Courant American May 25, 1899
May 25, 1899, Page 1
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What was conceded to be the largest crowd ever present on a similar occasion was that which gathered last Saturday at Cassville to participate in and witness the exercises of the annual decoration of the graves of confederate soldiers buried there.
The day was an ideal one; the sun’s effulgent beams, uninterrupted, from a clear sky, ascending like a blessed benediction over the impressive scenes of the occasion.
The exercises opened at 10:30 o’clock by prayer offered by Rev. Ed Dyer.
P. M. B. Young Camp of veterans, of this city, formed in a body nearly fifty strong, near the gate, and marched up in front of the speakers’ stand, where they broke ranks. They made an impressive show.
Judge John W. Akin, who was master of ceremonies for the day, introduced Rev. A. W. Bealer, the orator of the day, in a few appropriate words and Mr. Bealer delivered one of the most forceful and interesting addresses delivered in North Georgia in many a day. He said the question which brought on the war had been discussed and settled, but it is well to read the signs of the times, to know that the south has become the great conservative section of this republic….We would not re-enslave the negro if we could…
Judge Akin, on behalf of the Daughters of Confederacy, formally presented the three hundred headstones placed at the graves to the Ladies Memorial Society, and Prof. Searcy, on behalf of the Society accepted the same.
Miss Lillie Akin gave a beautiful and touching recitation on the Confederate Soldier.
Then came the solemn and beautiful work of placing the flowers on the graves by fair hands. No grave was neglected, the bright garlands remaining to tell their tale of southern devotion over each hero’s resting place.
In the afternoon, at the academy, Mrs. Hallie Rounsaville, the president of the Daughters of the Confederacy for Georgia, delivered an interesting address.
May 25, 1899, page 8
A Day At Cassville.
Mrs. Lillie Johnson Bradley, president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, complimented the members with a delightful drive from Cartersville to Cassville, Ga., 21st instant, Saturday morning at nine o'clock.
The omnibus left her residence, on time, filled with fourteen happy passengers as follows: Captain Neel, I mention first, as he was the most important passenger in a certain way-being our only beau, thus saving our party from being mistaken for the celebrated "beau-not club," on an outing. Mrs. Col. Johnson, Mrs. Bill Arp Smith, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. James Robert Anderson, Mrs. Bradley, Misses Mary Mountcastle, Norah Neel, Jennie Boaz, Jessie Cobb, Griffin, Lilly Akin, Sarah Tumlin, and your humble servant completed the lucky fourteen.
The day was delightfully cool, and the passing scenes most pleasing, as it was varied with the fields of waving wheat, reminding one of the blue-green sea. Then we would behold orchards of peach and apple trees, etc. As we rumbled along the different places of interest were pointed out. There was the birthplace of Mrs. Lilly Johnson, a sweet home like house, with vines growing on the porch and shading the windows, just such a place that Mrs. Bradley would select to make her first debut to the world.
Mrs. Edwards pointed out the home where Mrs. Reneau Jones, as Miss Francis Griffin, reigned as a popular young lady, noted for her beauty and charming manners.
On our arrival at the cemetery at Cassville, we alighted and proceeded forthwith to the speaker's stand, which was most tastefully decorated with beautiful ferns and flowers. Each of our party had a bouquet of flowers to put lovingly on a soldier's grave. There are three hundred (300) soldiers buried at Cassville, mostly men who died in the hospital there, into which the Baptist church had been converted. These men were wounded and killed while Johnston's army was on the retreat.
The members of the Cassville chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy had each of these (300) graves marked with a neat stone of Georgia marble, on which is the inscription, "C. S. A. 1861-1865." These ladies deserve unbounded praise and gratitude for their work. Of course it was a labor of love on their part.
But everyone knows that women are natural patriots, and love to express their patriotism in works. This is one of the first impulses of a woman's heart during war and peace. As we were driving along from Cartersville to Cassville, Mrs. Smith said to me, "I do wish we had some soldier graves in Cartersville, so we could show our devotion and faithfulness to their memory." I mention this little incident to illustrate what I said about women's patriotism.
Mrs. Searcy, as president of the ladies memorial association, and Miss Fariss, president of the Cassville chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, deserve especial commendation.
The opening prayer was made by the Rev. E. M. Dyer.
Judge John W. Akin, who has the happy faculty of saying the right thing in the right place, formally presented the stones to the ladies memorial association as a gift from Cassville chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. Prof. Searcy accepted the gift in the name of the ladies' Memorial association.
P. M. B. Young camp of veterans marched in a body into the cemetery, and made an imposing sight.
Rev. A. W. Bealer, of the Cartersville Baptist church, was the orator of the day, and spoke at 10 o'clock on the "Theories of 1861 and the condition of 1899." I wish I had time to go over all the points of his speech, as it was all splendid. But let me say this, it was spiritual, brilliant, practical, full of patriotism and truth, and well suited to the time. I felt as if I have known Rev. Mr. Bealer for a long time before his coming to Cartersville to live, as I have so often read his articles in the Atlanta Journal and filed them away with my most prized newspaper clippings. He is quite an acquisition to our town and Cartersville is fortunate to have him as one of our abiding citizens.
Little Lilly Akin's speech was made so gracefully and at the same time in such a sweet artless way. Of course it was good, as I understand her father wrote it and her mother taught it to her. She has been selected as one of the speakers at the commencement exercises, and has decided talent for oratory.
After the speaking, the ladies proceeded to put the flowers on the soldier's graves.
I felt as if I were honoring the grave of my own brother. For we are a band of brothers and sisters. All honor to these heroes! For are we not all glad and proud to be kin by blood and nationality with these brave soldiers who fought, suffered and died for our fair southland.
I had only one brother, Captain James Hudson, killed the last day's fight at Chancellorsville, Va. He is buried in a private, Masonic plot, in a lovely spot, overlooking the James river, in Hollywood cemetery, Richmond, Va. The members of the Cassville chapter invited the Bartow chapter to dine with them at two o'clock. The dinner was beautifully served by the ladies in the academy, of which Prof. Searcy is principal. My, what a delicious dinner, and such profusion! Turkey, chicken, salmon salad, tongue salad, lobster salad, ham, biscuits of all kinds, crackers, bread, cake and ice cream etc. Mrs. Searcy, her face beaming with kindness, good Mrs. Herring, Mrs. Fariss, Mrs. Saxon, Miss Fariss and so many of the ladies seem to vie with each other in anticipating our wants and giving us a most hearty welcome. We were simply overwhelmed with kindness and attention. Words cannot express our gratification and appreciation of their generous hospitality on this memorable occasion.
After dinner, Mrs. Rounsaville, president of the Georgia division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy addressed the audience. She gave us much information about the work and alluded touchingly to the necessity of having a soldier's home for the needy surviving veterans; also to the Winnie Davis memorial. That will be our next great work.
Mrs. Rounsaville is a very attractive woman, with stately figure and patrician bearing. She complimented the Cassville chapter, and told them they were now grown, and that many babies had been born in the family since their organization.
Our Bartow chapter is one of those babies. It is not a new born babe, but it has not cut its eyeteeth and therefore cannot walk and talk much as yet. But the chapter, nevertheless, is a strong growing baby, and I feel safe in saying we will hear from it in the future.
Mrs. Rounsaville told us there are still 30,000 soldiers' graves unmarked. Cassville is a beautiful town and I am glad I met and became acquainted with our delightful next door neighbor. The women at Cassville are certainly wide-awake and full of good works. As Sam Jones says it is a good thing to go around. "Some of you can learn much sometimes."
I met the Misses Gibbons at Cassville. I always enjoyed their articles about the missionaries and their work in foreign fields, in the Courant American. Miss Lydie Saxon told me about a book "Mary Ashton," published by the members of their missionary society. This book only costs 25 cents and is sold for the benefit of foreign missions. Surely all of us must buy a copy and help along the good cause. Miss Gibbons commenced the book. Then she died. So the other members took up the work and each has written a chapter, Miss Saxon wrote the fourth chapter. There are twelve chapters in the book. The book is dedicated to Miss Gibbons, who originated the idea. My! My! What would we do without these Methodists and Baptists? They are the pioneers of the country. We Presbyterians could not get along without them to blast the forests for us to follow.
On our return to Cartersville we stopped at Mrs. Mack Johnson's lovely country home and all went down to the spring arm in arm, like so many school girls on a picnic, and drank the cool refreshing water. Then we repaired to the parlor, where Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Smith made sweet music for us. Mrs. Smith played "the Sweet By and By," and we all sang the words. Mrs. Johnson is known for her gracious hospitality.
Miss Weems is her guest and was there to gladden us with her sweet smiles, kindly words and gentle manner. We were sorry to leave, but the deepening shadows told us only too plainly, that we must say good by.
One of the members of the coach party, who, after much planning, had secured the seat of honor by the only beau, Capt. Neel, and being unusually elated by such good luck, in making a suggestion about leave taking, when every one was waving their handkerchief, said: "Captain, wave, why don't you Neel." This member always on all occasions avers that she is very partial to the unfair sex.
The day was perfect and nothing occurred to mar our pleasure, and all went "merry as a marriage bell." The memory of it will linger long in our hearts. With many thanks and many
cheers and wishes of long life and prosperity to our kind, generous and
hospitable president of our Bartow chapter of the United Daughters of the
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Last modified: December 1, 2006