Moving up Grace street from the Capitol Square the procession turned down Fifth and into Franklin. At this corner there were fully two thousand eager spectators, and the cheering they gave was deafening.

When the entire procession had fully got into Franklin street it extended almost from Third street to the Lee monument, and the scene presented was one of gorgeous beauty. The shining barrels of the musketry, the glittering red and blue uniforms, the varicolored [391] costumes of the thousands of ladies that terraced the sidewalks, lawns, porticos, and filled the windows of almost every residence, and the flying bunting and flags, coupled with the inspiring music of drums and bands, gave the street such an appearance as it has not had since the unveiling of the Lee statue in 1890.


The Decorations.

Many residences along the line of march were very beautifully decorated, and from both sides of Franklin street there fluttered thousands of flags and colors, while streamers and drapings of rich bunting were tossed about by the breezes Perhaps the most artistically dressed house on this popular thoroughfare was the Commonwealth Club. From the stately windows of this palatial structure huge flags and streamers of bunting gracefully floaters. Among the other most prettily-dressed houses on Franklin street were the ‘Baltimore Row’ and the residences of Messrs. W. L. Royall and J. B. Pace.

The soldier boys were viewed as they passed the Commonwealth Club by about three hundred gentlemen, most of them members of the club. The pretty green lawn was covered.

Only upon one occasion—--the unveiling of the Wickham monument—was there ever a larger crowd upon Monroe Square than that which gathered there to witness the great street pageant on yesterday. The pretty green sward was covered with a great multitude of humanity, which embraced hundreds of ladies and gentlemen, equally as many children, while the number of baby-carriages was far greater. There was much cheering from this point, especially when the Marylanders fell into line with the other pedestrians.


The pretty girls cheered.

Richmond's girls never looked more beautiful than upon this occasion. It seemed that there were fully fifty thousand on Franklin street alone, besides those in carriages, buggies, and other vehicles, and from the pretty dress of every one fluttered a little souvenir badge, which in addition to the enthusiasm evinced by them throughout the day demonstrated the fact that Virginia ladies are patriotic as well as her men. As the great column passed down the street more than one fair belle received cheers from the gay soldiers. [392]

At Fifth and Franklin streets, before the procession started, a spirited horse became unruly and rushed upon the pavement, which was crowded with persons. It was almost a miracle that no one was hurt. The rider had finally to get down and lead his horse away.

Colonel John S. Cunningham, of North Carolina, a member of the staff of Governor Holt, of that State, was among the prominent guests in carriages. He was cheered by friends as the procession went out Franklin.


Suffer from sunstroke.

While on the line of march two infantrymen fell while suffering from sunstroke. The ambulance was summoned, and they were treated and taken away. Owing to the great amount of dust and the hot and oppressive weather it was marvellous that no other sunstroke occurred.

It was remarked by many that Dr. Eddie Baker, lieutenant-surgeon of the Richmond Blues, and commanding officer of the second company, was one of the handsomest soldiers in the parade.

Governor McKinney and Mayor Ellyson, who occupied one of the two carriages which led the procession, were loudly cheered on all sides, and General Fitz Lee was given an almost constant ovation.

Quite a bevy of girls cheered the soldiers on their way out to the unveiling from the switch-back in the Exposition grounds.

The Richmond Light infantry Blues entertained the Washington and Newport News military companies, and as this organization always does, it showed the visitors great hospitality. A wagon filled with ‘solids and liquids’ followed the procession out to the monument, and was there, in the middle of the day, placed at the disposal of the Blues' guests.


Other notes of interest.

Among the prominent strangers at the unveiling was Hon. A. P. Rowe, mayor of Fredericksburg, who has just been re-elected for his third term under very unusual circumstances. Mr. Rowe declined to be a candidate for re election, but his administration had been so satisfactory to the citizens of Fredericksburg that, notwithstanding his declination, he was voted for on election-day and elected by a majority of one hundred and eighty eight over two other opponents, both of whom were prominent men. [393]

It is a remarkable fact that not a single one of the numerous old veterans who took part in the parade yesterday became stricken down by the heat, while two of the younger soldiers had to be carried from the line of march in the city ambulance.

There was, to all appearances, less drunkenness on the streets yesterday than has ever been seen here before upon a big public occasion.

By some oversight the newspaper fraternity was greatly inconvenienced at the unveiling yesterday, in that no accommodations had been provided for the reporters, who, in getting up their reports, could only make memorandums while standing upon the backs of the chairs in the grand stand or upon the ground among the jolting, jostling crowd.

Quite a ludicrous feature in the parade was a genuine negro of deepest black, wearing a long linen duster, a white beaver, a bandanna handkerchief, and carrying a Confederate flag in one hand, and a placard in the other, which announced the fact that Washington's old headquarters were at 1916 east Main street.

Colonel M. L. Spotswood, the newly-elected Commonwealth's attorney, who occupied one of the carriages containing prominent citizens, received many ovations as he passed through the multitude that had gathered on Franklin street.

The Commonwealth Club was the most prettily-decorated house on Franklin street.

One of the most delightful features of the unveiling was the music furnished by the Great Southern Band, which organization accompanied the Maryland veterans.

A great many old veterans had to walk from the monument to the Exposition building, where the lunch was served, because the wagons provided for them had gone.

The ambulance was summoned at 5 o'clock to the Exposition Grounds to several soldiers who were suffering from fatigue on account of the long march in the sun. They were treated and turned over to their friends, who carried them to their homes.

The carriage in which governer McKinney was seated, and which headed the line of carriages, was escorted by his staff in full uniform.

General Heth's three couriers were Masters E. V. Williams, L. W. Brander and Thomas W. Brander. They wore blue sashes.

A group of war Howitzers—embracing Major H. C. Carter, Jeter Bosher, J. B. Lambert, Carlton McCarthy, W. H. McCarthy, J. V. [394] L. McCreery, Charles Poindexter, Major Robert Stiles, and others—marched together in the parade, cheered themselves hoarse, and manfully braved the heat and dust of the long march.


Breaking ranks and leaving the city.

Just before the command to ‘break ranks’ was given to the First Virginia regiment at the armory yesterday evening, Colonel Henry C. Jones thanked the soldier boys for their gentlemanly deportment throughout the day, and commended them especially for the military decorum they had observed. He asserted that within the next two years, judging from present prospects, the regiment would be second to no similar organization in the United States.

The visiting millitary companies began to leave the city immediately after the return from the exercises at Hollywood, and at 10 o'clock last night the armories were as quiet as they are when the boys are all off at encampment.

The Monticello Guards, of Charlottesville, were the last infantrymen to take their departure, while the Lynchburg and Surry companies of cavalry were the last of all the organizations to leave the city.

All the visiting militia were loud in the praises of the Richmond soldier boys, and declared that they had a most enjoyable time.


General Heth entertained last night.

General Harry Heth, chief marshal of the parade yesterday, was handsomely entertained by a number of his friends at the Westmoreland Club last night. An elegant supper was served and an evening of real pleasure was had. General Heth was the first president of the Westmoreland, and has hosts of friends who are now prominent members of the club.

A number of the other prominent visitors were guests last night at the Westmoreland and Commonwealth clubs.


The Marylanders were pleased.

The Maryland veterans who took part in the unveiling ceremonies were delighted beyond measure with the hospitable reception they received in this city. The visitors from Virginia's sister State reached [395] the city on a special car at 11 in the morning and left at 6 in the afternoon. They left their coach at Elba and immediately joined in the procession.

When General Fitz Lee saw General Steuart, the commander of the Maryland veterans, with whom he is well acquainted, he exclaimed in his characteristic way: ‘Well, I declare! I believe that if all of you Maryland fellows were to die except one, that fellow would come down here with a brass band to take part in the unveiling of a Confederate monument.’

The visitors, accompanied by their magnificent band, partook of a big banquet in the main hall of the Exposition building, and while here they were introduced to the daughters and neices of General Hill. The Maryland band gave the distinguished Southern ladies a beautiful serenade, which was gracefully acknowledged.

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