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The monument.

History of the movement that resulted in its erection.


The articles of incorporation of the Monument Committee or Association, were filed on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 1885, the incorporators being E. A. O'Neal, W. S. Reese, W. L. Bragg, Josiah Morris, William B. Jones, W. W. Screws, William W. Allen, Jacob Griel, John W. A. Sanford, H. A. Herbert, J. B. Gaston, Thomas G. Jones, H. C. Tompkins, J. H. Higgins and D. S. Rice. W. S. Reese was elected chairman and T. J. Rutledge secretary of the board of incorporators.

It was under the auspices of this organization that Mr. Davis came to Montgomery in April, 1886, and laid the corner stone of the present noble and everlasting monument to the Confederate soldiers of Alabama.

The men who started the work of building the monument, and all who aided them, have cause to feel grateful for the glorious result.

It took only a short while to develop the fact that no matter how earnest or industrious they might be, they would not be able to carry out their plans.

In this emergency, the Ladies' Memorial Association, established to keep alive and perpetuate the memories of the Confederate soldiers, stepped into the breach. They undertook the arduous task, and yesterday's work tells how nobly they have succeeded. By constant effort they raised a portion of the funds through their individual labors. They also obtained two appropriations from the Legislature. It was eminently fit that the State should aid to the extent that it did, for no true Alabamian or genuine American can object to the State's paying proper tribute to the Confederate soldier.

With the placing in their appropriate spots on the monument of [231] the four statues, representing the Infantry, Cavalry, Navy and Artillery, the task, so patriotically assumed, was finished.


Description of the Confederate soldiers' and sailors monument.

The pile that commemorates those who fought on land and sea for the Confederacy, will win universal attention. Its unveiling is the last chapter of the post-bellum sentiments that follow the Lost Cause.

The base of the monument consists of four successive layers of stone, making as many steps. This base is about thirty-five feet square. These four steps lead up to four pedestals, upon each of which is now a statue. They emblematize the four branches of the military service: the cavalry, the infantry, the artillery and the marine. The monument being to the soldiers of Alabama, it is intended that these typical figures shall do honor to those who fell in each of those grand divisions of the army. From out of a common center within these surrounding figures rises a circular shaft of stone to a height of seventy feet; at its base this shaft is about three feet in diameter, tapering up to an apex of thirty inches in diameter. The lower part of the shaft is, in the technical language of sculptors, a sculptured drum, a circular bas relief representing a military march. The shaft is surmounted by a column with a Corinthian cap. Upon this the pinnacle rests, a female figure in bronze, typifying ‘Patriotism,’ and the womanhood of the South as well. The figure upholds a broken flag in one hand, and with the other tenders a sword to her sons, as if sending them forth in defense of the flag. This figure adds ten feet to the height of the monument, making it reach upward altogether over eighty feet. The height of the cornice on the State Capitol is about sixty-five feet, so that the monument towers above the roof of that building. Thus the monument stands forth on Capitol Hill, a reminder to all Alabama of the men who fell in the cause that is lost. It is clearly as visible as the Capitol itself in all directions.


Notes.

Considerable disappointment was manifested at the fact that Lieutenant R. P. Hobson did not come to Montgomery. The members of the Ladies' Memorial Association shared keenly in this disappointment. Yesterday afternoon, the President, Mrs. Bibb, received the following explanatory telegram: [232]

Duty has detained me, but I am with you in the thought in the beautiful tribute to the memory of our gallant dead.


One of the handsomest banners exhibited on Capitol Hill yesterday was that of the Sophia Bibb Chapter, U. D. C.

The Mounted Rifles were drawn up in line, uncovered and at attention as Miss Elmore unveiled the statue to the cavalry arm of the Confederate service. The company presented a handsome appearance.

The Montgomery Field Artillery fired salutes during the progress of the exercises.

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