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[338] into position. On the grand stand, the timbers of which were entirely concealed by Confederate colors gracefully disposed, especial provision had been made for the accommodation of the ladies of the memorial bazaar, without whose efforts the monument could not have been unveiled yesterday.

Immediately around the grand stand, and completely filling the plateau were grouped the veterans, many of whom had not been here since the dark and trying days during which, half-starved and half-clothed, they had helped to constitute a living bulwark for Richmond's defence. Behind the veterans, to the west and just upon the brow of the first terrace, the Virginia Military Institute cadets were drawn up in battalion front, and through the mass of veterans the Blacksburg cadets stood in open-order formation, thus keeping clear an avenue from the eastern steps of the grand stand to the monument. To the southeast of the monument the other infantry, the cavalry, and the artillery were massed, the guns of the Howitzers being placed just on the edge of the hill overlooking Main street, and the terraces of the park were literally packed with men, women, and children.

Before all was in readiness for the ceremonies to commence, the rain, which had been threatening for some time, began to descend, and a consultation was held by the officers of the Association and others to decide whether it would not be better to unveil the monument right away, and have the rest of the programme carried out in the Grace Street Baptist church. It was determined to brave it out, and Dr. Hoge, after being presented by Hon. D. C. Richardson, commenced his prayer in a gentle shower, which continued while Mr. Gordon was reciting his poem. Just as Mr. Cave, the orator, was introduced, however, there was a rift in the clouds, and a burst of sunlight, which brought out a picture that will never be forgotten by those who were in position to view it. All umbrellas had been lowered. The sober, gray, and serious faces of the veterans made a strikingly contrasting frame-work to the grand stand, with its warm decorations and the dresses of the ladies, and the uniforms of the military officers upon it. Fringing the frame-work was a line of steel. Over and far beyond this, to the west and through the haze of the city, could be discerned the soldiers' monument at Hollywood, and the falls of the river, and to the southwest and south was spread out the Chesterfield landscape in a perfect dream of peace. To the north and east the profusely-decorated houses on the hill formed a glowing background.

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