Norfolk Confederate Monument Logo
 Norfolk Confederate Monument about 1907

1907 Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Elaborately Observed

Living Comrades Hear of Deeds of Dead In Eloquent Speeches And Songs – Thousands Hear Ceremonies

Colonel W. H. Stewart Delivers Address

Confederate Memorial Day was observed by elaborate ceremonies yesterday afternoon at the monument in Commercial Place, following which a long procession of military and civic organizations marched to Elmwood cemetery, where flowers were strewn on the graves of the martyrs who died on the field of battle nearly a half century ago.
Col. William H. Stewart was the orator of the day.  The benediction was pronounced by Rev. Charles Woodson, chaplain of Pickett-Buchanan Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Eloquent Tribute to Dead.
Col. Stewart’s address was an eloquent tribute to those heroes who made history such as the world never had seen before and perhaps will never witness again.  He lauded the Confederate soldier for what he has become to be known as the bravest of the brave.  He called Lee, Jackson and the immortals the greatest generals, and the bravest as well as the tenderest of men.
The Confederate choirs rendered patriotic airs.  The young women wore the Confederate gray coats and regulation army hats and carried the bonnie blue flag.
Presentation of Statue.
The bronze statute on the monument was presented by Col. Walter H. Taylor, chairman of the monument committee.  The Daughters of the Confederacy occupied seats on the speakers stand.
The Sovereign Camp of the Woodmen of the World, now in session here, and Sovereign Commander J. C. Root, occupied a seat of honor on the platform and rode in a carriage to the cemetery, as did a number of other Woodmen.
Imposing Parade
The procession formed on Commercial Place and consisted of four divisions including the second battalion of the Seventy-first Virginia Regiment; Battery B. Norfolk Light Artillery Blues; Grimes Battery of Portsmouth; Spanish-American war veterans; Confederate Veterans of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Princess Anne county; Sons of Abernethy; Confederate Veterans; Daughters of the Confederacy; the Norfolk fire department; Young Men’s Association, in uniform, and public school.
Carriages containing the orator of the day, Col. W. H. Stewart, of Portsmouth; Admiral P. F. Harrington, Mayor J. G. Riddick, Mayor J. Davis Reed of Portsmouth and other guests.
Exercises at Cemetery.
After the exercises the parade formed and followed the following line of march; Main to Granby, to Freemason, to Yarmouth, to Bute, to Cumberland, thence to Elmwood cemetery.  The column returned this route; Cumberland to Freemason, to Granby, to Main, to Commercial Place, where dismissal followed.
A platoon of police headed the line.  The Navy yard band furnished the music.  While the platform was filled with the participants in the exercises, gaily decked with flags and bunting, a photograph was taken.
At the cemetery salutes were fired in honor of the dead and tender hands laid wreaths upon the green mounds where lie the dust of the martyrs of the lost cause.
Colonel Stewart’s Tribute to Brave Men of South
The following is the address of Col. Stewart:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Fellow Countrymen:
“Virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed;” so the precious memories of the past come to us this day with the sweetest of love filtered through the softening influence of peace in the land.
As the perfume of flowers on the winds of May brings joy to the maiden, so the favor of the people gives pleasure to the hearts of the venerable heroes with honorable scars, who have met here to pay homage to the cause and to the men who stood with them under the folds of the flag of the South.
It is a source of gratification to know that men of the North, who were facing us foremost in their front line of battle, join in the tender ceremonies of this happy hour.
Good Omen of Peace.
It is the good omen of peace and happiness, and a touching expression of the love of liberty in all sections of our country.  It gives me courage to proclaim that “liberty is the inalienable possession of the American people.”
Here, where the red flames of war thrice furiously raged, there is peace.  Here, where the black hate of vengeance thrice reigned, there is charity!  Here, the shotted guns of three nations have sounded in terrible war;  but now Englishmen with the three cross standard; the national American with the Star Spangled flag, and the States Rights American with the furled banner of the Confederacy are here, standing shoulder to shoulder without hostile instruments of war, but with blooming flowers, emblems of purity and love, for the graves of heroes who fell under “the Southern Cross.
It is a beautiful enfolding of the leaves of time in the book of love!
The bronze effigy of the color-bearer surmounting the stately shaft of granite is a splendid ideal of chivalry, courage and patriotism; and your young men will ever look upon it with admiration for devotion to duty, which it most gloriously symbolizes.
O, countrymen, there is no shame for the lives of the men who faithfully followed the cross of the South.
They fought with sublime courage and noble fortitude for truth and justice and right.
Great Britain acknowledged in the articles of separation the individual sovereignty of the thirteen colonies.
It was as inherent in each state as natural liberty in man.  Natural liberty is restrained by civil liberty only so far as compatible with public welfare.
The individual divests himself of part of his natural liberty for the good and happiness of the community.
The States resigned that part of political liberty which fixed in the general government would produce more good to the whole than if it remained in the several States.
Not even the extremist Federalist advocating the adoption of the Constitution ever dreamed of investing such power in the general government as to authorize invasion and destruction of an American State!
The great statesman Alexander Hamilton, apprehended more danger from the encroachments of the States upon the rights surrendered to the general government than he did from the destruction of the rights of the States by that government, and while on the floor of the State convention of New York advocating the adoption of the Constitution to allay the apprehensions of advocates of States rights, said: “There are certain social principles in human nature, from which we may draw solid conduct of individuals and of communities.
Defends South’s Position.
“We love our families more than our neighbors: we love our neighbors more than our countrymen in general.  The human affections, like the solar heat, lose their intensity as they depart from the center, and become languid, in proportion to the expansion of the circle on which they act.  On these principles the attachment of the individual will be first and forever secured by the State governments; they will be a mutual protection and support!”
Could Alexander Hamilton have called the secession of the Southern States rebellion?
Could he have termed the soldiers of the Confederacy rebels?
Could he have said that Robert E. Lee was a traitor?
Could the foremost American, George Washington, whose valiant patriotism more than that of any other, won the independence of the colonies, have blamed the Southern States for resisting invasion? No?  The men who rallied to the flag held by your color-bearer were supporters of Constitutional liberty, and they fought for the great principles upon which republican governments must be founded.
Patrick Henry in the Virginia convention sounded the note of warning and evidenced his great wisdom when he insisted on a provision in the Constitution, which could bear no misconstruction as to the distinct rights of each of the parties to the compact.
Afterwards, as he predicted, questions arose and bitter political controversies ensued until the storm of war broke in 1861.
Virginia Pleaded for Peace.
Virginia tried to stem the bloody current and plead for peace until her Sothern sisters doubted her love.  The passions of men had passed the control of reason and no appeals of the mother of States could avail.
The South sought and hoped for a peaceable separation, but in vain, and was absolutely forced to fight.  With greatly inferior numbers, no preparation in the beginning, no money, no organized army and navy, and no recruiting resource, the Confederate States after four years of war yielded to overwhelming resources and numbers.
It was no Civil war, but a war between a giant nation and a constitutional republic!  The stainless republic fell at Appomattox.  There force, pure and simple, destroyed our hopes.
It was not a disapproving Providence, but uncontrollable, conditions brought disaster.  The iron heel of nearly three millions of soldiers destroyed States and made military districts of co-equal sovereigns as recognized under the Constitution of Washington and his compeers.
The black clouds of heaven were never more portentous of storm and blasting wind, than reconstruction of the evil, which fell with crushing brutality after our surrender, on the people of the South.  Truth and justice and right seemed buried in a wave of unending passion and wrath.
In the light of today I regard Patrick Henry as the wisest statesman of the three centuries of American history, not expecting the illustrious soldier who led our victorious armies at Yorktown, nor that immortal statesman who penned the Declaration of American Independence.  We have realized the fears of Henry, and seen the spirit of liberty buried under the weight of the greatest armies ever marshaled on the continent.  But we have also lived to see that spirit rise again Phoenix like from the ashes and bless the citizenship of the re- United States.
Eulogizes General Lee
The illustrious General, Robert E. Lee, who led our armies, invoked patience and obedience to the powers that be; and the manliness of the men, who heeded his voice, brought the respect of the civilized world, and eventually the liberty of our fathers embraced us again.  The broadening views and the accrediting of good motives to one another, relaxed the tension of force and now the stars of the rehabilitated Southern States shine in the constellation of the American Union as bright as those, which fought to make it indestructible.
The South lost national independence at Appomattox; since the toll of her sons has won commercial independence and riches beyond the dreams of imagination.
Now, under the sun of industrial prosperity, all the good people of the nation join to make “liberty the inalienable possession of the American people.”  The spirit of liberty arising from the ashes of war gives us faith in its undying existence.  State rights have been born again, and the people will force their endurance as long as the republic exists.
South Cause Not Lost.
The South has no lost cause!  Home rule, if not so potent as in the days of Jefferson, is yet maintained in grand South Carolina, in glorious Virginia, in great New York, in proud Massachusetts, in all the commonwealths constituting the American Union.  These sovereign States are tied in an indissoluble union by the result of the great sectional war; but no less pride of State individuality and love of local self-government exists in the States of the victorious North than in those of the defeated South, nor less in those newly created on the prairies and hills of the great West, than in those set around the golden gate of the Pacific, like pearls in the crown of the republic.
The American soldier who followed the Southern Cross is as proud of its record today as he was when it waved in triumph on a thousand fields.  He still loves the furled banner of the dead Confederacy, but he respects, honors and will defend the Star Spangled Banner with his life as long as it is the emblem of liberty and Anglo-Saxon freedom.
The animosity and bitterness of war are all forgotten or forgiven, but the gracious memories which tie the hearts of Southern people will be forever cherished with ritualistic reverence.
The young mother having her first born, a sweet little girl and bloom of childhood, taken from her by the cruel had of death, kneels and prays and weeps an outpouring of grief from her great aching heart; but when she looks upward she sees the beauty of heaven and hears the rustling of the angels’ wings which are taking her darling to the home of eternal happiness and rest.  Her tears cease to flow, and with holy recognition of God’s will she continues her life work, although the prattling lips are mute and the sweet caresses ate gone the recollections of the four years of brightness and sunshine leave precious memories for life, which are as vivid when age bends her form and shadows her beauty as when the breath fled from the sweet lips of her child.  So the inevitable came to the people of the Confederacy, not through the pleasures of childhood’s glory, but through ordeals of hunger, and fire, and sword, and blood, our hopes were buried; like the mother, we would not recall them from the grave of 1865, but the glorious memories and precious recollections of our spirit nation are as dear and pure to us as those of the mother’s heart; and the chivalry of soldiers and sailors of the South will live in the hearts of her people as long as flowers bloom on the banks of her beautiful rivers, and they will love “liberty as the inalienable possession of the American people.”
What Monument Represents
O, people of Norfolk, it was love of liberty that made you defy the shotted guns of the Liverpool in the days of the Revolution, and later, those of the Pawnee and Cumberland, and it is this admirable love, which has set up yonder, the magnificent art work in the bronze standard-bearer, matchless in spirit of design, on it’s firm granite foundation in the heart of your city.
This splendid monument betokens the affection of your true people for the dearest rights of the State.  The thundering guns of a thousand battleships and the tread of ten millions of hostile soldiers cannot stamp out the spirit of liberty in America.
It would live in the hearts of the people even though ambition should wipe its name from the statutes.
Leaders might bury it beneath the heel of glittering empire, but it would rise again to live on forever.
O, my dear countrymen, let me warn you that liberty making power of this government can invade the control of the State public schools.  You have already heard the muttering thunder in distant California!  Your public educational institutions should be guarded by the strictest construction of the reserved rights of the State flag, as the emblem of security from Federal encroachments, should float during school hours from every school building in the State.  My countrymen.
As a citizen I have stood appalled at the march of American empire belting the globe by power of booming battleships and glittering bayonets of great armies; but when I behold scenes like this my hopes rise to the climax of faith.
Appeals For Liberty.
If the spirit which conceived and created the splendid statue on this monument pervades the people of the States, there need be no thought of another bloody rent in the temple of liberty.  Love of liberty will live in the expression of that dumb color-bearer, which will speak of heroism and patriotism to the generations as they pass down the ages with more fascinating eloquence than even Patrick Henry, who stirred the hearts of our illustrious forefathers, more forcibly than the greatest orator in the Roman senate.
Let us not be blinded by grandeur, splendor and power of territorial expansion, for such folly may destroy our hopes.  Let us stand together for the liberty and the happiness of the whole people; watchful, cautions and jealous; for vice is vigilant while virtue sleeps.
Let our beloved State ever stand sentinel on the watch tower of liberty.
Virginia, through the Jamestown Tri-Centennial Exposition, has the eyes of all nations upon her, and without boasting she proudly stands pointing to her jewels.
Her sons and daughters have upheld her virtue and added luster to her name in every period of her history.
Her John Smith and her Nathaniel Bacon Jr., speak of her colonial strenuousness for liberty.  Her Washington, her Henry and her Light Horse Harry Lee tell of her struggles for it in the Revolutionary days, and monuments like this unfold the story of her greatness under the flag of the Confederate color-bearer.
South’s Great Leaders
The world has conceded that she furnished the Southern armies with its greatest generals; and her soldiers were the equals of any in the ranks and never surpassed in the records of history.  Her Hampton Roads saw marine warfare revolutionized.  Her fair fields were the scenes of the greatest number of battles under the glorious banner of the Confederate States.  Many of her ancient homes were destroyed and their inhabitants driven into exile before the invaders’ march.
Her bosom received more scars from the iron hall of the four year’ war than any other American State: but as her trials were greatest, so her virtue shines brightest, and as “Twas glory once to be a Roman” so now it is to be a Virginian!
Her daughters were noble and true in all times of her vicissitudes, and give the crowning glory to her fame.
Thank God the precious liberty of our forefathers reflected in the glorious light of today gives me the loving privilege in the name of the Pickett-Buchanan Camp of Confederate Veterans, to formally dedicate this imposing memorial to “our Confederate dead”.  I have the greatest pride in announcing to this vast assemblage that the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Confederate Choirs are paying tribute with us in all the loveliness of enthusiastic patriotism; and the people ate here with beautiful wreaths for our fallen heroes.
“And flowers today were hither brought
From the gallant men who against us fought;
York and Lancaster! – Gray and Blue!
Each to itself and the other true-
And so I say
Our men in Gray
Have left to the South and North a tale
Which none of the glories of earth can pale.
“Norfolk has names in the sleeping host
Which fills us with mournful pride-
Taylor and Newton we well may boast,
McPhall, and Walke, and Selden, too,
Brave as the bravest, as truest true!
And Grandy struck down ere his May become June,
A battleflag folded away too soon,
And Williams, than whom not a man stood higher,
Mid the host of heroes baptized in fire,
And Mallory, whose sires aforetime died,
When Freedom and Danger stood side by side,
McIntosh, too, with his brothers slain,
Saunders and Jackson, the unripe grain,
And Taliaferro, stately as knight of gold,
And Wright, who fell on the Crater’s red sod,
Giving life to the Cause, his soul to God.
And there is another, whose portrait at length
Should blend graces of Sidney with great Raleigh’s strength,
Ah, John Randolph Tucker!  To match me this name
You must climb to the top of the temple of Fame!
“These are random shots o’er the men at rest,
But each rings out on a warrior’s crest.
Yes, names like bayonet points, when massed,
Blaze out as we gaze on the splendid past.
“That past is now like an Arctic Sea,
Where the living currents have ceased to run,
But over that past the fame of Lee
Shines out as the “Midnight Sun:”
And the glorious Orb, in its march sublime,
Shall gild out graves till the end of time!”
“Thy mother pleads, Virginians,
Oh, keep her laurels green
Pure from the frost of slander,
From envy’s venomed spleen-
Plant her ever-glorious standard
On the heights of fame sublime,
That her name may echo ever,
Down the corridors of Time.”

Historic Documents related to the monument

1895 Monument of Peace, 1895 Kirmess, 1897 Raising Money, Report of the Committee on Monument, Board of Trustees, Monument Approval, Communication from City Treasurer, Signing Monument Contract, 1899 Ground Braking, 1899 Plans For Laying The Corner Stone, 1899 Laying The Corner Stone, 1902 History of the Monument, 1907 Standard Bearer, 1907 Memorial Day

Source of Information

Virginian-Pilot, Volume 23, Number 41, 17 May 1907.