Thursday, February 05, 2009

Story of a Statue

Our local free paper, Gambit Weekly, which surprisingly has some items of interest from time to time has one such article in the current issue.

It is a history of the statue of one of Louisiana's favorite sons, General P.G.T. Beauregard (1818-1893), who was for a time, the general of all the armed forces of the Confederate States of America. On the same day as the General's death on February 20, 1893, a group of 19 Confederate veterans raised $157.50 and started a memorial organization that would eventually result in the placement of a magnificent equestrian statue that would be placed at the Esplanade Avenue gate of City Park in New Orleans.

After many years of patient and determined fundraising, the statue was dedicated with great pomp and ceremony on November 12, 1915 in tandem with the annual convention of the Louisiana Division of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). In addition to the UCV, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) were actively involved in the fundraising and in the ceremony itself.

Once again, you can read the article here.

It is a fascinating look into life a century ago, when the aging veterans of a war fought sixty years before were still honored, treated with dignity and respect, and people by the thousands donated money in order to place a monument in a public place without waiting for the government to do it.

The monument is still there, and is still magnificent. It memorializes not only a great man, but also the thousands of brave American soldiers who fought under his command, engaged in a truly defensive war - men who, long after their rifles were silenced, continued to honor their fallen comrades and storied commanders. But the memorial also honors the devoted men and women who would not let the sacrifices of their fathers and grandfathers be forgotten.


Past Elder said...

Pierre Gustave Toutant, if memory serves.

Any statues of Gen. John B Gordon?

My kind of guy. Story is, when he went home all shot up after the war and first saw his wife, he calmed her with saying Don't worry, I've just been to an Irish wake.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear PE:

You're correct about P.G.T. His original last name was Toutant-Beauregard, and he supposedly un-hyphenated it when he went to West Point to bump himself up alphabetically to the letter "B."

General Gordon was also a great man, whose magnificent statue on the Georgia State Capitol grounds in Atlanta continues to face north. It is a real beauty.

General Gordon was the first CIC of the UCV (not to mention post-war governor and U.S. Senator of Georgia), and coincidentally shares my birthday which is, my goodness, today!

The Guy Sitting Next To You In The Pew said...

Happy Birthday, Father!

Past Elder said...

Well I'll be double dog dipped, didn't know that about the last name. Mine starts with M, so you're about in the middle no matter what.

I'm surprised nobody's raised a ruckus about a Confederate general's statue on a state capitol, although he did hold office after the war, and I think did pretty well in business too.

I'd say Happy Birthday in French except I can't remember how, and one of these days I'm going to be as old as the Russian lady who got booted out of the court of Tsar Nicholas II after the Revolution who taught me as a kid such Russian accented French as I have left.

Pastor Sharp said...
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