Confederate memorial addresses : Monday, May 11, 1885, New Bern, N. C


Drawing of Stone Memorial to Dead Confederate soldiers



1.Frontispiece: Confederate Monument.
2.Historical Sketch of the Ladies’ Memorial Association of New Bern, N. C., by Rev. L. C. Vass, A. M.,5
3.Biographical Sketch of Gen. James Johnston Pettigrew, by Capt. H. C. Graham,9
4.Address on Unveiling the Confederate Monument, by Rev. L. C. Vass, A. M.,26
5.Poem, “Dux Fœmina Facti,” by Mrs. Mary Bayard Clarke,29
6.Proceedings at the Unveiling of the Monument,29


DURING the late sad war New Bern was long occupied by the Federal troops. At its close, the old citizens, long exiles from their homes, returned, broken in fortune, poor in worldly goods, but rich in patriotic fervor. The large-hearted women of New Bern determined, in some way, to commemorate the devotion of the dead Confederate soldiers of this section of the old North State. No means were available except what continuous effort could realize.

On November 17, 1866, the Board of City Councilmen, by a vote of four to two, passed the following ordinance:

“It is ordained by the Mayor and Council of the city of New Bern, that the plat of ground in Cedar Grove Cemetery, known as the Circle, and the four adjoining triangles, be, and the same are hereby given, set apart, and appropriated to the New Bern Memorial Association, for the legitimate purposes for which said Association was formed.

“Be it further ordained, that the Mayor and Council of said city shall, and will convey by deed to said Association said plat of ground, so soon as said Association shall be prepared legally to receive the same.”

“The Ladies’ Memorial Association of New Bern” was organized in January, 1867, with the following officers: President, Mrs. E. B. Daves; Vice-Presidents, Mrs. J. A. Guion, Mrs. W. P. Moore and Mrs. M. McK. Nash; Secretary, Miss H. Lane;

Treasurer, Mrs. Julius Lewis. For the past eighteen years they have labored with commendable perseverance to accomplish their worthy aims. Money has been gathered from annual dues, festivals, concerts, mite chests, donations, and a final handsome and successful effort through the columns of the New Bern Daily Journal, by its editor, Mr. H. S. Nunn. Altogether they have received about $3,700.

On May 2d, 1867, was laid the corner-stone of the mausoleum or vault beneath centre plat. It was completed at a cost of about $2,000. Herein have been deposited sixty-seven bodies of Confederates, who died or were killed in or near the city during the war. Their names are preserved by the Society. Three other interments have been made since; and any Confederate soldier, remaining true to the “Lost Cause,” may be buried here, if his family so desire.

Above this mausoleum, on the summit of the mound, stands the Association's crowning work—the beautiful monument reproduced in the frontispiece. It rises from a bottom base, four feet square, to a total height of eighteen feet. The bottom and subbase, die and shaft, are of fine Rutland blue marble. The life-size statue on top was cut, after a design expressly for this monument, by the best workman in Carrara, Italy. It represents a Confederate soldier in uniform and overcoat, on picket, with every sense awake as he keenly watches for the slightest hostile movement. Calm, faithful, brave, he will never be surprised. A noble face and figure, a typical hero from the ranks! In procuring and setting in place this statue, Mr. J. K. Willis, the skilled marble worker of New Bern, kindly assisted the ladies without charge for his personal care and superintendence.

Just as this statue was put in position, the first and only president of the Association, Mrs. Daves, passed from her service here to her reward. Her last moments were cheered by the announcement of the happy completion of this work, so dear to her noble heart.

The monument was finished in time for the annual May celebration, 1885. So Monday, May 11th, a most charming and auspicious day, was appropriated to the

Inauguration Ceremonies.

Steamer and railroad poured in their contributions from river and inland, from Morehead, Kingston and Smithfield, until a dense throng gathered around the tastefully decorated speaker's stand, under the pleasant shade of the Academy's beautiful grove of elms. Prominent in front were the old shot-rent and battle-inscribed flag of the Forty-eighth North Carolina Regiment, and the bright banner of the Sixty-seventh North Carolina Regiment, borne by a one-armed ex-Confederate. Old veterans of these commands honored their remembered ensigns of trying days.

After music by the choir and a prayer by Rev. V. W. Shields, Mr. Clement Manly introduced the orator of the day, Captain Hamilton C. Graham, of Dallas county, Ala., but a native of Halifax county, N. C., and formerly a captain in the Seventh North Carolina Regiment,* who then, in response to the invitation of the Memorial Association, delivered the handsome address which follows, on the Life and Services of General James Johnston Pettigrew.

* Captain Graham was first a private in the Ellis North Carolina Light Artillery; then Lieutenant in the Twenty-second Regiment, North Carolina Infantry; promoted to Captain in Seventh North Carolina Regiment; severely wounded at Gaines’ Mill; then appointed Judge Advocate of the General Court-martial. He is now a practising lawyer.


DELIVERED BY H. C. GRAHAM, of Dallas County, Ala., At New Bern, N. C., on the 11th of May, 1885, by invitation from the New Bern Ladies’ Memorial Association.

Ladies of the New Bern Memorial Association and Fellow-Citizens:

UNDER any circumstances I should feel myself highly honored in being called upon to address an audience such as I now see before me; but when I consider all of my present surroundings, when I remember the place where I am, and the purpose for which I am here, my heart is filled to overflowing with appreciation of this occasion.

Twenty years have passed since last I stood upon the precious soil of North Carolina. With all the longing that ever possesses the heart of the absent sons of the Old North State, I have looked forward to some day when once more I could stand amid the scenes of my youth. I have little thought, however, it would be on an occasion like this, or that I should occupy the conspicuous position in which I now find myself, through the invitation with which I have been honored from the noble association of ladies in this city, who have done so much, to their everlasting honor be it said, to perpetuate the name and fame of those gallant sons of North Carolina, who went forth to die for her and for the cause of self-government.

A beautiful custom, I learn, prevails in Carolina on the occasion of these annual memorial services, and that is, to select as the theme for the occasion the name of some conspicuous exemplar of valor and worth from among that large number of

North Carolinians who distinguished themselves in our great war between the States.

I would, ladies and gentlemen, that some more eloquent tongue than mine, that some one more practised in the arts and graces of oratory than myself were present on this interesting occasion, to voice the virtues and to pay proper tribute to the brilliant military achievements of that brave soldier and true patriot, James Johnston Pettigrew, the subject of our theme to-day; for among all that long list of brave men and skillful commanders that North Carolina sent forth to battle for her cause, among that galaxy of Southern heroes that, from 1861 to 1865, claimed the admiration of the world, he was the peer of them all.

England's greatest bard hath said, that—

“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,To throw a perfume on the violet,To smooth the ice, or add another hueUnto the rainbow, or with taper lightTo seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”

With this forcible and beautiful metaphor the wonderful poet intended to convey the idea that it was needless to embellish perfect excellence; and the quotation has been often used to illustrate the idea that where a great and a good man dies, whose virtues were so conspicuous that they must of necessity have been known by all men, there is no need for eulogy. The character and the achievements of such men speak more eloquently in their behalf than any language the eulogist can command. Such was the character and such the achievements of that noble son of North Carolina whose memory we seek to honor to-day.

A soldier of high resolve, with capacity for brilliant execution, a gentleman far removed from the slightest tinge of a dishonorable thought or action, of absolutely unselfish and unadulterated patriotism, James Johnston Pettigrew was emphatically a man for the times in which he lived; a man for lofty and noble deeds n a great struggle that called forth the noblest and the best attributes of human nature. Of that pure and spotless character, and elevated, knightly courage that absolutely knew not the meaning of the word fear in the performance of duty, he was a fit associate of the immaculate Lee, and a fit commander of that heroic division that scaled the heights of Gettysburg, planted their

country's banner on that fiery crest, and poured forth, alas! such a copious libation of North Carolina's best blood upon that memorable field. Of calm and dignified bearing, his fine countenance ever expressive of deep reflection and noble resolve, with that admirable poise of mind and disposition that was never too exultant in success, nor cast down in trial and defeat,

“Composed in suffering, in joy sedate;Good without noise, without pretension great;True to his word, in every thought sincere,Knowing no wish but what the world might hear,”

he was eminently fitted to be a leader in a cause destined to try to the utmost the virtue and the endurance of man.

I beg you, ladies and gentlemen, not to suppose that I am attempting merely the language of eulogy in thus endeavoring to describe some of the characteristics of James Johnston Pettigrew, for he was in truth all that I have said, and more; nor do I feel that in the mere outline of his character and services permitted by the limits of this address, I could pay but the most imperfect tribute to the virtues and achivements of this departed hero and patriot.

It is a noble spectacle to witness the annual outpouring of our people on occasions like this, for the purpose of keeping alive the remembrance of the heroes of our lost cause. The memory of the sad and pathetic fate of our lost and loved ones is ours now, and it is a labor of love that we perform in scattering beautiful flowers upon their graves; but it cannot and it will not be, that the glory of their achievements will always remain the property of only a portion of this land.

As the passions and bitter animosities of the war shall disappear, and as the sentiment of the country shall become mellowed by time, history will at last do justice to that grand army of heroes who illustrated to the world such sublime heroism, self-denial and patriotic purpose for their convictions of right, and who gave such splendid exhibition of their Anglo-Saxon origin and of American manhood.

As the Englishman of to-day points with pride to the names of England's heroes emblazoned on the walls of Westminister Abbey, who fought in days gone by for different political convictions, but who fought nobly and well, whichever side they espoused; as he

to-day points to victor and vanquished alike and tells us, not that this man was a rebel, and that one loyal, but “these are the men who in the past history of my country have illustrated the heroism, the nobility and the highest virtues of the Anglo-Saxon races;” so, in the near future, the time will come when the names and the fame of our Southern heroes and patriots will become the common property of America. And when that day shall come—when that day shall come! as it will, so sure as the bright sun now gives its light from heaven—then among the long list of historic names that shall be held up to the rising generations as exemplars of all that was true and noble of valor and worth, of all that was sublime in patriotic impulse and endeavor, none will be found that will shine with a purer lustre than that of Pettigrew. In the brief story of his life that I am permitted to recite to-day, I shall be able to convey to you but an imperfect description of the man. I may speak to you of his youthful triumphs as a student, of his literary attainments in after life, of his scholarly accomplishments, of his distinguished record in the politics of his adopted State, of his achievements and his aspirations as a soldier, and we may draw our inferences therefrom; but that elevated character of his every impulse, that deep and allpervading earnestness of purpose, that complete abnegation of self in his devotion to his cause, that keen sense of true nobility and honor, that was characteristic of the man, could only be known and appreciated for their full value by those who were thrown in immediate contact with him.


was born on the shores of Lake Scuppernong, in Tyrrell county, North Carolina, on the 4th July, 1828, at the paternal estate, “Bonarva,” where was ever dispensed that princely hospitality characteristic of the Southern plantation of the olden time. His father, Hon. Ebenezer Pettigrew, who, for a short period, represented his district in the United States Congress, was descended from an ancient and honorable family, of French origin, but a portion of which early settled in Ireland, and became distinguished in the civil and military history of that country. One of his ancestors, James Pettigrew, was a distinguished officer in King William's army at the battle of the

Boyne, and for gallant service there he received a grant of lands from the crown. James Pettigrew, the youngest son of this gentleman, emigrated to America in 1740, and was the founder of the family in this country. He finally settled at Abbeville, South Carolina, leaving in North Carolina his son Charles, grandfather to General Pettigrew, and the founder of the family in this State. This gentleman, who was ordained to the ministry by the Bishop of London in 1775, became an eminent divine in the English Church, and after the Revolution was chosen the first Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. He died, however, before his consecration, leaving one son, Hon. Ebenezer Pettigrew, to whom I have already referred.

It is eminently appropriate that this city should do honor to the memory of James Johnston Pettigrew, for his mother, Mrs. Ann B. Pettigrew, was the daughter of one of the most distinguished families that New Bern has produced, being a member of that family of Shepards whose high social standing for years added greatly to that brilliant society, which has rendered this classic town famous in the history of North Carolina.

The early youth of General Pettigrew was passed under the instruction of that unrivalled preceptor, W. T. Bingham, in Hillsboro, and doubtless to the splendid training he there received was due much of his success during his brilliant collegiate course.

In 1843 he entered the University of North Carolina, then, as at the outbreak of the war, under the guidance of that loved and revered head, Governor David L. Swain. His college career was one continued and brilliant success.

Perhaps no student at the University ever graduated with greater distinction than did young Pettigrew in 1847. So conspicuous was his merit, of such a high order were his acquirements, that President Polk, who was attending the commencement, accompanied by Commodore Maury, at the suggestion of that distinguished officer and scientist, tendered to Pettigrew one of the assistant Professorships in the Observatory at Washington; thus placing him at the early age of nineteen in one of the most responsible and highly respected positions under the Government.

Here, while he faithfully and satisfactorily, and with great distinction to himself, performed all the duties of his office, yet the quiet and uneventful routine of the scientific studio was unsuited

to his active genius, and he longed for more vigorous action in the arena of life; consequently, in 1848, he adopted the profession of law, and commenced his studies with James M. Campbell, Esq., of Baltimore; in a short time, however, he removed to Charleston, South Carolina, and completed his legal preparation under the tutelage of his distinguished relative, James L. Pettigrew, Esq., for many years the acknowledged head of the South Carolina Bar. In 1850 he commenced an extended European tour, devoting much of his time while abroad to profound study. It was during his travels in Spain that Mr. Barringer, then United States Minister at Madrid, offered him the Secretaryship to the Legation on account of his varied accomplishments and eminent fitness for the position; but learning that the then incumbent was anxious to retain his position, with that nice consideration for the feelings of others that was one of his chief characteristics, he declined the offer.

In 1852 Mr. Pettigrew returned to Charleston and the practice of his profession. In 1856 he became an active participant in the political controversies of his State, which resulted in his election to the Legislature from the city of Charleston in the October elections of that year. There was, at this period, a dignity and consequence attached to the office of Representative in South Carolina perhaps unequaled in any other State, and the General Assembly was composed of the very best material afforded by the commonwealth. Many of the members had grown old in the service of the State, and had earned for themselves distinction that had given them a national reputation. In this body James Johnston Pettigrew, though one of the youngest members, at once became an honored and conspicuous figure.

The slavery question, with all its attendant agitations, was at this period assuming vast proportions in the politics of the country. Already distant thunders from the clouds of war were beginning to be heard from the political horizon, and perhaps in no State of the South were more extreme measures urged than in South Carolina.

In the midst of the heated and passionate controversies of the times, Pettigrew, while he was the very embodiment of that loyalty to the State which was the shibboleth of his party, yet ever tempered his sentiments with a broad and statesmanlike

conservatism, with a calm and dignified consideration, that conspicuously marked him among his co-laborers in the counsels of the State; and at the conclusion of his legislative term, perhaps no man of his years in South Carolina occupied a more prominent position among the advanced thinkers of the day.

In 1859 he again returned to Europe, his military tastes, which were ever predominent, leading him thither to observe the progress of the Italian war.

While Pettigrew was essentially a firm believer in the doctrine of State supremacy, he was intensely American in his love for and pride in his country as a whole, and in his devotion to the principles of true republicanism. His deepest sympathies were enlisted in behalf of the Sardinians, struggling to free themselves from the yoke of their oppressors during the Italian war, and he applied for and obtained a staff appointment in the Sardinian service; but while hurrying forward to join the army, before he could reach it, peace was declared, and he was unable to carry out his noble and unselfish purpose.

In his interesting book—“Spain and the Spaniards”—one of the results of his extensive travels, and published shortly after his return from abroad, commenting upon the apathy of Europe while a nation was struggling for freedom, and upon his own emotions as he hastened forward to join the Sardinian army, he says:

“It was certainly humiliating that so large a portion of Europe should have remained unsympathizing spectators of the contest. On the part of an American, acquiescence in such neutrality would have been treason against nature. Inspired by these sentiments, I was hurrying with what speed I might to offer my services to the Sardinian Government, and to ask the privilege of serving as a volunteer in her armies. * * * No emotion of my life was ever so pure, so free from every shade of conscientious doubt or selfish consideration. * * * I saw but the spectacle of an injured people, struggling as America had done, to throw off the yoke of a foreign and comparatively barbarous oppressor; and as we passed battalion after battalion of brave French, slowly ascending the mountain, I felt toward them all the fervor of youth, fired by the grateful traditions of eighty years ago.”

Returning to South Carolina the latter part of 1859, and convinced from the signs of the times that the impending conflict between the sections could not long be deferred, Pettigrew, who had devoted much of his time while abroad to the study of military science, took an active part in perfecting the local military organizations of Charleston. Soon afterward he was chosen Colonel of the First Regiment of Rifles of that city, and through his exertions that celebrated corps was brought to the highest state of discipline and efficiency.

It is needless that I should here go into any extended recital of the momentous occurrences that preceded the secession of South Carolina. As is well known, that memorable event occurred on the 20th of December, 1860, and pending negotiations between the State and the Government at Washington. Major Anderson having evacuated Fort Moultrie and established himself in Fort Sumter, the South Carolina authorities immediately took possession of the remaining fortifications in Charleston harbor, and commenced vigorous measures to prevent reinforcements from reaching the Federal commander, and for the investment of the historic fortress where he had isolated his small and devoted band.

Colonel Pettigrew, with his rifle regiment, was ordered to take possession of Castle Pinkney, a small fortification in the harbor; but his services were soon demanded at a more important point, and he was transferred to Morris Island, where his splendid abilities as a military engineer were brought prominently into notice in the erection of some of those formidable batteries, that added so greatly to the compliment of the defences of Charleston harbor.

But events were rapidly hurrying forward to that final culmination which brought the sections face to face in the gigantic struggle. One by one additional States were added to the Confederacy, until at last that memorable 20th May, 1861, arrived, when North Carolina cast her lot with her sisters of the South. For the information of those among us to-day whose memories do not run back to this historic period,—and I know there are many, grown to man's and woman's estate, for our great struggle has already begun to drift into the long ago,—I will say that this greatest of all events in North Carolina's history, was performed with great eclat. As a youthful soldier and an eye-witness to the scene, it made an impression upon me that time has never effaced. The convention

then in session at Raleigh, was composed of men famous in the history of the Commonwealth. The city was filled with distinguished visitors from every portion of the State and the South. The first camp of instruction, located near by, under the command of that noble old hero, D. H. Hill, was crowded with the flower of the old military organizations of the State, and sounds of martial music at all hours of the day were wafted over the city.

When the day arrived for the final passage of the ordinance of secession, the gallant and lamented Ramseur, then a major of artillery, was ordered to the Capitol grounds with his superb battery, to fire a salute of one hundred guns in honor of the event. The battery was drawn up to the left of the Capitol, surrounded by an immense throng of citizens. The convention in the Hall of the House of Representatives were going through the last formality of signing the ordinance. The moment the last signature was fixed to the important document, at a given signal, the artillery thundered forth, every bell in the city rang a peal, the military band rendered patriotic airs, and with one mighty shout from the multitude of her patriotic sons North Carolina proclaimed to the world that she had resumed her sovereignty. Immediately afterward she began to pour her legions into Virginia.

When the Twelfth Regiment, which afterward became celebrated as the Twenty-second North Carolina Infantry, was organized, Pettigrew was chosen its colonel, having previously declined the position of adjutant-general of South Carolina. At this time he was without command, on account of the Confederate authorities declining to receive his South Carolina regiment on the terms they demanded. So anxious was he, however, to be in active service, he had proceeded to Richmond and enlisted in the Hampton Legion, when his commission as colonel of the Twelfth North Carolina Regiment reached him. Joining his command at Raleigh in a short time, he brought it to the very highest point of efficiency, so much so that, when shortly afterward he was ordered to Virginia, the Richmond papers with one accord made most favorable comment on the appearance of his regiment, as it marched through the streets of that city.

While North Carolina congratulated herself in securing the services of a man of such distinguished abilities as the commander of one of her regiments, the appointment was also exceedingly

grateful to Pettigrew, for his heart had ever yearned toward his native State with the devotion of a true and loyal son.

It may not be amiss just here to speak of the sentiments of Pettigrew in contemplating the approaching conflict, as indicated by his own words. Though much of his life had been passed in a State noted for its extreme views and utterances on the subject of secession, yet it was with no revengeful or vindictive spirit that he contemplated the struggle between the sections, but with sorrow that the land he loved so well, the mighty republic to whose glory and renown the soldiers and statesmen of the South had contributed so much, must of necessity be rent in twain. His sentiments toward the old flag were beautifully illustrated when, in July, 1861, he received a stand of colors for his regiment. On that occasion he said:

“The flag of the old republic is ours no more. That noble standard which has so often waved over victorious fields, which has so often carried hope to the afflicted and struggling hearts of Europe, which has so often protected us in distant lands afar from home and kindred, now threatens us with destruction. In all its former renown we participated; Southern valor bore it to its proudest triumphs, and oceans of Southern blood have watered the ground beneath it. Let us lower it with honor and lay it reverently upon the earth.”

Remaining in Richmond about a week, Colonel Pettigrew was ordered to report with his regiment to General Holmes, at Brooke Station, on the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad, from whence he was ordered to Evansport, on the Potomac, where his regiment was actively employed in constructing and guarding those formidable batteries that for so many months cut off water communication with Washington city. The construction of a large portion of the defensive works at Evansport was entrusted entirely to Pettigrew, and after their completion, they were pronounced by competent authority, to be master-pieces of military engineering.

In the spring of 1862 the Army of the Potomac fell back, and proceeded to Yorktown, to meet McClellan's advance on Richmond. Previous to the evacuation of Evansport, without solicitation on his part, the commission of brigadier-general was tendered to Colonel Pettigrew by President Davis. With unparalelled modesty,

he declined the appointment, giving as his reason, that he was unwilling to assume the command of a brigade until he had seen more active service with his regiment. It was my good fortune at this period of the war to be serving under Pettigrew as a subaltern in the line, and I shall ever bear in remembrance the deep sadness that pervaded the regiment at the prospect of losing its beloved commander, when he was summoned to Richmond, and the joy that was manifested when he returned and made known his determination to remain with us. No regimental commander ever received a greater ovation from his troops than did Pettigrew on this occasion. As he rode through the camp on his way to his quarters, with that modest and thoughtful bearing for which he was distinguished, he was greeted by a prolonged cheer from every officer and man in the regiment. At heart, however, the command were proud of his offered promotion, and thought that the good of the service demanded that he should reconsider his determination, which he finally concluded to do after the earnest solicitation of that distinguished veteran, General Theophilus Holmes; and before leaving Fredericksburg, he took command of a brigade, his own regiment forming a portion of it.

The limits of this address permit me to make but brief mention of General Pettigrew's distinguished services to the Confederacy from this date to the battle of Gettysburg. After faithful and efficient service in the trenches at Yorktown, his brigade was active in the performance of all the duties required of it on the memorable retreat up the Peninsula. At Barhamsville he supported the gallant and lamented Whiting, when that officer so splendidly repulsed a portion of Franklin's corps near West Point.

On the 1st June, 1862, occurred the sanguinary engagement at Seven Pines. In this battle Pettigrew's brigade was hotly engaged and lost heavily. While leading with great gallantry one of his regiments in a charge upon a strong position of the enemy, General Pettigrew was severely wounded by a musket ball, which passed along the front of his throat and into the shoulder, cutting the nerves and muscles of the right arm. He was left insensible on the field, and when he awoke to consciousness he was a prisoner in the enemy's camp. As no intelligence for some time could be received concerning him, the impression prevailed that he had

been killed, which occasioned universal mourning throughout North Carolina.

After about two months’ confinement in prison, General Pettigrew was exchanged, and being still an invalid from the effects of his wound, he was assigned to command at Petersburg. His old brigade, through the exigencies of the service having been assigned to new commands, a new one was formed, composed of the Eleventh, Twenty-sixth, Forty-fourth, Thirty-second and Fifty-second North Carolina Infantry, and placed under his command.

With this superb body of troops, Pettigrew was destined to add still brighter laurels to those already won. Ordered to North Carolina in the fall of 1862, he repelled the Federal raid into Martin country, and also the Federal General Foster's expedition against Goldsboro’ in December of that year, and by his presence with his splendid command he gave new heart and courage to the people of that section of the State.

In the demonstration by General D. H. Hill against the town of Washington, North Carolina, in the spring of 1863, Pettigrew's brigade rendered conspicuous service.

At the gallant attack near Blount's Creek General Pettigrew commanded the forces there engaged, and gave a brilliant illustration of his capacity for separate command. In this engagement his noble adjutant-general, the gallant Captain Nicholas Collin Hughes, of this city, who had distinguished himself for bravery, was painfully wounded.

Ordered again to Virginia, Pettigrew was the defender of Richmond when General Stoneman made his raid north of the city; and soon afterward he took possession at Hanover Junction. When General Lee commenced his memorable advance into Pennsylvania, Pettigrew's brigade accompanied him as a part of Heth's division.

So much has been spoken and written concerning the great passage of arms at Gettysburg, it is needless that I should here enter into any extended details on the subject. Of one thing, however, I would speak with the most positive emphasis, and that is, that there is no point connected with the history of that grandest of all the battles of our great conflict, that is more thoroughly established to the satisfaction of every candid mind, by overwhelming testimony from participants in the battle, than the fact that no

command engaged in that memorable three days’ conflict rendered more distinguished service to the Confederate cause, or penetrated farther into the enemy's lines, than Pettigrew's brigade and Heth's division, which he commanded in the assault upon Cemetery Ridge. I am led to speak thus positively of this fact, not from any observations of this historic event myself, for it was my fortune at this time to be serving in another portion of the Confederacy, but because it is the record of history.

Captain Lewis G. Young, General Pettigrew's distinguished aid-de-camp, a South Carolinian, and a thoroughly reliable officer, thus describes the conduct of Pettigrew's brigade in the terrible assault on the enemy's position the 1st of July:

“No troops,” said he, “could have fought better than did Pettigrew's brigade on this day, and I will testify, on the experience of many hard-fought battles, that I never saw any fight so well. Its conduct was the admiration of all who witnessed the engagement; and it was the generally expressed opinion that no brigade had done more effective service or won greater fame for itself than this had.”

That this gallant officer was not too partial in his estimate of the brilliant services of this command, let the following statement of casualties testify: Of the three thousand officers and men composing Pettigrew's brigade at the beginning of the battle, eleven hundred were killed and wounded. The Twenty-sixth North Carolina regiment alone lost five hundred and forty-nine out of eight hundred men, and the Eleventh Regiment two hundred and fifty out of five hundred and fifty. The five field officers present with these two regiments were all killed or wounded. Among them fell that noble spirit, the gallant Colonel Harry K. Burgwin, of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, the Harry Percy of that bloody day.

In the midst of this engagement, Major-General Heth having been wounded, the command of the division devolved upon General Pettigrew; and upon Colonel Marshall, of the Fifty-second Regiment, that of the brigade.

On the morning of the 3d of July, General Pettigrew was ordered to report, with Heth's division, to General Longstreet, and in the memorable assault of that day on Cemetery Hill he was at first ordered to support General Pickett's division; this order, however, was almost immediately countermanded, and he was

instructed to advance upon the same line with Pickett in the main attack.

What need that I should attempt to describe this eventful day? The history of the 3d of July, 1863, has become known to almost every school boy in the land. It is well known that the great assault upon Cemetery Ridge, which may be said to have decided the fate of the Confederacy, was opened by the most terrific artillery duel the world has ever known. For more than an hour over three hundred cannon bellowed forth their thunders and shook the hills around Gettysburg, myriads of bursting shell filled the air, and immense banks of sulphurous smoke rolled over the intervening space between the armies. Suddenly there came a pause in this fearful storm, and Pickett's division of Virginians, and Heth's division under Pettigrew, the last already terribly decimated from its participation in the engagement two days previous, sprang to the assault and started on that march of death that won for them imperishable renown.

On the crest of the hill in front, strongly entrenched, lay the Federal power, with every necessary appliance of destruction then known to warfare. Up this natural glasis, perfectly open except for the numerous fences that obstructed the way of the assaulting column, for one mile and a quarter Pettigrew led Heth's division under the most destructive fire of artillery and musketry known in any battle of modern times. Overcoming every obstacle, officers and men falling at every step by scores, his brave battalions, wellnigh annihilated, at last reached the enemy's works, only to be compelled to retire by overwhelming odds, and slowly the remnant of this gallant band was forced to fall back to the point from whence they had started.

But where, alas! was that high spirited and brave brigade that delighted to call Pettigrew its commander? The gallant Marshall, who led it, lay dead upon the field, and of the three thousand who had marched with such bright hopes into Pennsylvania only eight hundred and thirty-five remained. This small remnant was brought off under the command of Major Jones, of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, every other field officer, save one who was captured, being either killed or wounded.

Pettigrew himself was painfully wounded in the hand, but he declined to leave the field and remained with his troops to the last.

Two of his staff fell at his side. I pause for an instant to pay but a brief and imperfect tribute to one of them, Captain Nicholas Collin Hughes, of this city, his brave adjutant-general. High spirited, courageous, of handsome and dignified presence, animated by the noblest impulses of patriotism, of rare talent and inteliectual acquirements, idolized by his family and dearly loved for his virtues by hosts of friends, there was a congenial companionship between him and his distinguished commander that grew stronger with lengthened association. As aid-de-camp to the lamented Governor Ellis, as adjutant of the Second North Carolina Regiment, and as adjutant-general of Pettigrew's brigade, he had won golden opinions from his superiors in command, and from all with whom he had been associated. Conspicuous always for his coolness and bravery, in the thickest of the fight on the 3d of July he received his mortal wound, and lingered until the 15th, when, at Martinsburg, Va., his noble spirit passed away.

Gathering the shattered remnants of his army, General Lee commenced his retreat into Virginia. But who shall describe the agony of that march? On the morning of the 14th of July Heth's division arrived at a point near Falling Waters, on the Potomac, where a pontoon bridge had been constructed for the passage of the army. The division had been marching all night, and, footsore and weary, had thrown themselves upon the ground to take what rest they might, when General Heth, who had resumed command of his own and also of Pender's division, approached General Pettigrew and informed him that he had received orders to cross the river, and instructed him to remain as a rear guard with his command, which consisted of his own and Archer's brigades. While the conversation proceeded between these officers, their attention was attracted by a considerable body of cavalry which made their appearance on a hill about a mile distant. Not knowing whether they were friends or foes, the two generals were intently watching their movements, when they beheld a small body of horsemen emerge from a wood a few hundred yards in front. This body came forward in a gallop, with swords drawn and displaying the Federal flag. The size of the force, numbering about forty men, and their confident approach toward so large a body of infantry, led General Heth to suppose that they were Confederate troops, and he withheld the fire of his men; this fatal delusion was soon,

however, dispelled, for the reckless troopers, ignorant of the force they were about to engage, with a shout dashed into the midst of the Confederates, demanding surrender, and an exciting engagement immediately ensued. At the beginning of the mêlée, General Pettigrew's horse, frightened at the sudden and near discharge of musketry, plunged and threw his rider. Rising in great pain, for he was still suffering from his wound received at Seven Pines, and his arm was in a sling from his injury of the 3d of July, Pettigrew beheld a Federal corporal near him in the act of firing on his men. Drawing his pistol, he was approaching this soldier with a view of engaging in combat with him, when he fell to the ground, himself pierced with a pistol ball.

The Confederates having quickly overcome their bold assailants by killing and wounding nearly the entire band, approached their loved commander to find him well nigh in the agonies of death from his mortal wound. Tenderly and lovingly his sorrowing soldiers raised him and bore him across the river, carrying him on that day seven miles, and the following day fifteen miles, to the residence of Mr. Boyd at Bunker Hill, near Martinsburg.

With great fortitude and Christian resignation he bore his suffering until the end came, when, on the 17th day of July, at twenty-five minutes past six o'clock in the morning, the spirit of this knightly soldier, this unselfish patriot, this true son of North Carolina, this pure and spotless Christian, winged its flight to the God that gave it.

Wrapped in the flag he had striven so hard, from a sincere conviction of duty to defend, his body was borne to the Capitol of his loved State, and in the old cemetery of that city it was deposited with the most distinguished civic and military honors his countrymen could bestow.

In the autumn of 1866 his remains were removed to the family cemetery at Bonarva, Lake Scuppernong, and there to-day, by the side of those who were nearest and dearest to him, amid the mournful sighing of the cypress and the pine, on the shores of the beautiful lake whose plashing waves made music to his ear in his childhood days, rest the mortal remains of James Johnston Pettigrew.

Ladies of the New Bern Memorial Association, I have endeavored to respond to your invitation. That I have done so in

the most imperfect manner I am painfully conscious. Nothing but my love and veneration for the distinguished soldier and patriot, to whose memory you have dedicated the services of this day, and my high appreciation of the compliment paid me in selecting me as your orator on this occasion, could have induced me to undertake an address upon the life and character of one who, as a youthful student, received the endorsement of “excellent” from the faculty of North Carolina's time-honored University; who as a scientist was at the early age of nineteen the chosen companion of the illustrious Maury; who, as a scholar and an author, had mastered eight languages; as a legislator, was pronounced by the most eminent of his associates as the coming man in a State that had produced a Calhoun; as a soldier, ranked among the bravest and the best in an army whose heroism had excited the admiration of the world; and of whom, as a dying Christian, it was said by one of the most distinguished Bishops of the Episcopal Church, that in a ministry of nearly thirty years he had never witnessed a more sublime example of Christian resignation and hope in death.

In conclusion, permit me to say that I should consider my mission of to-day still more imperfectly performed, if I did not attempt a tribute to those noble soldiers whose memories New Bern will ever delight to honor; those of her own sons who went forth to battle, and to those other brave spirits who found a last-resting place here in your midst, and in commemoration of whose valor your beautiful monument has been erected.

I call the roll of New Bern's heroes, but there are many, alas! who cannot answer to their names.

Where are Mayhew, Brookfield, Dewey, Malone, Robinson, Cook, Carter, Dixon, Duguid, Attmore, Hall, Hyman, Johnson, Hancock, Benjamin, Frederick Cherry, Cowling, Dix, Roberts, Koonce, Coart, Herritage, McLacklan, Bryan, Bernard, and Monday? They, too, laid down their lives on the field of battle, and so long as patriotic purpose and unselfish sacrifice for one's country shall be considered the attributes of American freemen, so long will the memories of these patriots be honored in this community.

The world's history furnishes no nobler instance of patriotic response to earnest conviction of duty than was illustrated by that outpouring of the young men of the South in 1861, of

which the action of these brave men of New Bern was a fair example.

I trust in this connection I may be pardoned if I borrow the language of that eminent South Carolinian, the eloquent Trescott, himself the biographer of the noble Pettigrew, who says:

“Never in the history of the world has there been a nobler response to a more thoroughly recognized duty; nowhere anything more truly glorious than this outburst of the youth and manhood of the South. And now that the end has come, and we have seen it, it seems to me that to a man of humanity, I care not in what section his sympathies may have been nurtured, there never has been a sadder or sublimer spectacle than these earnest and devoted men, their young and vigorous columns marching through Richmond to the Potomac, like the combatants of ancient Rome, beneath the imperial throne in the amphitheatre, and exclaiming with uplifted arms, ‘Morituri te salutant.’

“Their leaf has perished in the green,And while we breathe beneath the sun,The world which credits what is doneIs cold to all that might have been.”

“Of the great men of this civil war history will take care. The issues were too high, the struggle too famous, the consequences too vast for them to be forgotten. But as for those of whom I speak, if the State is indeed the mother whom they so fondly loved, she will never forget them. She will speak of them in a whisper, if it must be, but in tones of love that will live through all these dreary days. From among the children who survive to her, her heart will yearn for ever toward the early lost. The noble enthusiasm of their youth, the vigorous promise of their manhood, their imperfect and unrecorded achievement, the pity of their deaths, will so consecrate their memories that, be the revolutions of laws and institutions what they may, the South will, living, cherish with a holier and stronger love, and, dying, if die she must, will murmur with her latest breath the names of the ‘Confederate dead.”’

At the conclusion of the oration, Chief-Marshal E. M. Duguid formed the large procession of ex-Confederate soldiers, citizens, the little firemen, and the Graded School, all preceded by the Silver Cornet Band, and proceeded to Cedar Grove Cemetery. A circle was formed around the monument, and the choir sang “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground”; after which Rev. L. C. Vass, formerly the Chaplain of the Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, and now pastor of the Presbyterian Church in New Bern, delivered the dedicatory address that follows.


by Rev. L. C. VASS, A. M., New Bern, N. C., Monday, May 11, 1885.

THIS morning I was asked by the ladies of the Memorial Association to offer some remarks on the unveiling of the statue dedicated to the memory of the Confederate dead. I obey the sudden summons, as a loyal knight to female power. What disappointment and shame would sadden our world and our hearts, were it not for woman's cheerful and unwearied energy and perseverance! A most happy illustration of this is before us to-day in this statue, about to be unveiled in our presence, through the tireless and often discouraged labors of the New Bern Ladies’ Memorial Society. For many years they have wrought on this work, so needed in its objects and its subjects. This day sees the accomplishment of long desires.

A Sorrow.

One sorrow clouds the sunshine of our joy. Yet that is not unrelieved. She, whose earnest energies and warm heart were enlisted in this enterprise, as the active President of this Memorial Society from its beginning, is sleeping with those whose fame she toiled to commemorate. But just before she left us, a sweet gleam of satisfaction rested upon her face and heart, as she was told that the statue was in its place on its pedestal. As she communed in soul, in this supreme hour, with her God, she was glad that her long labors were herein crowned with success. When we unveil this statue to-day, it will stand a monument, not only to the gallant soldiers, but also a monument to the loving zeal of the honored leader of the Memorial Association, the late President Elizabeth Batchelor Daves.

National Honors.

It is an honor to celebrate the fame of the noble. A good name is a coveted inheritance. It surely is a supreme satisfaction, not only not to be ashamed of our ancestors, but to be able to point to their worth with confidence, to live in their reflected light, and to be elevated in sentiment and life by imitation of their distinguished achievements.

So nations have ever rightly delighted to honor their worthy sons. With wonder and admiration have I gazed on that Colossal Lion—cut with rare sculptor's skill in the solid face of a rocky cliff in Switzerland—by that genius of the chisel, Thorwaldsen. There lies the dying king of animals, pierced by the broken but fatal spear, with defiance in his speaking face, as with an echoing roar he lays his mighty paw on the shield, bearing the lilies of France. Thus significantly he perpetuates the unshrinking fidelity of that Spartan band of Swiss soldiers, who, when all others deserted the King of France, rallied as his trusted body guard around him, and arms in hand, died in honor.

So one stands in mute musing, amazement and satisfaction under the gilded dome, surrounded by the rare frescoes, polished marble and granite and speaking bronze, of the tomb of Napoleon in the Hotel des Invalides, and there honors the mindful devotion of a nation to a dead chieftain, who crowned them with fadeless glory.

So everywhere, in the marts of commerce, or in holy temples, or in the cities of the dead,—the Père le Chaises, Laurel Hills, Greenwoods, and the Cedar Groves,—we found lasting memorials to those whose name and fame we will not willingly let die.

Our Testimonial.

To-day, then, with equal pride and pleasure we rejoice, that in our poverty, but in our honor, we are come to offer a fitting testimonial to the memory of the true and the brave, who at their country's call hasted to the fray, and endured to the death.

“In the fair South-Land, where the red rose blooms,And the violet scents the breeze,Where the dark pines’ bending, swaying plumesRise o'er the nodding trees;Where cottages ’mid the gray woodbine,

The jasmine-buds and the arbute-vine,Gleamed bright in the South-Land's summer shine,“The rumble of war swelled over the land,The roll of the stirring drum,And the shrill fife pealed from cliff to strand,And died in a solemn hum!The din of the battle-jar in the air,And the torch of Mars, with its crimson flare,Were heard and seen o'er the fields so fair.”Then the fields grew red, and the homes grew still;For the boys in gray lie dead;—Our hopes were all withered, our hearts were chill,As we wept o'er their gory bed,—But nature has gemmed her mantle of green,And covered their homes with the flowery sheen,—While God our comfort and stay hath been.

In the spring-tide of this glorious light, on this radiant afternoon, this monument is placed here with its marble soldier—his rifle grounded—to celebrate and honor for ever the worthy deeds of our gallant dead, Confederate warriors.

This illustrious host is led by him whom the 10th of May always calls to mind. In the far off northern Denmark I was both surprised and glad to hear the sentiment—coming too from the Royal Court—that in studying the records of the late sad conflicts in our land, the greatest of all the military chieftains was our own loved “Stonewall Jackson.”


And now evil passions are beginning to be laid to rest, and friend and foe are joining in admiring true courage and devotion to duty. So we gladly and fitly uncover our Memorial Statue to public gaze and to history, in honor of the brave who sleep in their last bivouac—in the camping ground of stainless fame. As these noble ladies of the New Bern Memorial Association now unveil this monument dedicated to heroes, let these shot-torn battle flags wave their salute, and let glad shouts arise from every tongue; and let us cherish ever, and proclaim the virtues of our Confederate brothers, soldiers, patriots!

The Unveiling.

At the close of this address, Mrs. L. C. Vass, Vice-President of the Memorial Association, by the movement of a cord, unveiled before the assemblage the hidden statue, and the splendid effigy of the brave and true Confederate stood forth in heaven's sunlight, on his eternal watch over the bivouac of kindred heroes. In memory of God's kind providences, the great assembly united in singing the doxology—“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”


The following poem, written for the occasion by Mrs. Mary Bayard Clarke, was then read by her son, Mr. W. E. Clarke:

“On Fame's eternal camping ground”A sentinel now takes his stand,To guard his comrades’ dreamless sleepUntil relieved by Time's command.But—though this soldier carved in stoneMay slowly crumble and decay,—For “earth to earth and dust to dust”Material things all pass away:Yet, Love, like Truth, can never die;And ’graved on Time's historic page,The memory of our soldiers’ deedsShall live undimmed from age to age.By woman's hand ’tis written there.“Our dead shall live,” she said,And placed her sentinel aboveThe grave of the Confed'rate dead.Stand there, O effigy in stone!To guard ’gainst time's corroding dustThe sacred mem'ries of the pastConfided to your silent trust.

The benediction was then pronounced by Rev. Mr. Shields, and quietly mound and graves were covered with beautiful flowers, betokening the perennial fragrance and honor of noble lives and deeds.


Thus has been happily concluded this part of the Association's aims, in a manner alike creditable to them and honoring to the dead. It remains for them suitably to enclose and adorn their grounds. New members and further work are needful for these ends.

During its existence the Association has aided kindred societies and work, viz.: Stonewall, at Winchester, Va., and Hollywood, at Richmond, Va.; the removal of North Carolina's dead from Gettysburg, and erecting a sarcophagus over that great and good General, Robert E. Lee, at Lexington, Va.

President, . . . . Mrs. John Hughes.

Vice-Presidents, . . . {Mrs. M. McK. Nash. Mrs. L. C. Vass.

Secretary, . . . . Mrs. Nannie D. McLean.

Treasurer, . . . . Mrs. George Allen.

Its noble work has the hearty approbation of the living, and should receive their generous support. It will be crowned by the future with sincere gratitude and ceaseless benedictions.

Confederate memorial addresses : Monday, May 11, 1885, New Bern, N. C
Confederate memorial addresses : Monday, May 11, 1885, New Bern, N. C. Richmond, Va. : Whittet & Shepperson, 1886. 32 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. At head of title: Ladies Memorial Association. Contents: Historical sketch of the Ladies Memorial Association of New Bern, by Rev. L. C. Vass -- Biographical sketch of Gen. James Johnston Pettigrew, by Capt. H. C. Graham -- Address on unveiling the Confederate Monument, by Rev. L. C. Vass -- Poem, "Dux foemina facti," by Mrs. Mary Bayard Clarke -- Proceedings at the unveiling of the monument.
Original Format
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F264.N5 L2 1886
Location of Original
Joyner NC Rare
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