22 February 1899 Laying The Corner Stone.
THE CONFEDERATE MONUMENT
Corner Stone Laid With Impressive Ceremonies.
WITNESSED BY THOUSANDS
St. John's Lodge of Masons Conducted the Exercises in the Presence of Confederate Veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy, Hundreds of Masons, and a Vast Throng of Men, Women and Children.
Under the most favorable weather I conditions the corner-stone of the Confederate monument was laid, at 1 o'clock yesterday, on Commercial Place.
The sun shone out brightly during the forenoon, an an hour or more before the arrival of the Masons and Veterans, people began to assemble from all parts of the city, Portsmouth and Berkley.
They occupied the windows doors of adjacent buildings and many boys and young men looked down on the ceremonies from the roofs of three and four story business houses in the vicinity.
At an early hour a platform was erected over the foundation of the monument. The structure was about four feet above the ground, and was large enough to comfortably hold one hundred persons.
On this platform were seated the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Monument Committee, the choir and the representatives of Norfolk Lodge, A. F. and A. M., who laid the stone.
Business was practically suspended along Commercial Place during the ceremonies, which were witnessed by four or five thousand people. It was a good natured, respectful crowd, who were content to furnish an audience tor the important occasion, though they could not hear anything that was said.
The police service was excellent, and the squad of officers, under Captain W. J. Vellines, preserved the very best of order. There was very little for them to do other than look out for women and children, who were liable to lie crushed or trampled upon by the vast throng which closed in around the platform.
The small boy, as usual, was in evidence, and it required the most persistent efforts to keep them from crowding in on the space reserved for the Masonic fraternity.
The Confederate Veterans of Pickett Buchanan Camp, of Norfolk; Stonewall Camp, of Portsmouth, and Niemeyer Shaw Camp, of Berkley, marched from the headquarters of Pickett-Buchanan Camp to the Masonic Temple, to act as an escort for the Masons. At 12 o'clock the procession started from the Temple to the monument site in the following order: Drum and bugle corps. Confederate veterans, Grice Commandery, Knights Templar: Masonic lodges of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Berkley; Major A. Myers, chief marshal, with Mr. W, A. Edwards as aid. From the Temple the route was along Freemason street, to Granby, down Granby to Main, up Main to Commercial Place.
To those who were near enough to the platform to hear the words, the exercises were of a very interesting character. Prayer was offered by Rev. W. J. Young, of Epworth M. E. Church, and the ceremonies took place as reported m the Virginian-Pilot of yesterday. The choir was composed of the following well known singers, directed by Prof. Koerner: Mesdames L. B. Pattie, W. T. Dey, C. W. Fentress, H. S. Bailey, G. W. W. Bethel, W. R. Butcher and Misses Lucille Ramsay, Louise Cowles and Bessie Williams. Messrs, J. I. Jenkins, J. W. Thayer, E. B. Marvin, C. J. Dey, W. F. Lumley, R. C. Tupman, H. S. Bailey and W. R. Butcher.
The stone was a marble block, laid in the northeast corner of the monument foundation. The opening was made to hold a metallic box, in which were placed the articles enumerated below. The box after being deposited in the orifice, was covered with a marble slab.
CONTENTS OF THE BOX.
Masonic apron of white lambskin, trimmed with blue silk, with list Of officers and Past Masons for the year 1898-'99 printed thereon, by Norfolk Lodge No. 1.
Constitution and by-laws of Pickett Buchanan Chapter No. 21, of the United Order of Daughters Confederacy, organized in 1864, by Mrs. James Y. Leigh.
Envelope containing roster of Pickett Buchanan Camp, list of committees and list of Past Commanders for 1899.
History of Norfolk county, Va., by J. W. H. Porter.
The Heroine of Confederate Point, an interesting contemporaneous account of the defense of Fort Fisher. December 24th and 25th, 1864, by Colonel William Lamb.
Heroes of the Navy, an address delivered before the Pickett-Buchanan Camp. C. V., on the anniversary of the birthday of General R. E. Lee, by Captain W. C. Whittle; by Colonel L. D. Starke.
Card of George M. Todd, P. B. C.
Card of Fred Greenwood, Commander, with vignette and Pickett-Buchanan Camp button. Also card as Past Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Virginia.
Report of Board of Visitors Lee Camp. Soldiers' Home. December 21, 1899, by Captain Washington Taylor.
Proceedings of the tenth annual meeting Grand Camp Confederate Veterans, Department of Virginia, Richmond, on October 20th, 21st and 22nd, 1897, by Captain Washington Taylor.
old silver coin, by Charles Greenwood.
Souvenir badge Confederate monument, by Fred C. Chisnell, W. M . Norfolk Lodge No. 1. A. F. and A. M.
Views of Norfolk, by R. A. Dodson.
Confederate flag, by Mrs. Doctor Franke A. Walke.
Five dollar Confederate notes and two Confederate postage stamps, by Miss Mary A. Todd.
Pickett Camp. C. V. badge, and metal badge, by George W. Wilson.
Envelope containing copper cents 1861.
Names and history of the Young Daughters of the Confederacy, by Mrs. Dr. Frank A. Walke.
Morning newspapers of February 19, 1899 containing report of the Committee on Monument, by Colonel, Waiter H. Taylor, Chairman Memorial Committee.
UNITED STATES FLAG.
United States flag, Masonic card and copyrighted badge Grice Commandery Knights Templar, of Norfolk, Va., used as exchange badge at the twenty-seventh triennial Conclave Knights Templar of the U. S. A. Also a picture of R. E. Sir Larne Thomas, Grand Master Encampment Knights Templar of U. S. A., by George B. Jenkins, Recorder.
The Public Ledger and Dispatch February 21st, 1899, by Fred Greenwood.
Account of Mahone's Brigade at the battle of Sharpsburg, by Private Westwood A. Todd, private Company B. Twelfth Virginia infantry, C. S. A., by Commander George M. Todd.
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, February 22, 1899, by F. Greenwood.
Landmark. February 22, 1899, by F. Greenwood.
Past Commander's badge Pickett Buchanan Camp, C. V., by P. C. Theo. S. Garnett.
Books of design by Couper Marble Works.
Silk Confederate flag. by Mrs. General B. M. Henry.
Photo of the Confederate monument, designed by J, D. Couper. architect.
Badge L. M. A. of Petersburg. June 9th, 1890, by Major Charles Pickett, A. A. G. Pickett's Division. C. S. A.
A list Of the names of the Confederate dead buried in Norfolk, whose graves are cared for by Pickett-Buchanan Camp, Confederate Veterans, wrapped in a Confederate battle flag used in decorating graves, prepared by P. C. J. W. Thomas. Jr., Chairman Cemetery Committee.
A piece of Spanish money. "one peseta." from the Spanish in man-of-war Maria Teresa, by P. M. Isaac Mortis.
Fac simile of Confederate seal by C. F. Greenwood.
Badge of Lee monument unveiling statue of R. E. Lee, Richmond, Va., May 29th. 1890.
DR. TUCKER'S POEM.
A poem entitled "Let Us Guild the Monument," by the Rev. Beverly D. Tucker, D. D., chaplain Pickett-Buchanan Camp, Confederate Veterans, Grand Chaplain Grand Camp of Virginia.
Articles deposited by Major A. Myers: Copper cents, 1861 and 1865; $50 Confederate note, vignette of Jefferson Davis thereon: $20 Confederate note, vignette of Alexander Stephens thereon: $20 State of North Carolina note, vignette of Zebulon B. Vance thereon; $10 Confederate note, with poem printed on back: Masonic card, vignette thereon; thirty-ninth annual statement of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, containing names of officers and directors.
MR. COUPER PRESENTED.
During the ceremonies Mr. J. D. Couper, who designed the monument, was presented to the Worshipful Master by a committee composed of Past Master M. C. Keeling, L. D. Starke, Sr., and John Walters.
THE WORK ACCEPTED.
Past Masters B. A. Marsden, J. B. Wright, W. T. Core, W. A. Edwards, and the marshal, were appointed a committee to notify Commander Geo. M. Todd, of Pickett-Buchanan Camp, Confederate Veterans, that the stone of the monument about to be erected to commemorate the virtues of the soldiers and sailors of the Confederate states, had been laid, and requested him to descend and examine the work, and if approved to receive it from the hands of the Masons.
Commander Todd made an appropriate speech, accepting the stone. At the conclusion of the ceremonies the Confederate Veterans escorted the Masons back to their temple.
The monument will be a beautiful granite shaft, made from the best Vermont stone. The height, will be 66 feet, without the bronze figure. It was designed by Mr. J. D. Couper, whose plans were accepted in competition with a number of distinguished artists. It will be twenty-five feet at the base. On the die will be engraved in the stone the Confederate flag; on the opposite side of the monument a bronze seal of the Confederate States will be set into the stone. The proportions of the monument are said to be excellent, and the carving of a high order.
This granite column will cost $13,000 and the money is already in hand to pay for it.
When the necessary money is raised it is proposed to place on cap-stone of the monument a bronze figure about 10 feet tall, which will make the total height 76 feet. The designers contemplated placing four bronze figures on the corners of the base, but this idea had to be abandoned for want of funds.
The list of the subscribers, which was published in the Virginian-Pilot, shows that only a limited number of people contributed to the Monument Fund, and that the enterprise has been in progress thirty years. It is thought however, that when the shaft Is erected that the loyal veterans and their friends will find a way of raising the money required to buy the bronze figures. The monument will, however, be one of the handsomest in the Stale.
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 2, number 123, 23 February 1899.