Battle-Roll of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Want of space prevents us from transferring entire to our columns an article of the Richmond Whig
on this interesting subject.
We shall give in brief its timely suggestions.
After quoting from Surke's Peerage an account of the famous Battle Abbey
, (founded by the Conqueror on the very spot where the battle of Hastings
had been fought,) and the still more famous Roll of Battle Abbey
, regarded with such profound veneration by those who claim descent from the Chiefs of the Conqueror
's host, the Whig
Why should not each State have its muster roll of the second war of independence, and why should not all the States unite in perpetuating the Battle Roll
of the Army of Northern Virginia?
The suggestion we have to make is this:
- I. The formation of a society to be called "The Historical Art Association of the Confederate States," which shall be a permanent organizations chartered regularly, and composed of leading men from every State.
[The Whig will hear with us for suggesting that the word "art" has been compounded into disrepute by a patent right race, and that this title would be better without it.--Dispatch.] The President of the Confederate States, or other suitable person, to be the President of the Association.
The Vice Presidents to consist of one or more distinguished gentlemen from each of the Southern States.
The Executive Committee to be composed of influential and energetic citizens of Richmond, where the Association will meet at least once a month for the transaction of business.
The Chairman of this Committee to be a man who will give his heart and soul to the work, in which he will be seconded faithfully by all the members of the committee — the aim being the formation of a living, working, ever — growing Association.
In addition to these officers there should be a Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Historiographer, Photographer, and Artist.
Regular, Honorary and Corresponding Members to be eligible on terms prescribed by the Constitution of the Association.
- III. One or more Traveling Agents.
The primary object of the Association shall be the collection in one magnificent volume, handsomely embellished, and bound in the most durable manner, of a series of engravings, (executed in steel, in the highest style of art, by the best artists, and from photographs taken on the spot,) of all the great battle fields in which the Army of Northern Virginia, or any considerable detachment of it, has been or may hereafter be engaged.
- V. Brief descriptions of each battle-field; contemporary description of the battle itself (if one of any value may be had,) official Report of Commanding General, with extracts from minor Reports; list of troops engaged, of casualties and captures; and names of those who specially distinguished themselves.
Brief extracts from comments of the press of the South and North, and of Europe, on each battle.
Plan of each battle, taken from official records.
Likenesses of Generals, Partisan Chiefs, and other officers of distinction, with short biography, and lists of battles in which they were engaged.
The Historiographer should accompany the Photographer, for the purpose of furnishing a written description of the battle field, as it appeared when the photograph was taken, and to obtain other date which might be of use to him in committing the volume.
- X. The secondary object of the Association should be the collection and preservation of historical relics, records, etc. If the Association prospered and accumulated money, its aim in the future would be to have executed, by the foremost painters of the day, a series of historical paintings, on a large scale, of the great battles fought by the Virginia — the paintings to be based upon the official Reports and Plans — the scenery as depicted by the photographer, and the descriptions of the Historiographer of the Association.
In conjunction with the "Battle Roll of the Army of Northern Virginia," another and indispensable volume would be its Muster Roll, containing a full and complete list of every man who belonged to that army, and for what length of time he served.
It was for this object primarily that the Legislature and Congress have passed resolutions and provided the necessary funds and facilities.
The great objects of the action in both cases, as we happen to know personally with regard to the action of Virginia
, was to preserve the names of the rank and file, the "unknown braves" of the war, as well as of the officers who had the honor of leading them to battle.
displays a creditable zeal and energy with which it has urged this record.
We have already noticed the appointment of a record agent for Virginia
, an example which every State of the Confederacy
But corporate and individual energy and liberality are essential to the success of the "Battle Roll" and the "Historical Art Association." It will be a work of time, but a beginning cannot be made too soon.
The South has been always too negligent of monuments of its achievements.
It is only of late years that the mother of Washington
has possessed a fitting monument of her most meritorious son. Let us trust that that achievement inaugurates a brighter era of art, patriotism, and gratitude to public bone lesions.