Georgia Confederate Veterans' Association of Fulton County.

History, Confederate Veterans' Association, of Fulton County, Georgia (Volume 2) online

. (page 23 of 25)
Online LibraryGeorgia Confederate Veterans' Association of Fulton CountyHistory, Confederate Veterans' Association, of Fulton County, Georgia (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


scheme of establishing headquarters in New York, where the woes of our poor and
brave heroes should be retailed, and a collection taken up for their benefit, and we
have less now than ever.

"The appeal has been circulating for more than a month in New York. Public
meetings have been held, and great speeches made on both sides, illustrious Union
Generals have written letters indorsing the charity. Committees have reported and
have traversed the streets of New York, and invested the offices of business men. A
many times millionaire, with an income of a half million a year, is chairman of the
receiving committee. And yet, after all this beseeching, and all this parade, the
millionaire chairman announces that only $1,500 has been paid into his hands.

"Come home, Major Joe Stewart ! Disband your committee, withdraw your
appeal, and let our old soldiers retire once more into the seclusion from which they
had better never been drawn. Come home, Major ! The people of Georgia pay
annually over $3,000,000 as their share of the taxes from which the soldiers of the
Union army are pensioned, and they do not complain. Out of their poverty this
goes from free and willing hands, and they have enough left to take care of their
own veterans who are dependent and disabled. Come home, Major Stewart, and
let us take our heroes to our own hearts, and wear them there, never to be paraded
again with their limping gait, their poor wounds, and their shabby raiment, through
the lines of strangers, of whom charity is begged for their behalf! Somehow or
other, God bless them, we will manage to make their way to the grave gentle and
tranquil; and, though their comforts may be scant and their pleasures few, at least
their feet shall not be led into humiliation. Come home, Major ! In no resentment,
but in self-respect, let us withdraw the appeal, and hush the piteous story. These
men fought in honor — let them not be set on the curbstones of distant Babylon to



180

stir the pity of their ancient enemies, or catch the crumbs of a passing charity.
Come home, and come with our thanks and our gratitude for what you have sought
to do."

Reflecting over the above, the Constitution has this to add :

"Not for any consideration would it put one straw in the way of any movement
for the good of Confederate soldiers. Their poverty has long weighed on our mind,
and the lack of provision made for the dependent and destitute among them has
been a reproach to our people. We cannot, however, remain silent under the daily
tragedy of begging that is going on in New York. If it had met with instant and
spontaneous answer, that gave more in kindliness and sympathy than in money, it
might have been well enough. But it has dragged to an extent that makes further
importuning out of the question. Texas has more idle money in her treasury than
any State in the Union, North or South, and we do nut believe she will justify the
prolonging of this painful spectacle.

"But we need Confederate homes ! In every State there are men wearing hon-
orable scars, who are poor and helpless. The 'Lee Camp' home, at Richmond, is
overcrowded. It is our sacred duty to provide for our heroes. The North has done
it by law. Let us do it with love ! As long as our veterans wander homeless in
our land, or are forced to beg for help from the men they fought, every costly monu-
ment that rises above the graves of our dead is a reproach instead of an honor !

"We must build a Confederate home in Georgia ! We must build it at once !
We must show that Georgia's heart beats true to the men who suffered in her cause,
and that she will take them to her heart ! The Constitution will take the matter in
hand and appeal to the people. We can easily push it to a success ! It must be
done ! We have never failed in any worthy enterprise, and of all we have under-
taken this is the worthiest and best !

"We start the subscription list for 'The Georgia Confederate Home' as follows :
The Constitution Publishing Company, $1,000 ; and we shall not rest night or day
until this list is finished, the money raised, the home started, and established in the
love of our people ! Every morning we shall print the list of subscribers. Who
will be first to subscribe? The best plan of a home is to secure about loo acres
near Atlanta, build a home for about $25,000, beautify the ground, make it a place
of honor and comfort, and open wide its gates to receive in love and sympathy, any
and every old soldier who has given the strength of his life to Georgia ! It will not
require over $50,000 to do the whole work. Shall we not get this in a week ?

"Subscriptions of any amount will be received. Let the rich give from their
bounty, and the poor from their poverty. Let every man and woman give some-
thing, and let us have in to-morrow's Constitution a list that will show the world
that Georgia loves her heroes, and that she is able to take care of them. There will
be no committee to canvass or beg.

"That subscriptions will be made by Northern men to the home, is no less admi-
rable than undoubted. Such subscriptions will be all the more appreciated that they
are spontaneous, and that they grace an enterprise already established in our own
self-reliance and sense of duty.

"There will be no committee to canvass or beg. Send in your names and your
subscriptions. The subscribers will elect a board of directors and call for the money
as it is needed ! Let us hear from every man who loves Georgia and honors the men
who fought for her."



181

The following day was Sunday, but in the twenty-four hours after Mr.
Grady's editorial had been published, $10,000 were subscribed, and the home
was a certainty. Such an immense number of replies came from every part of
the State that it was found necessary on Sunday, April 7th, to devote an entire
page of the Constitution to the letters and to the list of subscribers.

The page was headed "Let us Wear them in Our Hearts," and its effect
was to increase the enthusiasm and bring forth additional donations from every
town and country hamlet in Georgia.

The interest once aroused it was never allowed to flag. Each day the list
of additional subscribers was published, until, on the 16th of April, when the
first meeting of subscribers was held, $40,000 had been promised.

The first meeting was an important one. Several hundred gentlemen met
at the chamber of commerce for the purpose of organizing. On the motion of
D. M. Bain, Capt. E. P. Howell was called to the chair, and Mr. Edwards was
requested to act as secretary.

After speeches had been made by Captain Howell, Mr. Grady, anil Dr. J.
Win, Jones, Mr. Samuel Inman submitted the following resolutions, which were
unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the subscribers to the fund for the Confederate Home of Georgia
do now proceed to elect twenty-five directors, of whom thirteen shall be of the
county of Fulton, and twelve from the State at large, and in addition to these 25 so
elected, the Governor of Georgia and the Mayor of the city nearest the home
shall be ex-officio members of said board, making twenty-seven directors in all.

Resolved, That said board of directors for the Confederate Home of Georgia
shall procure at once a charter for the Confederate Home Association of the State of
Georgia, and when so secured shall call the subscribers of this fund together in con-
vention and effect a permanent and legal organization ; but, in the meantime, said
board of directors are authorized to go forward at once and collect subscriptions,
make rules for the government of their body, select a site for permanent buildings,
and begin the erection of buildings if in their judgment they deem best ; and said
board is hereby empowered to act in any and all matters pertaining to the Confeder-
ate Home for Georgia, and its interests and welfare, and the subscribers to the fund
hereby authorize and ratify such action.

Chairman Howell appointed as the committee of five Messrs. M. ('. Kiser,
W. L. Calhoun, Dr. Spalding, Judge W. T. Newman, and D. M. Bain. It
was also decided that the members of the committee should be directors.

The committee work resulted in the board of directors being composed of—

From Atlanta— K W Grady, M C Kiser, S M Inman, W L Calhoun, W A
Wright, J W English, E F Howell, R D Spalding, George Hillyer, T L Langston,
Amos Fox, W D Ellis, J S Todd, D M Bain, Judge W T Newman.

Slate at Large — Gen C A Evans, Augusta; T Gunby Jordan, Columbus; Col W
H Ross, Macon; W W Gordon, Savannah ; R K Reaves, Athens ; T E Massengale,
Norwood; Gen Phil Cook, Americus; W M Towers, Rome; Richard Hobbs, Albany;
A M Foute, Cartersville; M T Smith, Buford.

On Thursday, April 18th, the first meeting of the board of directors was held
and Mr A L Cutts of Americus, and Mr Nelson Tift of Albany, were unanimously
elected to serve as directors.



182

A committee was appointed to report on organization, and it was decided by
them to immediately elect a president, a treasurer, a secretary, and twelve vice-pres-
idents, one from each congressional district, and two from the State at large.

The election resulted in the choice of Mr. Grady as president, Mr. Paul Romare
as treasurer, and Capt. W. H. Harrison as secretary. It was also decided to name
the new enterprise "The Confederate Soldiers' Home of Georgia."

Since the first meeting every effort has been made to push the home to a speedy
completion.

At the second meeting of the directors, which was held on May loth, a com-
mittee was appointed to draw up a charter, and another committee on location was
authorized to purchase the Shultz place near Grant's Park.

On June i, the directors again met, to accept the charter and the deed of the
Shultz estate, and on the 6th of June they went in a body to see the property and
choose the site where the home is now located.

At a meeting which was held on September loth, the first plans for a building
were considered, and it was decided to spend $25,000 in its erection.

On the 21st of January, the saddest meeting ever held took place. The untimely
death of Mr. Grady was formally announced to the directors, and it became their
duty to elect his successor.

Judge W. L. Calhoun was chosen to fill the place, and he has carried the good
work on with such excellent judgment that the success of the home is assured.

At the same meeting which elected Judge Calhoun Mr. Grady's successor, the
designs made by Bruce & Morgan were accepted, and the contract was let to Austin
& Boyleston.

The last meeting of the board was held on the 26th of March, and at that time
Treasurer Romare reported that he had received $3 1.902. 1 2, that he had expended
$19,056 21, and he had on hand $12,845 9 1 - Besides these amounts there are yet
a large number of uncollected subscriptions, amounting to nearly $10,000.

By the first day of August it will be ready to offer an asylum to the old soldiers.
Already Captain Harrison is receiving numerous inquiries as to the regulations
which will govern its management.

If the veterans are allowed to take their wives to the Home, as it was first in-
tended for them to do, many old veterans will find a comfortable resting place in
which to pass their declining years. Without this permission, however, few of the
veterans will be willing to leave the wives who have borne the adversity of many
years with them to the trials of the world, and seek there a comfortable refuge for
themselves.

LAYING THE CORNEB STONE.

The corner stone was placed with appropriate ceremonies <>n Memorial
Day, 1890, by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Georgia.

The hour for the laying <>l' the cornerstone was purposely appointed early
in the day in order in give everybody an opportunity to be present, and yel to
return to the citj in time to lake pari in the memorial services al theopera
house, and appear in the procession.

Very early in the morning a crowd collected al the terminus of the dummy



183

line, and as fast as the cars arrived they were boarded with a rush, and those
who were slow of motion had hut a poor chance of obtaining even standing
room .

The Constitution, of April 27th, gives us an account of the ceremonies at
the Home, as follows :

By the time the carriages, containing the officials, reached the Home, an
immense crowd had gathered to witness the ceremonies.

The building is still surrounded by scaffolds. Every projection, which
afforded a foothold, was occupied by the venturesome lads and men who were
willing to risk their necks for a position from which they could see.

Immediately in front of the southeast corner of the building a stage had
been erected, and the crowd passed the waiting moments in examining the
stone.

What they saw was a fine white marble stone, four feet square, with a sar-
cophagus chiseled out of its center. On one side were the words :

Confederate Soldiers' Home of Georgia, erected through contribu-
tions from the people, inspired by love for the surviving and dis-
abled Confederate heroes. Anno Domini, 1890.

On the other side was carved :

CORNER STONE LAID

BY

JOHN S. DAVIDSON,

GRAND MASTER F. AND A. M. OF GEORGIA,

April 26th, A. D., 1890.

Early in the day an organ had been brought to the grounds, and just as
the carriages containing the officers drove up, it was taken to the platform and
placed a little to one side, where it left an unobstructed view of the corner stone.

As soon as all the carriages were emptied, and the Generals and Trustees of
the Home had obtained positions from whicii to view the ceremonies, Judge
Calhoun, President of the Home, went to the platform with the quartette,
composed of Messrs. Eugene Hardeman. J. W. Lively, F. H. Gates, and F. M.
Fremont.

When he saw that everything was prepared he went again to the road, and
returned escorting Grand Master John S. Davidson, and the other Masonic dig-
nitaries, in the following order:

John S. Davidson, grand master; Wm. Abram Love, deputy grand mas-
ter; Thomas W Latham; senior grand warden; John Z. Lawshe, junior grand
warden; J. W. Oslin; grand treasurer; A. M. Wolihin. grand secretary; Rev.
H. C. Morrison, grand chaplain; Trammed .Starr, senior grand deacon; \Y. T.
Kimsey, junior grand deacon; W. F. Parkhurst, grand marshal; A. C. Bruce,
grand architect; John P. Parks, first grand steward; A. II. Christ, second g;and
steward; W. L. Hubbard, bearer of corn; A. W. Fite, bearer of wine; \Y. A.
Tignor, bearer of oil; A J. Shropshire, bearer three great lights; Jay I). Ed-
wards, grand tyler.

While thd officers were arranging themselves in line on the platform, Mr.
Hardeman played a solemn march. The secret societies then marched on to



184

the ground, and formed a column four deep in front of the stage. Back of
the Masons stood the crowd. Packed tightly, they stretched down the hill and
off among the trees, far beyond the point where the voice of any man could
reach.

Near the stage, in a sheltered corner, sat a lady in deep mourning. She
was the mother of Henry W. Grady, the man who, above all others, would,
had he lived, been truly happy to witness the fruition of his efforts for the
needy Veterans of the Confederacy.

The impressive ceremony of the Masons was used, and after a beautiful
prayer by the Grand Chaplain, Rev. H. C. Morrison, the quartette sang a hymn.

IN THE CORNER STONE.

The following articles were then deposited in the cavity of the. stone:

One Confederate bill by W. M. Ragsdale, and one bill of the Bank of the
Empire State.

Five-cent bill of the Bank of Athens by J. J. Bacon.

A chessman made by Mr. Capers, of Cobb's Legion, while a prisoner at
Fort Delaware.

Names of the members of Hook and Ladder Company.

Immortelle from the coffin of the late Henry W. Grady.

Three coins by Robert Winship.

Old Confederate haversack by W. P. Robertson. Confederate bills by
the same.

Confederate bill by F. M. Hestley.

Battered minnie ball, picked up on Kennesaw Mountain, by Mr. Cahill.

Plans submitted to Gen. R. E. Lee, how to utilize the negroes in war, by
the Forty-ninth Georgia Regiment.

A $10 Confederate bill by W. A Stewart.

Constitution of the Confederate Veterans' Association, of Fulton county,
and a list of officers.

A copy of the Rebel, published in 1862, in Chattanooga, Tenn., by L. L.
Parham,

Photographs of President Davis and Henry W. Grady, by C. W. Motes.

"The Southern Cross," a war song, by T. M. Harkins.

Pocket book by W. T. Nash.

A spur made from a cannon captured at the first battle of Manassas, and
worn by Gen. Longstreet, by (Jen. Longstreet.

Letters from President Davis and Varina Howell Davis, by Sidney Root.

A $1,000 Confederate bill by John Tyler Cooper.

A pockel diary, taken from a dead soldier. July 22, 1864, near Atlanta, by
W R, Walker.

Original manuscripl of Admiral Raphael Semmes, and incidents of the
war, by Mrs. Stainbaek Wilson.

Programme of Memorial Day. 1870, by A. W. Dozier.

\ $1,000 Confederate lull by r.. R. Whitfield.

A petition to Dr. .1. MeF. Gaston from ladies while he was medical direc-
tor ai Manassas Junction

A copy of the Atlanta Constitution, and one or two other papers.



185

THE CEREMONIES.

When the articles were all deposited, Grand Master Davidson presented
each official in turn with the insignia of his office, and bade him try the stone.
Each one reported that the artisan had well and truly done his work.

The ceremony of pouring corn, wine, and oil was then performed, and
while the quartette sung the doxology, Grand Master Davidson struck the stone
three blows with his mallet.

The motions of the order were then performed by the Masons in front of
the platform, and by the officers The Grand Master read the formula, pro-
nouncing the cornerstone laid, and the ceremony closed with another prayer by
Dr. Morrison.

Just before the conclusion of the services the Knights Templar, in full re-
galia, arrived, and a place was made for them in front of the stage.

After a photograph of the corner stone had been taken, the crowd dispersed
and sought their conveyances to return to the city.

MEMORIAL SERVICES.

The account of the Memorial ceremonies is given by the Constitution, and
I take from it such portions as seem pertinent for this report.

The crowd arrived in the city all right, and by noon they began moving
toward Marietta street, and a half hour later the sidewalks and streets near the
old capitol and DeGive's Opera House were thronged.

The gathering was a happy one. Every window and balcony along Mari-
etta, Broad and Hunter was occupied by ladies and children anxious to see
General Johnston, the heroes who followed him, the young soldiers who vener-
ate his deeds of valor, and the ladies of the Memorial Association who annually
strew the graves of the dead warriors with beautiful flowers.

For a time the crowd rushed hither and thither over the street and side-
walks, each one striving for a good chance of observation.

Shortly after one o'clock Chief Connally, at the head of fifteen nrounted
police officers, opened a way through the crowd up Marietta street, and came
to halt in front of the opera house.

The squad presented a handsome appearance, and under the orders of Ad-
jutant Kendrick, deployed in fine style.

In a very few minutes they succeeded in clearing Marietta street from
Peachtree to Spring. Everybody was forced back to the sidewalk, and for a
half hour the street was empty, except for the mounted officers.

Ffteen minutes later W. L. Calhoun, President of the Confederate Veter-
ans' Association, accompanied by his staff, came up. He was mounted upon a
beautiful bay, which he rode gracefully. Along with the Colonel came Major
J. H. Ketner, Col Albert Howell, Mr. G. B. Adair, Dr. K. C. Divine, Capt.
James A. Anderson, Capt. Wm. M. Bray, Capt. O. C. Wilcoxson, of the Uni-
versity of Georgia, and Mr. P. L. Mynatt.

Col. Calhoun and his staff wore the regulation white hat and dark sash,
and presented a fine appearance.

Just before two o'clock the Confederate Veterans entered Marietta Street
from Broad, and marched towards the statehouse.



186

The Fulton County Veterans' Association were in advance, and with their
badges and high white hats, made a magnificent appearance.

The line moved up Marietta street to the opera house and, wheeling, came
down the street until the head of the column was near Broad. Then they took
a right face, and at parade rest, awaited the coming of General Johnston and
the orator.

In the line the Seventh Georgia Veterans followed the Fulton County Asso-
ciation, and then came soldiers from every county in the State, and every State
in the South, mixing and mingling in brotherly love. The line reached from
Broad to Spring street.

Strains of martial music came up Marietta street, and the Noreross band,
followed by the Moreland Park Cadets, appeared. They took position in line
near Broad street. Then behind them came a carriage, and as the carriage
passed in front of the line, every Veteran raised his hat and began to yell. It
was the old war-time cry.

The carriage drove to the entrance of the opera house and stopped. In it
were Hon. J. C. C. Black, the orator; Rev. Dr. Barnett, the Chaplain; Mrs.
Dr. Johnson, of the Ladies' Memorial Association, and Mrs. Percival, of Vir
ginia, sister to Gen. J. E. B. Stuart.

Dr. Barnett wore a military suit — the uniform of an artillery Chaplain, he
being the Chaplain of the Atlanta Artillery.

With many the uniform induced the belief that the minister was General
Johnston, and the carriage was quickly surrounded by veterans. The doctor,
however, gracefully showed them their mistake, and the way in which lie did
it won him cheer after cheer.

The carriage door was thrown open by Capt. Ellis, and Mr. Black stepped
out.

Then came Dr. Barnett, then Mrs. Johnson was assisted by the two gentle-
men, then Mrs. Percival.

Mrs. Percival and the Eon. .1. C. C. Black were followed by Dr. Barnett
and Mrs. Johnson as the quartette went up the opera house steps.

THE HEUO COM IS.

As the lirsi carriage drove away, the Governor's Horse Guard came up the
street forty strong, under command of Captain Miller.

The company was .-in escorl to the hero of the day. With the Governor's
Horse Guard came a carriage drawn by two large black horses. In that car-
riage was (Jen. Joseph E .lolinslon

The old hero sal upon the rear scat, and beside him was (Jen. Kirby Smith.
.Mrs. Colonel John Milledge and Mrs. Wise, of Virginia, widow of Henry A.
Wise, Jr., who was the sou of Governor Henry A. Wise, of Virginia.

The carriage was covered wilh llowers.

"That's Johnston! Thai's Johnston!" yelled some one.

Insiani]\ the Governor's Horse Guard horses and men were displaced by
the old battle scarred veterans.

The men who fought under I he hero surrounded 1 lie carriage They raised

ii "ii the paved street, and yelled themselves hoarse.



187

Words of love, praise and admiration were wafted to the hero's ears.
Hands pushed through the sides of the carriage and grasped the hands of the
man who defended Atlanta. The crowd grew and thickened.

Captain Ellis tried to disperse it, but could not. Then the police tried.
But the love of the old veterans was greater than the strength of both Captain
Ellis and Atlanta's police force; for ten minutes the carriage stood still.

Then, as it began to move, some one called out: "Take them horses
away!"

Almost instantly both horses were unhitched, and old veterans fought for
their places in the traces. Then the carriage began to move. Men who loved
the old soldier were pulling it.

Up Marietta street it went to the custom house, then it was turned back to-
wards the opera house.

The rattle of the drum and the roll of the music were drowned by the yell
of the old soldiers. They were wild, mad with joy. Their long pent-up love
for the old soldier had broken loose.

Just before the carriage reached the opera house door, a tall, bearded vet-
eran an a horse rode to the side. Shoving his hand through the open curtain,
he grasped the hand of General Johnston just as a veteran turned it loose. The
General looked up.

"General Johnston!" cried the veteran.

General Johnston continued to look up. His face showed a struggle. He
knew the horseman, but he could not call his name.

"Don't you know me, General? Don't you know me?" exclaimed the
horseman. In his voice there was almost agony.

"General Anderson, General," said Mrs. Milledge.

"Old Tige! Old Tige! Old Tige!"

The two men shook hands warmly. Tears were flowing down the cheeks
of both.

"Yes, Old Tige it is, General," said General Anderson, "and lie loves you


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 25

Online LibraryGeorgia Confederate Veterans' Association of Fulton CountyHistory, Confederate Veterans' Association, of Fulton County, Georgia (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 25)