From the Richmond Dispatch, 5/18/1871, p. 1, c. 4
HOLLYWOOD MEMORIAL DAY.
THE ANNUAL DECORATION OF SOLDIERS’ GRAVES.
NO SUSPENSION ON ACCOUNT OF THE RAIN.
A General Observance of the Day.
The weather yesterday was not as favorable as could have been desired for the memorial exercises at Hollywood, but notwithstanding the rain there was a large concourse of persons on the ground – the only difference between this and the last memorial day, so far as the crowd was concerned, being that on this occasion there were many more in carriages, and fewer pedestrians. One result of the dampness is not to be deplored – families were not able to mar the solemnity of the occasion by pic-nicing among the graves. Those who went out in spite of the prospect of rain, or while the rain was coming down, were generally persons intent only upon the payment of a tribute of affection to the dead.
EARLY IN THE MORNING
The young gentlemen appointed by the military companies to assist the ladies in the execution of their programme were on the ground, and discharged their duties faithfully. Never have there been more flowers sent out especially for the soldiers graves, and never have the bouquets been more judiciously distributed. A careful examination failed to bring to light a single grave that had bene neglected. Each section shared alike, and the scattering graves were in every instance sought out and decorated. Not far from the entrance nearest the terminus of the city railway was an object that attracted much attention. It was a bust of
GEN. ROBERT E. LEE,
Executed by Mr. E. V. Valentine, of this city. It was draped with a Confederate flag, and placed upon the protection of a beautiful shelter-tent, formed by boughs of evergreen, interspersed with flowers. On either side of the opening in the tent, if such it may be called, was a sheet of paper, on which was inscribed an appropriate selection of poetry.
THE MEMORIAL PILE
was, as usual, crowned with a wreath. Who it was that accomplished the rather dangerous task of climbing the rocky pyramid to place the flowers on the apex, we were unable to learn. We may remark, in passing, that the vines planted at the base of the pile grow slowly, and it will probably be many a long day before it presents the appearance intended by its accomplished designer. On the eastern declivity of the hill adorned by the Memorial Pile we find the spot where lie the reinterred remains of the dead of Fort Harrison, and the South Carolina dead brought hither from Arlington. Two graves suffice for these honored bones, and each is marked by a substantial granite block.
THE GRAVE OF A VIVANDIERE.
The burial-place of Catherine K. Hodges is now marked by an enduring tablet inscribed with her name and that of her company and regiment. She was a vivandiere attached to Company K, Fifth Louisiana volunteers. The Fifth was not much on a dress-parade, but could be relied on in a fight, and, report says, Catherine Hodges was a brave and as patriotic as any man in the regiment. Her grave is among those of her comrades, and on yesterday received its share of flowers at the hands of the women of Richmond.
One of the most
Noticed in our ramble through the cemetery late last evening was that at the last resting-place of the Pegrams. An arch of evergreen united the two graves, and upon it was the inscription: “Dulce est pro patria mori.” Beneath the arch were flowers freely scattered, and others wrough into bouquets and various appropriate shapes, among which a cross and crown were conspicuous.
The graves of General J. E. B. Stuart, General A. P. Hill, Captain O. Jennings Wise, Captain Fred. Carter, Lieutenant Peyton Johnston, and other prominent officers received the usual profuse attentions, and the grave of no Richmond boy escaped tasteful decoration. To describe these would be but to repeat what has been written in these columns for three successive memorial days. We have but two more to notice. The first is the grave of General J. C. C. Saunders, of Alabama, who commanded a brigade in Mahone’s division and fell in 1865. Although out of the way, it was visited by many who knew and loved him, and was covered with flowers. The grave of Colonel Walter Harrison, who lies near Stuart, was tastefully decorated, and above it was the inscription: “The Kingdom of Heaven is Open to All Believers.”
GRAVES OF CIVILIANS.
As is always the case on such occasions, flowers were not brought to the cemetery for the soldiers alone. There were other departed loved ones who could not be overlooked. Hence other graves were decorated, and in one or two conspicuous instances the decoration was not confined to simple bouquets or wreaths. Over the grave of Dr. Jas. Bolton appeared an arch with the inscription, “Risen with Christ to Appear with Him in Glory.” The elegant monument above the remains of Dr. Lawrence Waring, “the friend of the suffering poor,” was beautifully festooned, and at its base there was a perfect mound of flowers. Dr. J. B. Brock’s grave was also handsomely decorated by the hand of affection; and the same be said of Bishop Meade’s monument. The lot in which Col. Jas. R. Branch is buried was the most beautifully adorned of all in the cemetery, all that wealth and taste can do, under the guidance of affection, having been done to make it attractive.
MILITARY COMPANIES ON THE GROUND.
About noon, two of the volunteer companies of this city visited the cemetery in a body, headed by Smith’s band. These organizations were “Company F,” Captain M. T. Clarke, and the “Sidney Grays,” Captain Albert Ordway. They presented a soldierly appearance on the street, and nearly every man in the line bore in his hand a bouquet for a soldier’s grave. Later in the day a detachment of the Walker Light Guard, Captain L. L. Bass commanding, made their appearance on the ground, and visited the soldiers’ section. All the volunteer companies but two sent committees to assist the ladies in the distribution of flowers.
GENERAL GEORGE W. RANDOLPH.
The Howitzers remembered with a proud and grateful affection the many high services of the first great Captain, General George W. Randolph, and sent up by express a beautiful wreath of evergreens and white flowers to be placed upon his grave on memorial day. It was a most appropriate tribute to his memory, thus to include the sacred spot in the shadow of our own Hollywood, where lie so many of his brave men. It is in the burying-place at Monticello, Albemarle county, but the side of his grand-father, Thomas Jefferson.
VISITORS FROM PETERSBURG.
The Richmond and Petersburg railroad brought over eight car-loads of ladies and gentlemen to visit Hollywood. On their way they stopped at Rice’s Turnout and decorated the graves of the Confederate soldiers there. They also brought a great many flowers to Hollywood, and the contributions were gratefully received by the ladies of the association.
At various points in the soldiers’ section boxes were placed, under the supervision of policemen, for the reception of contributions towards defraying the expense of removing the remains of the Confederate dead now lying at Gettysburg and Arlington Heights to Hollywood. We are glad to learn that the amount realized was considerable. It was not, however, more than half what it would have been had not the rain necessitated the early removal of the boxes. Person in or out of the city who are disposed to forward this good cause may yet do so by forwarding the amount they can spare to Mrs. E. H. Brown, secretary, at the Central Presbyterian office.
THANKS TO COMMITTEEMEN.
We are requested to publish the following gratifying communication:
“The Board of Managers of the Hollywood Memorial Association return their grateful thanks to the young gentlemen of the Committee of Arrangements for their efficient aid on memorial day. Of such sons Virginia may well be proud; for by their gentlemanly bearing, their untiring energy, and their gallant attentions to the vistors, they proved themselves worthy successors to their brave comrades whose death were commemorated in the memorial offerings.
E. H. BROWN,
Sec’y Hollywood Memorial Assoc’n”