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[174]

Many prominent persons present. From the times-dispatch, November 12, 1908.

Unveiling of monument at Fredericksburg to Humphreys' Division largely attended.


Fredericksburg, Va., November 11.—The unveiling of the monument in the National Cemetery here today to General Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, Third Division, Fifth Army Corps, and Pennsylvania Troops, attracted a large number of people to this city, including about 1,500 Pennsylvanians, many of them being Federal veterans who took part in the battles of the Civil War here in 1862, and members of General Humphrey's division, which made its heroic charge against Marye's Heights, but was repulsed by the Confederates with a heavy loss of men.


Notables present.

Prominent among the visitors were Captain George F. Baer, president of the Fredericksburg Battlefield Memorial Commission, of Pennsylvania; Governor Edwin S. Stuart, of Pennsylvania and staff, and Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. The parade formed at the courthouse, under command of Major Clay W. Evans, of Pennsylvania, chief marshal, and Captain M. B. Rowe, of this city, assistant marshal, headed by Tansil's band of sixteen pieces, followed by Washington Guards, Captain T. M. Larkin; Maury Camp of Confederate Veterans, Major A. B. Bowering; R. S. Chew Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, W. H. Hurkamp; members of the Battlefield Memorial Commission of Pennsylvania, in carriages; Governor Edwin S. Stuart, of Pennsylvania, and staff, in carriages; invited guests, veterans in regimental formation.

The line of march was through the principal streets to the National Boulevard, up the boulevard to the National Cemetery. The Parade was over one mile long and over 1,500 men were in line. At the monument, President George F. Baer presided over the exercises. The invocation was pronounced by Rev. [175] J. Richards Boyle, D. D., of Pennsylvania, and an address of welcome was delivered by Major Robert W. Hunter, representing Governor Swanson, of Virginia.

An address of welcome was made in behalf of the Confederate veterans by Judge John T. Goolrick, of this city, and response to these addresses was made by Governor Edwin S. Stuart, of Pennsylvania. Major George F. Baer, president of the commission, made an address and transferred the monument to Governor Stuart. Miss Letitia A. Humphreys, pulled the cord which unveiled the monument. Governor Stuart transferred the monument to the care of the United States government. It was accepted in behalf of the United States government by Acting Secretary of War, R. Shaw Oliver.


Mr. McLures address.

Mr. McClure said in part:

Mr. President and Union Veterans of Pennsylvania:
The world has ever worshiped the heroic, alike in war and in peace. It is the heroic who achieve and only the memories of the heroic are reverenced. In all the histories of the varied peoples of the world, the decay of heroism has dated the decay and final destruction of government. True, heroism has often been prostituted to the infamy of wanton conquest and oppression, but nonetheless heroism has given the world all its wonderful and beneficent progress, and it will be worshiped until the last syllable of recorded time.

Forty-six years ago the sullen thunders of the Confederate artillery proclaimed the disastrous repulse of two brigades of Pennsylvania soldiers who were ordered to the hopeless task of storming Marye's Heights. They consisted of the First Brigade of General Humphrey's division of the Fifth Army Corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Tyler, embracing the 134th Regiment, commanded by Colonel O'Brien; the 139th, commanded by Colonel Frick; the 126th, commanded by Colonel Elder, who fell early in the movement, leaving the command of the regiment to Lieutenant-Colonel Rowe, and the Ninety-first Regiment, commanded by Colonel Gregory. The Second Brigade [176] was commanded by Colonel Allabach, leaving his regiment, the 131st, to be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Shabt; the 133d, commanded by Colonel Speakman; the 135th, commanded by Colonel Clark, and the 155th, commanded by Colonel Allen.

Two notable charges.

The advance charge was made by Colonel Allabach's brigade, closely followed by the First Brigade, under General Tyler, the whole commanded in person by General Humphreys. The aggregate number of the two brigades engaged in this assault was about 4,000 men, and fully one-fourth of them were numbered among the dead and wounded, although neither was in action over thirty minutes. Hopeless as it seemed to the soldiers who made this assault with the officers in advance of the men, either to gain the heights or to hold them if gained, these Pennsylvania brigades started with hearty cheers to face the grim reaper of death. Next to Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, it was the most bloody and disastrous assault of our Civil War.

We are not here to discuss the wisdom of army commanders. Only what were accepted as supreme military necessities made Pickett's charge at Gettysburg and Humphrey's charge at Fredericksburg, but they both stand in history, and will ever so stand, as high-water marks of the heroism of American soldiery.

Meet as friends.

Veterans of the Blue and the Gray, we are here to-day to unveil a monument which shall for all time commemorate the heroism and sacrifice of Pennsylvania soldiers in the memorable battlefield of Fredericksburg. The Union veterans of Pennsylvania meet the veterans who bore the Stars and Bars, not as enemies, but as friends, with equal interest and pride in a common country. When peace came after four years of bloody conflict it left the fierce passions of fraternal war in a tidal wave throughout both sections of the country. Nearly every home in the land, North and South, had been shadowed by the angel of sorrow, and it was hard for either section to make the advance toward a reunited American brotherhood, but there were brave men in both sections who earnestly and [177] eloquently pleaded the cause of peace and fellowship, and among the first was the great war Governor of Pennsylvania. Reconstruction with its blotted record, long hindered the restoration of sympathetic relations between the North and South, and kept aflame what should have been the dying embers of sectional hate; but we are here to-day with a restored Union, not merely a union in form, but a Union of hearts, of sympathy and of patriotic fellowship, and the veterans of the Blue will to-day point will pride to the monuments erected to the heroes of the Gray who won the victory in this bloody struggle.

It was not the soldiers of either side on the front of the firing-line who hindered the restoration of our common brotherhood. Politicians played upon the prejudices and passions to serve political ends, but the veterans of both sides were the faithful advocates of generous and lasting peace. The veterans of the Gray will not shudder at the monument we are here to unveil. There are like monuments on every important battlefield of the Civil War, many erected to the heroic soldiers of Lee, and many erected to the heroic soldiers of Grant. They no longer stand as monuments for triumph for either the Blue or the Gray, but are accepted by every veteran of the North and South as monuments to the heroism of our American soldiery.

Show consummation of peace.

The day is not far distant when the statue of Lee, the most beloved of all Southern men, who stands in history to-day abreast with the few great soldiers of the nineteenth century, will grace the streets of our national capital along with that of Grant as a tribute of the nation to the greatness of American commanders, and I hope at an early day to see Virginia and Pennsylvania unite in placing on Seminary Hill, at Gettysburg, an equestrian statue of Lee, with the right conceded to the South to embellish that memorable field with statues of her heroic leaders.

A few years ago I made an earnest appeal to the Pennsylvania Legislature to inaugurate such a movement, and it was delayed rather than refused for the reason, as then given, that [178] it was not yet the time for so pronounced a declaration from our State that peace with sectional brotherhood had reached its consummation. We are here to-day unveiling a monument to Pennsylvania's fallen heroes on one of the great Virginia battlefields, and there is welcome on every hand by the veterans who won the victory and the citizens who sympathized with the Gray, and I would give equal welcome to the statues of the Confederate heroes on the Gettysburg battlefield, and thus enable the visitor to that historic ground to read, by the statues and tablets on both sides, the complete history of the decisive conflict of the war.

Liberty and Union.

The veterans of both sides have long been teaching the country that peace and brotherhood have been restored to it. There is not a grave of a veteran of the Gray in any cemetery in the North, where the graves of Union soldiers are made beautiful and fragrant on Decoration Day, that is not decorated with equal care, and the veterans of the Union thus pay equal respect and honor to the fallen on both sides of the conflict; and the veterans of the Gray never fail to decorate the graves of the fallen Union veterans when that tribute is paid to their fallen brethren.

‘A Confederate soldier was a Cabinet officer under Grant; a Confederate soldier was a Cabinet officer under Hayes, and a Confederate soldier is a Cabinet officer under Roosevelt. Surely the time has come, after forty-three years of a reunited nation when all the terrible asperities should be only a shadowed memory, and when all the grand attributes of generous and affectionate brotherhood should be visible in every section of our great republic. Here, standing among the graves of the heroic dead of both the great armies that were engaged in deadly struggle, all will unite in the patriotic utterance of the great expounder of the Constitution when he replied to the early advocacy of secession by one of South Carolina's great statesmen: “Liberty and Union; now and forever, one and inseparable.” ’

Many of the Pennsylvanians will remain here several days visiting the historic points and battlefields at and near Fredericksburg. [179] President Baer came in a special train of three coaches, composed of an engine, private car ‘Reading,’ sleeping car ‘Atlas,’ dining car ‘Pennsylvania,’ with a number of prominent people as his guests. Two special trains brought Governor Stuart and staff, and many of the Federal veterans.

The monument.

The monument is twenty feet high, the statue being nine feet, and pedestal and base eleven feet. On the front of the monument is the following inscription: ‘Erected by Pennsylvania to commemorate the charge of General Humphrey's Division of Fifth Army Corps on Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862; 134th, 129th, 126th, gist, 1333d, 155th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.’ It is a beautiful piece of work of Stony Creek, Conn., granite, hone finish.


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