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[164]

Memorials to men who fell at Spotsylvania. From Richmond, Va., Times-dispatch, May 13, 1909.

Monuments are unveiled at Bloody Angle and Salem Church—Tributes paid by North and South to victims of famous battles.


Fredericksburg, Va., May 13, 1909.
A memorial tablet on the battlefield of ‘Bloody Angle’ and a monument at Salem Church in memory of the New Jersey volunteers who fell on the battlefields of Spotsylvania county in the Civil War were unveiled to-day.

Colonel E. C. Massey, representing Governor Swanson, delivered the address of welcome at the tablet unveiling. General Joseph Plume then transferred the memorial to the State of New Jersey, and Governor Fort, of that State, made a speech accepting and transferring it again to the Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteer Veterans' Association. An address on behalf of the latter body was delivered by Theodore F. Swayze, of Washington, D. C. Similar addresses of presentation and acceptance were made at the unveiling of the monument. Miss Lena Rowe and Miss Grace Jones, of this city, and Miss Jennie Cawley and Miss Miriam Gordon, of New Jersey, jointly drew the cords which disclosed the memorials to public view.

One of the events which excited most interest was the return of the battle flag of the Fourteenth Georgia Regiment. Representative Parker and Colonel A. W. Whitehead made speeches.

About 400 members of the New Jersey Veterans' Association were in attendance. Lunch was served on the battlefield.

An immense crowd gathered at Salem Church to witness the unveiling of the monument, the parade from the Bloody Angle being two miles long. The ceremonies began at 3 o'clock with prayers. J. Taylor Ellyson, Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, represented Governor Swanson and delivered an address. After the [165] singing of the Star Spangled Banner by the assemblage, the four young women pulled the cords which unveiled the monument.

General Joseph Plume presented the monument to New Jersey, and Governor Fort, of New Jersey, accepted it and transferred it to the Fifteenth Regiment Association. The acceptance speech was made by Theodore F. Swayze, after the singing of ‘Columbia.’ The principal address of the occasion was made by State Senator Joseph S. Freelinghuysen, of Raritan, N. J., who received much applause. In referring to the Fifteenth Regiment, Senator Freelinghuysen said:

It was recruited from five of the northern counties—Rundeston, Sussex, Somersex, Warren and Morris. They came from plow and workshop, from desk and pulpit, the flower of mankind, eager at their country's call.

With banners flying they marched peacefully away from Flemington, N. J., most of them never to return, but all destined to engage in a conflict unparalleled in the annals of war. They fought from Fredericksburg to Appomattox: in more than twenty-four conflicts, such well known battles as Gettysburg, Wilderness, Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania. It was on this battlefield—Spotsylvania—however, that they accomplished a crowning achievement by passing the enemy's line and holding a most strategical position. This enemy did not yield before it had exhausted half of the regiment. So desperate did both sides fight that their deeds of valor will be remembered as long as the war itself, and after this monument shall have crumbled into dust.

The closing address was made by Col. A. W. Whitehead, of Newark, N. J. Colonel Whitehead said in part:

These men shed their young blood and laid down their lives so that you and I might enjoy the privilege of a free country, and be benefited by the great institutions which always emanate therefrom.

How loudly these things speak of the existence in the minds of men of a religious belief that there is a fundamental law which provides that the well being of one is the concern of all. It is on this theory that our government rests, and it is the belief in that principle and love for the government so founded that [166] has produced so high a percentage of self-sacrificing patriots in the hour of natural need. Since the close of the great Civil War the custom of erecting monuments to commemorate deeds of valor has grown rapidly, not only upon battlefield, but in towns and cities, and they are object lessons which will stand to create and keep alive loyalty and patriotism among the people. We commit this stone to the care of the Southern people, knowing that all will be well.

Colonel Alexander Bacon, of Brooklyn, also spoke. Then taps was sounded and benediction pronounced. The entire party, expressing its delight in Virginia hospitality, returned to Fredericksburg, and to-night left on a special train for Washington en route to Gettysburg to spend a day before returning home.

This double unveiling took place on the anniversary of one of

Remarkable conflict.

the most remarkable conflicts in all war annals. Forty-five years ago to-day General Hancock's corps was in line of battle at the Landram house, and half a mile away, at the crest of the rising ground on which is called the Bloody Angle battlefield, General Edward Johnson's division of the Confederate army lay entrenched awaiting an attack. General Grant's order to General Hancock was to move upon the Confederate works at 4 o'clock in the morning of that day. Under cover of darkness and fog, Hancock's men got within a hundred yards of the Confederate line before they were discovered, and then began one of the most sanguinary battles of the war. The Confederate line was broken and driven back by Hancock's columns which afterwards, being reinforced, came back upon the Union line, recapturing the position it had lost. For the length of time of the struggle and the number of men engaged the slaughter at the Bloody Angle of Spotsylvania surpassed anything on record. It was the culminating clash of contest by the bravest and most determined men on both sides.

Bloody Angle tablet.

The tablet on the Bloody Angle battlefield is made up of a carved granite shaft, nine feet high and four feet wide, mounted on a solid granite pedestal two and one-half feet high. On the [167] shaft is a pedestrian statue of a private soldier seven feet high, with musket at ‘arms rest’ position. The cost of that shaft was $10,000. It bears the following inscripion:

1861-1865.

Fifteenth regiment, New Jersey Volunteers.

Erected by the State of New Jersey to mark that portion of the Confederate line held by the Fourteenth Georgia Regiment and assaulted May 12, 1864, by the Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Edward K. Campbell. Men engaged, 423; loss, 116 killed, 159 wounded, 33 missing.


On the opposite side is the following inscription:

Commissioners appointed by Governor John Franklin Fort, viz., Hon. John F. Dryden, chairman; Sergeant William H. Wyckoff, treasurer; Private Stephen W. Gordon, secretary; Sergeant William H. Crawley, General Joseph W. Plume, Private Albert W. Whiteland, Private John S. Gibson and Private Henry W. Hoffman.

At Salem Church.

The monument at Salem Church is built of New Hampshire granite, and is said to have cost $20,000.

The shaft bears the following inscription:

Sixth Army Corps, 1861-1865. To commemorate the services of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Colonel William H. Penrose, U. S. A. Engaged two hours on this line of battle on the Federal side, May 3, 1863. Loss, 41 killed, 105 wounded, 4 missing.

On the west side is the following:

Erected by the State of New Jersey, under authority of an act of the Legislature of 1908, introduced by Senator Joseph S. Freelinghuysen, commissioner appointed by Governor John Franklin Fort, namely, Hon. John. F. Dryden, chairman; Sergeant [168] William H. II. Wyckoff, treasurer; Private Stephen W. Gordon, secretary; Sergeant William H. Crawley, General Joseph W. Plume, Private Albert W. Whitehowie, Private Henry M. Hoffman and John S. Gibson.

On the east side is this sentiment:

The suvivors of the Fifteenth New Jersey Regiment honor the memory of their comrades who bravely bore themselves in this contest and bear witness to the valor and patriotism of the men who opposed them on this field.

On the rear side is the following: ‘Dedicated to national unity and perpetual peace.’


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