(Editors' Note: The following coverage story was published in the "Journal and Banner" on June 6, 1911, three days after a dedication ceremony was held for Cleveland's Confederate monument. It is being reprinted today by the Cleveland Daily Banner, verbatim as originally published without any editing, in hopes that it might provide context for the ongoing debate regarding the statue's modern-day future in downtown Cleveland. Blank spaces occurring in the text represent words that were not legible in the electronic copy.)
Confederate decoration day was made memorable in Cleveland this year because of the exercises incident to the unveiling of the handsome Confederate monument at the junction of Ocoee and Lea Streets. The unveiling followed the decoration day exercises proper, when a program of unusual interest and merit was carried out in the presence of a very large crowd. The boys who wore the blue as well as those who wore the gray were present in good numbers and the decorations-the Stars and Stripes and a tattered and torn Confederate flag or two and a profusion of flowers were features of the exercises. The principal address was made by Col. W.A. Henderson of Washington, D.C., chief counsel for the Southern railway. Dr. David Sullins spoke briefly as chaplain of the local Jefferson Davis chapter Daughters of the Confederacy, while Mayor Charles B. Mayfield acted as master of ceremonies. Mr. Mayfield was especially felecitious (sic) in his introductory address and in the brief introduction of each speaker.
The unveiling was done by Mrs. O.A. Knox and Mrs. W.C. Nevin and the monument was decorated by young girls representing each of the states of the Confederacy. A quartette consisting of Messrs. W.C. Nevin and O.A. McLain and Mrs. J.E. Johnston and Miss Mary Stuart sang “Tenting To-Night,” the prayer was made by Rev. John R. Herndon and the Rev. J.A. Whitener pronounced the benediction.
The monument was hewn from Elberton gray granite, is 28 feet high and the base is 12 feet square. It is surmounted to the figure of a private solder and cost close to $3,000. The ____ _____ ____ one and is an ornament to any city. While such monuments are common throughout the South, it is said to be the first erected in any city of East Tennessee. Following the exercises a picnic dinner was served to the Confederate soldiers, those who had a part in the city and their families and to the band boys and the ushers.
Prior to the exercises the old soldiers of both sides in the late conflict met and about 40 Confederates and half as many Federal soldiers marched from the public square to the site of the unveiling to martial music furnished by the boys band under the leadership of Prof. W.E. Ramsey. This was an inspiring scene and a most touching one as well.
So far as the report of the Journal and Banner could learn their names the following soldiers were present: Confederate-I.J. Stamper, commander; W.H. Patterson, adjutant; G.W. Smith, A.D. Hutton, J. Wade, S.P. Godfrey, J.H. Long, A.K. Alley, John G. Carter, G.R. Hatcher, M.V. Jones, M.M. Earnest, W.O. Shugart, A.J. Williams, ___ Shugart, G.W. Lawson, G.M. Kelley, J.M. Kelley, J.M. Culton, A.H.C. McCay, W.M. Brackett, H.J. Humphries, C. Apperson, D.W. Rymer, G.W. Wheeler, Dr. D. Sullins, Jacob Gatlin, J.A. Kinser, M.W. Mitchel, Isaac Griffin, Tom P. McMillin, Jacob Bowman, Jefferson Vaughn, J.H. Stamper, J.E.C. Easterly, W.C. Barnett, W.F. Barrett and John K. Rogers.
Federal-H.N. Rogers, N.B Hicks, Geo. W. Johnson, David Mahan, G.T. Denton, C. Maddox, W.W. Climer, Frank Edgerton, W.H. Kemp, E.W. Markin, Jesse Pirkle, James Moses, J.O.A. Still, G.W. Jarvis, D.H. Talley and S.H. Humberd.
Mayor Mayfields’ Address
In his address Mayor Charles S. Mayfield spoke as follows:
“My friends, at last the Confederate monument is a reality; and I am sure that whatever your sentiments may be, or whatever your birthplace may have been, that as loyal citizens of Cleveland and as lovers of the beautiful you will glory with us in this achievement. Naturally, we of the Southland are much elated that this splendid tribute is offered on memory of and in honor of those noble heroes who battled through the great struggle so valiantly for country and for home.
“It has not been an easy task for Jefferson Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, to build this monument. It has meant toil, sacrifices and many rebuffs. There have been disappointments, cares and cruel criticisms; but now that it is finished, and is about to be unveiled in all its magnificence, the effort makes the sentiment the sweeter and the tribute the grander.
“This monument is not erected in malice or in anger and nothing connected with it is meant as a reflection on the honor, bravery or heroism of any soldier of the North. It is erected in tearful memory and loving gratitude to our fathers. Representing the Daughters of the Confederacy, I especially want to thank our friends who fought for and those whose sympathies were with the Union for their presence here this morning. We appreciate the breadth of mind that brings you. This monument was largely made possible by the earnest efforts and unremitting toll of a son of the North; and the work of such men as W.C. Nevin, and the help and sympathy of such good people as you have done more to wipe out the bitterness of sectionalism than anything else has done or ever will do. The ranting of petty politicians and dirty demogogues (sic), like senator Heyburn of Idaho, or Foraker of Ohio, has kept the South too much inflamed, but remember that we were stung by corrupt and unjust insults, heaped upon the memory of our dead. We are not a docile people, and if you wave the red flag at us we will charge and if you prod us we will fight, but if you meet us in a spirit of friendliness, and extend to us the hand of sympathy, and say to us: “The soldiers of our army were heroes and the soldiers of your army were heroes. There was much of good and some of wrong in our cause; and there was much of good and some of wrong in your cause. We love and honor your veterans.”-then will we spring to meet you with open arms and subscribe to your every sentiment. Thank God the best people of the North and the best people of the South have so met for many years; and today the offspring of the wearers of the blue and the worthy sons and daughters of Dixie have torn resentment from their breasts and have turned their backs upon the horrors of the past, standing together looking to the East at the golden dawn of the future’s day, with hands clasped together is a bond of unity and union that no nation can shatter and no cause can crush.
“To those veterans of the Confederacy who yet can hear with mortal ears, I would say that his shaft is erected in honor of you and your comrades. The expressions upon it are not all that we feel, but feeble words are insufficient to tell of our love, our admiration, our gratitude. But in every Southern heart there is another tribute to you, graven upon the lasting tablets of love, too delicate and too fine for mortal ears or mortal minds, that can only be understood and known to the Celectial (sic) Corps of the Confederacy.
“We hope that you will be permitted to linger with us long, but when you are called “To cross over the river and lie in the shade on the other side,” you may go with the realization that those of us who are left will tell the coming generations of your valorous deeds and courageous struggles, and your memory will be even more enduring than this seemingly ever lasting shaft of granite.”
At this point Mr. Mayfield announced the unveiling of the monument, saying:
“There are two ladies with us in whose veins flows the proud blood of the South. Their forefathers fought and bled for the greatness and preservation of the Confederacy. Mrs. O.A. Knox and Mrs. W.C. Nevin will now unveil the monument.”
Here the thirteen young girls decorated the base of the monument, the state and the girl representing it being as follows.
Texas, Irene Knox.
Tennessee, Gertrude Steed.
North Carolina, Grace Milne.
South Carolina, Alpha Anderson.
Missouri, Gertrude Shultz.
Georgia, Willie Knox.
Alabama, Mary Belle Knox.
Virginia, Anna Templeton.
Arkansas, Grace West.
Louisiana, Zelma Davis.
Florida, Charlie Toliver.
Mississippi, Francis Hardwick.
Kentucky, Isabel Hall.
In introducing Col. Henderson Mr. Mayfield said: “We have all heard of typical Southern gentlemen, of their loyalty, gentleness, courage and courtly manners. Nothing could be more appropriate than that we should have one of them deliver the principal address on this occasion. It gives me very great pleasure to introduce to you Col. W.A. Henderson a typical Southern gentleman.”
Col. Henderson’s Address
By way of introducing his address Col. Henderson expressed his pleasure on being able to be present on the occasion and complimented the ladies on the results of their efforts. He said he was going to do some plain talking and declared he had no use for those who talked wildly and excitedly about the war and the causes leading up to it. Col. Henderson denounced the demogogues (sic) in both the North and the South. “We have ‘em on our side,” said he, addressing himself to the Confederates,” and you have ‘em on the other side,” declared the speaker addressing the Federal soldiers present. “only a few days ago at Little Rock,” said the speaker, “I heard a preacher declare that Lincoln was the cause of the war. Such a statement is out of place for a Southern soldier to make and it isn’t true. We were rebels; I’m a rebel and I’m glad I’ve been pardoned.” Here Col. Henderson said the word “rebel” was often used as a term of reproach and cited the meanings that once attached to such terms as Whig Christian and gave ot6her examples of this. “We rebelled in 1861 but the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the constitution of the United States wiped that out and we’re just as good citizens and just as loyal to the flag as the best of you on the other side.”
Col. Henderson then spoke of the evil effects of slavery upon the South: “It was an incubus upon the South, wrong in morals, wrong in intellect and wrong in business. The South really won, because we’ve made more out of this war than the North. We’re growing great and we’re glad we’re done with slavery. Why, my friends, it takes more cars to move the products of Birmingham, Alabama, than to move the entire cotton crop. We lost our slaves but the South has gained a great volume of business and we’re gaining all the time.”
Col. Henderson digressed many times from his main theme to pay a compliment to the heroism and courage of those who fought on the other side. He said he wanted it understood that the true soldiers on each side honored and respected their opponents on the other side of the great war. “There were just as good soldiers on one side as on the other,” said he. “Many times I felt that there were too many on the other side,” was on(e) (sic) of his many humorous statements. At another time Col. Henderson excited the risibles (sic) of his hearers by declaring his great respect for Gen Grant. “Why,” said he, “Grant was the only general on the other side who could take 200,000 men and whip Bob Lee and his 50,000 men.” At another point in his address Col. Henderson said: “I’ve run the enemy a good many times-and (whispering) the enemy run me a good many more times.”
The Cleveland Monument
Col. Henderson said he was glad a monument had been erected in Cleveland; that so far as he knew it was the first in East Tennessee. He called attention to the fact that a private soldier sacrificed most and bore the brunt of the fighting. He was especially happy in his references to the heroism and self-sacrificing spirit of the women of the South. He said there were more than 100 such monuments in the south and all had been built by the women. Many times during his address Col. Henderson’s remarks were applauded.
Dr. Sullins’ Address
In introducing Dr. David Sullins, Mr. Mayfield said: “There is present a very venerable old gentleman, whom we all love, respect and admire; and none more so because he happened to be in the Confederate army. I wouldn’t dare to introduce a man who is so well and so intimately known, so I will merely ask Dr. Sullins to talk to you.”
Dr. Sullins began his address by saying the ladies had erected the monument at an expense of about $3,000 and as Col. Henderson had said it was the first such monument in East Tennessee. He said he was present at the first meeting ever held by the ladies who constitute the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. He was also present when the chapter was finally organized and he said he knew the feelings and the motive of the ladies. It was simply their desire to build a monument to the virtue, the courage, the heroism and the gentleness of the fathers, brothers and sweethearts of the Southern army. “We don’t want to offend anyone,” said he, “our soldiers were good and true men-good fathers, good brothers, good sons-was there nothing in their lives that we should cherish? When these boys kissed their mothers and sisters, wives and sweethearts good bye they went to fight for their homes and rights as they saw the issues from their point of view and in doing so they displayed real courage, true devotion and patriotism and now today we want to unveil this monument to them and commemorate their good qualities-that’s all.”
“But won’t it embody the bitterness of that strife?” the speaker said someone would ask. “No, not if our true motives and feelings are understood.” I believe the boys in blue here today understand me and if it wasn’t that I’m going to leave this monument for the ladies to care for, I’d leave it in the hands of those boys over yonder (pointing to the boys in blue). Let us remember that there were virtues under the coats of the men who wore the blue and under the boats of the men who wore the gray. Let us remember their virtues and build monuments to them.”
This latter sentiment lead many Confederates and their friends to remark during the serving of the dinner that if a movement is ever started to build in Cleveland a monument to those who wore the blue that the ladies who built the Confederate monument and the Confederate soldiers and their friends will be the first to give it their aid and sympathy and financial support.
A BIT OF HISTORY CONCERNING MONUMENT
Mrs. J.H. Hardwick first conceived the idea of organizing a chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Cleveland in 1905, and on April 15th Mrs. A.H. Chambers and Mrs. Vandyke of Chattanooga came to Cleveland and organized the chapter at the home of Mrs. Hardwick with thirty seven charter members. The ladies unanimously elected Mrs. Hardwick president of the organization, and re-elected her for five consecutive years.
The erection of a Confederate monument was first proposed by Mrs. Hardwick, and it is due chiefly to her efforts and untiring energy,
Mr. W.C. Nevin, a native of Pittsburg, Pa., whose relatives served in the Union army, was very active in helping to raise the money for the monument.
Mrs. O.A. Knox was also very active and efficient in raising the necessary amount for the monument and Mrs. C.L. Hardwick, Sr., has been the largest personal contributor to the monument fund.
The McNeel Marble Company of Marietta, Ga., were given the contract for making the monument. It was completed a year ago and shipped to Cleveland before a suitable site had been obtained for it.
An interesting item is that on Wednesday morning May 31st, Dr. D. Sullins and Col. John G. Carter, the two oldest members of the John D. Traynor Camp, were present when the box was placed in the base of the monument.
At the request of Mrs. J.E. Johnston, president of the J.D. Chapter, they wrote their signatures, the date of their birth and the official capacity in which they served during the war. Mrs. Johnston then wrote out a statement that they were present the 31st day of May when the box was sealed and placed in the monument and Dr. Sullins, the chaplain of the Jefferson Davis chapter, placed it with his own hands. Dr. Sullins is 84 years old and Col. Carter is 88. Mr. Carter came to Cleveland in Nov. 1838. He says that so far as he knows there is only one person in Cleveland who was here when he came. That is Mr. James Harle who was born in March 1838.