Jefferson Davis Monument Association holds the First celebration of the day of memory.
With loving thought the Jefferson Davis
kept the anniversary of Jefferson Davis
' birth yesterday.
The association is pledged to the erection in this city of a monument to the first and only president of the Confederacy
, and was among the first organized for that purpose after the death of Mr. Davis
The foremost leader is Mrs. A. W. Roberts
, a niece of Mr. Davis
She has gathered about her a band of earnest women, and through many months they have labored for the cause so dear to their hearts.
The celebration on the part of the Association took place at 11 A. M. in the banquet hall of the St. Charles Hotel
The hall was beautifully and patriotically decorated.
The union flag and the Confederate
flag entwined served as a drapery above the picture of Jefferson Davis
, around whose memory the entire celebration revolved.
A beautiful entourage of palms and ferns completed the tasteful decorations.
Beneath the picture was the autograph of Jefferson Davis
, taken from the last letter that he wrote to Mrs. Roberts
, and above was a card with two Confederate flags entwined — the army and navy, also given to Mrs. Roberts
by Mr. Davis
The hall was well filled with ladies, a delegation from the Soldiers' Home was present, members of the Ladies
' Confederate Memorial Association, with Mrs. Wm. J. Behan
, and members of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The programme opened with a beautiful invocation by Dr. Palmer
, and all heads were bowed as the venerable divine lifted his voice to the God of Hosts and prayed for the South
, for the united country, for the living and the dead.
Mrs. A. W. Roberts
presided. As president of the association she read a short sketch of the organization, showing how it was organized on April 18, 1896, by four ladies, Mrs. Jefferson Davis Weir
, Mrs. S. J. Fowler
, Mrs. M. A. Farwood
The charter was drafted by Colonel L. P. Briant
, Mrs. Weir
having been appointed a committee of one to attend to that important detail.
Mrs. Varina Jefferson Davis
is an honorary member of the chapter.
The programme was very beautiful.
Miss Florence Huberwald
sang, as only Miss Huberwald
could, that grand old Southern war song, ‘Maryland
, My Maryland.’
The tears coursed silently down the eyes of many as her beautiful voice rose and fell in exquisite modulation of the patriotic melody.
The feature of the celebration was the eloquent address of Hon. E. Howard McCaleb
. Mr. McCaleb
said that he would not attempt, on this ninety-third anniversary of the birth of Mr. Davis
, to give even a brief outline of a life and character which are so intimately
interwoven with the history of the country, but rather to recall a few personal reminiscences which he cherished of this great and noble leader.
said that the first time he saw Mr. Davis
was when the speaker was a mere child.
was returning from the sanguinary fields of Mexico
crowned with honors.
The people of his adopted State had turned out en masse to welcome him. The boys threw up their hats as he passed, riding erect as an arrow, his face wreathed with smiles as he received the plaudits of his fellowmen.
It was at Manassas
that Mr. McCaleb
next saw the great president.
It was the day after the battle of Bull Run
And again he saw him in the last dying hours of the Confederacy
, when he learned more and more to esteem, honor and love him. The Confederate government had abandoned Richmond
, and was temporarily stationed at Danville, Va.
, when General Extra Billy Smith
brought the sad news of Lee
All was confusion, and in hot haste.
said, we hurried to Charlotte, N. C.
There Mr. Davis sent for me, and told me that the Confederate cabinet was about to begin its journey southward, and in command of a brave band of Mississippians belonging to Harris' and Humphreys' Mississippi brigades.
I accompanied him as far south as Washington, Ga. In that distinguished cavalcade was President Davis himself, General John C. Breckenridge, Secretary of War; Hon. Stephen R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy; Hon. Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State; Hon. John H. Reagan, Postmaster General, and the President's personal staff: Colonel Wm. Preston Johnston, Colonel Thos. L. Lubbock, Colonel Burton N. Harrison, private secretary, and Colonel John Taylor Wood.
It was on this journey that Mr. Davis heard of the asssassination of President Lincoln.
He denounced the assassination from the start, because he believed that the Confederate government, in the heated state of the Northern mind, would be censured for the assassination and because he believed that in case of defeat the people of the Confederacy could have expected better treatment from Mr. Lincoln, who was personally a kinder and more humane man than his successor, who was both an enemy and a traitor to his country.
indulged in some very interesting personal reminiscences, telling how Jefferson Davis
believed that, though the cause was lost, the principles lived, and would reassert themselves at another and more favorable time.
One morning when Mr. McCaleb
went to him to express his fears about the condition of the Secretary of State
, who was not an expert
horseman, Mr. Davis
, do not trouble yourself about the Secretary of State
, if one of us escapes it will be he.’
He could never forget the night when, with guns cocked, the company which he commanded rode behind the President
's ambulance from Abbeville
, S. C. to Washington, Ga.
, where they were expecting a dash of the Confederate Cavalry any moment.
They crossed the Savannah river
bright and early on the morning of May 6, 1865, and entered Washington, Ga.
, where they remained two days. Colonel Johnston
instructed him to report with his men to the President
, who wished to bid him good-by.
He stated that he had determined to disband his escort, because a small body of men could more easily elude the vigilance of the enemy than a large one, that a prize of $100,000 in gold had been offered for his capture, and every effort would be made to take him prisoner.
‘Meet me,’ he said, ‘south of the Chattahoochee
, avoid all garrison towns, throw out your van guard and rear guard, as General Johnston
has surrendered this department without my knowledge and consent.
We will go to Mississippi
and there rally on Forrest
, if he is in a state of organization; if not, we will cross over the Mississippi river
, induce all Confederate soldiers who have not surrendered to come to us there, and join Kirby Smith
and carry on the war forever.’
said he obeyed the President
's instructions, and when nearing Meridan he saw then the first published accounts of the capture of Mr. Davis
, and that historic thrice told lie, which has so often been refuted, that he was disguised in a woman's dress at the time of his capture.
He referred to the incarceration of Mr. Davis
in Fortress Monroe
, how he was manacled and chained by order of General Miles
and that, though he was great in victory, he was still greater in defeat.
afterwards saw Mr. Davis
frequently during his residence at ‘Beauvoir
In one of these visits Mr. Davis
had stated that he had never desired to wear the honors or assume the responsibilities of President
of the Confederate States
, but that his ambition was rather to lead the sons of Mississippi
on the battle-field, as he had been trained and educated in military affairs, and desired to give his best services to his country in that capacity.
With what poignant grief all heard of his death in this city.
When the remains were being prepared for sepuchre one of the gentlemen present noticed a scar upon his left hand, and his old friend, Mr. J. U. Payne
, told of an event in his life which to that time was unknown.
He said that while Mr. Davis
was living at Briarfield
, Miss., on his
plantantion, his attention was called to the fact that his corn field was being frequently robbed.
One morning as he entered the field he saw a black object near him in the corn, and, approaching nearer he saw it was a grizzly bear, which sprang upon him and planted his fangs in his left hand.
With his right hand he hastily drew his bowie knife from its scabbard and stabbed the bear to death.
This shows the presence of mind of the man, and the courage he was accustomed to display on all occasions.
The whole city of New Orleans
bowed down in grief at the death of Mr. Davis
, and followed his mortal remains to their resting place in Metairie cemetary
concluded by telling how in this city of monuments the good women now propose to erect a monument to Mr. Davis
, a suitable shaft which would commemorate the virtues of this illustrious chieftian.
He commended the work and said: ‘Let the monument be erected in the busy haunts of the great metropolis, so that our children as they pass beneath its shadow may be taught to emulate his matchless character.
Let the first rays of the morning sunlight and the last gleams of the evening sun play upon his majestic brow, and teach those that come after us that patriotism is the highest virtue of the human race.
And when this American Republic, following in the footsteps of all its predecessors, shall have perished from the face of the earth, the monuments of Jeff. Davis
, Robert E. Lee
and Stonewall Jackson
will remain near yon mighty Father of Waters, like the pyramids in the valley of the. Nile, to tell the tale of an extinct race of martyr patriots who lived and died for the elevation and happiness of the human race.’
's beautiful address was applauded to the echo.
played ‘Dixie,’ and Mrs
. M. A. Farwood
delivered an interesting address on the purposes of the Jefferson Davis
sang a beautiful solo and Miss Huberwald
read a touching and eloquent poem, written by Margaret Hunt Brisbane
, entitled ‘The Confederate Dead.’
It touched each one present to the innermost heart.
Dr. Gordon Bakewell
, the beloved Confederate, delivered the benediction, and then ‘Dixie’ was struck up again, the old veterans from the Soldiers' Home gave the rebel yell, and the beautiful ceremony was at an end.
The officers of the Association are: Mrs. A. W. Roberts
, Life President
; Mrs. M. A. Farwood
, First Vice-President
; Mrs. S. J. Fowler
, Second Vice-President
; Mrs. J. T. Spearing
Mrs. J. D. Weir
, Recording Secretary
; Miss Cockle, Corresponding Secretary
Delightful refreshments were served.
The committee on arrangements and decorations were: Mrs. E. R. Corkele
, Mrs. A. W. Roberts
, Miss Edith Palfrey
, Mrs. J. F. Spearing
, Miss E. P. Thompson
, Mrs. J. W. Carnahan
M. A. Farwood
, W. J. Morgan
, W. H. Williams
, W. J. Hammond
, Margaret Hunt Brisbane
Reception Committee—Colonel Louis P. Briant
, Colonel J. W. Carnahan
, Captain B. T. Walshe
, Prof. John Dimitry
, J. Zach