Craven County Digital History Exhibit

Ladies Memorial Association (p. 2), 1891

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[p. 2]


The entrance is through a massive archway of conglomerate shell rock, and from the arch is a constant dripping of water, as if it were tears being shed for the dead. On all sides are hand­some and costly monuments. Immediately in front of the main entrance on a swelling knoll is a monument erected by the Ladies' Memorial Association of Newbern to the memory of "OUR DEAD."

This monument consists of a large block of granite for its base, and on it large blocks of marble, which is surmounted by a life­size statue of a Confederate soldier "at rest" on his musket. Be­neath the monument in a large tomb are the remains of many of the Confederate soldiers who were killed in battle around Newbern, or who died in the hospitals. These remains were gath­ered under the auspices of the Memorial Association, over which the late Mrs. Elizabeth B. Daves presided, and placed in the tomb. On the 10th of May of each succeeding year our people, together with large numbers from the surrounding counties, as­semble to pay their tribute of respect to the memory of our dead. After prayer, an address, and other appropriate services, we wend our way under the strain of solemn music to the cemetery. There, assembled around the tomb--"Tread lightly--'tis a soldier's grave."

"Tread lightly-for these men bequeathed,
Ere laid beneath this sod,
Their ashes to their native land,
Their souls unto their God,"--­

And after appropriate services, and amid solemn music, the mound is banked with flowers. Yes,

"Cover their graves with choicest of flowers,
The rarest, the purest that grow."

Although never neglected, yet on the 10th of May, memorable as the anniversary of the death of the lamented Stonewall Jack­son, these soldiers sleep under a bank of flowers. There they rest­--

"On fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread ;
And Glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead."

"Yes, give me the land where the ruins are spread,
And the living tread lightly on the graves of the dead ;
Yes, give me the land of the wreck and the tomb,
There is grandeur in graves-there is glory in gloom."

Newbern, N. C.           WM. H. OLIVER.


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Images scanned by John B. Green, III.  Text prepared by John B. Green, III and Victor T. Jones, Jr.
This page last edited on August 21, 2018.

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