This volume is a votive offering at the shrine of our short lived nation's memory, by the last of the "Old Guard" of that noble race of women, whose superb heroism was only limited by the supreme need of its action. It is written in the current which flowed from bleeding hearts, it is bound in love, it is launched in hope. May history perennially repeat its story, and preserve it as the immortal testimony that the women of the South were as true to their duty to "rise and build" as her men were to suffer and die. None can read the record of these pages, without being moved to admiration of the undaunted spirit that brought forth from the wine-press of poverty and self-denial, fruits of toil, that crystallized into glittering monuments of love, cleaving the skies of the Southland.

The material for this volume was gained from articles and letters sent us by Memorial Associations. The manuscripts for the most part have been inserted with as little alteration as possible. The matter sent us was related in such concise and modest terms that small opportunity was left for condensation. The knowledge obtained in such a necessarily desultory manner we have endeavored to arrange and edit impartially. The publication was delayed in order to include all associations that desired to appear in this record of a people who have won immortality through sorrow and defeat.

We finish our work with an increased enthusiasm, chastened and mellowed, by a finer knowledge of the greater patriotism of others. We now consign this sheaf of the garnered grain of pious workers in Memorial fields to the great market of the world, with an all hail.



History is only made by the accretions of years, consequently this Confederation of Memorial Associations has in its three short years of existence done little to excite comment or to record, but the object of its organization is so noble, it must command the respect of all Southern people.

In the great struggle for a noble and just Cause, for which the men of the South sacrificed their all, the women with a faith and confidence, sublime almost in its intensity, cheered and encouraged Fathers, Sons and Husbands in their gallant defense of their rights, weaved, spun, nursed the sick, and wherever a woman s hand could tend or soothe, there her mission. With a courage undaunted by the perils that beset her path of duty and love, from 1861 to 1865, she hoped, endured and prayed for her struggling land and her heroes, and when defeat came passed through the fiery ordeal of ruined hopes, to accept with a brave and dignified resignation, a fate so adverse, its memory can never be effaced.

Immediately after the fall of the Confederacy the women of the South commenced their Memorial work. It is true that very rarely have those who have suffered defeat been accorded memorial honors; the South has made no such discrimination, she has woven wreaths of Immortelles for all who died under her banners, although they were lowered in the gloom of defeat. For thirty years or more, as their histories have told us, the women of the South have cared for their dead, built monuments and celebrated each year with befitting ceremonies the decoration of the graves of their heroes. From all over the Southland came the tender record of loving deeds, and each association worked on in its own plan of Memorial, emulated and encouraged by the efforts of their sisters in other States, all with the single idea and purpose of perpetuating the memory and deeds of their valiant dead. To those familiar with reconstruction days, and the period immediately following the close of the eventful struggle for State Rights and property, nothing need be said of the trials that beset and perplexed the women of the Confederacy in their efforts to rescue from oblivion the memories of men who stand recorded as the world's greatest heroes,, but through trials and persecutions these women persevered and to-day their noble deeds are told in history and song, and side by side with the Veterans they gather each year in reunion, recognized North and South, their devotion rewarded by the recognition and appreciation of the world, who loves a faithful woman; faithful aye, even more so, than the usual acceptance of the word, have the women of the Confederacy been to their heroes, traditions, and the Cause for which they struggled four long eventful years. Many of the faithful have passed into the silent beyond, and rest neath the shadow of the trees, but "the voices of the past still bring new messages to the present, and the Heaven sent inspiration to unite the Memorial Associations of the South into one great band of sisters, seems a fitting climax and tribute to the faithful work ers and the work begun in sorrow and privation.

The beautiful idea of confederating all Memorial Associations originated with the Southern Memorial Association of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and an invitation was sent out through its corresponding secretary, Miss Sue H. Walker, to all Memorial Associations requesting that they send delegates to a meeting to be called at Louisville, Kentucky, May 30, 1900. In response to this invitation meetings were held by the Memorial Asociations, the plan of confederation endorsed and delegates appointed to attend the convention. These delegates met in the music room of the Gait House May 30, 1900, at 10 A. M. Committees were formed and the regular business of organization proceeded. A constitution and by-laws were adopted and officers elected, thus culminating a cherished plan, for by this union of all Memorial Associations it is believed we will perpetuate more certainly the purposes for which each association has been individually laboring, and will more firmly cement the ties which already exist between them.

To future generations of the people of the South and to the Sons and Daughters of the women of the Confederacy, who first banded themselves together in memorial work, may this Confederation carry its messages and legacy of devotion to the memory of a Cause and the heroes who fought for it, the Death less Dead of the Southern Confederacy.

An account of the Confederation, its object and aims, in corporation, growth, etc., was sent to the Southern Historical Society, of Richmond, Va., and was given a place in Vol. 28 of the Southern Historical Society Papers, with an eloquent preface by the editor.



The Origin of the Confederated Southern Memorial Association

Its Work, Past and Present

Early in the spring of 1900, at a regular monthly meeting of the Southern Memorial Association of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on motion of Miss Julia A. Garside (now Mrs. W. B. Welch), it was decided to endeavor to organize all Memorial Associations of the South into a general federation, the object being to commemorate the work already done and to insure its continuance. The Corresponding Secretary was instructed to write to associations elsewhere and ask their co-operation. Cordial responses were received and arrangements made for delegates from each association to meet at the United Confederate Veteran Reunion at Louisville, Kentucky. A most enthusiastic meeting was held at the Gait House, May 30th, 1900, at which time the organization was perfected, delegates from thirteen associations being present. The following officers were elected for a term of three years: President, Mrs. W. J. Behan, of White Castle, La.; Recording Secretary, Miss Daisy M. L. Hodgson, New Orleans, La.; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Sue H. Walker, Fayetteville, Ark.; Historian, Mrs. Sarah Polk Blake, and a Vice President from each of the States represented.

We are not willing to lose our identity as memorial associations, nor to merge ourselves into the younger organization, "The Daughters of the Confederacy." We hope by this federation to commemorate our efforts and stamp our work upon the hearts of those who come after us, and thereby insure its continuance. We would esteem it a privilege and pleasure to have our delegates meet at the same place and time that the United Confederate Veterans hold their annual reunions if agreeable to them. Of course, we do not ask a voice in their councils; but we would like to meet with them. Many of us are veterans -- veterans as much as the gray, battle-scarred old soldiers, tho we bided at home. While they stood amid the smoke of battle, we stood amid the smoke of burning homes; when they fought, we wept and prayed; when they were hungry, we had only a crust at home; when their clothes were wearing threadbare on the long and weary march, we were busy with wheel and loom and needles; when they were in peril on picket, we held tearful, prayerful vigils. Are we not veterans as well as they?

An account of the Confederation, its object and aims, in corporation, growth, etc., was sent to the Southern Historical Society, of Richmond, Va., and was given a place in Vol. 28 of the Southern Historical Society Papers, with an eloquent preface by the editor.

The care of the graves of the Confederate Dead, and erection of monuments to their memory has ever been, and is, the special trust of the Memorial Associations. The numerous monuments erected prior to 1895 were all built by them. These veteran women of the Memorial Associations, with all the enthusiasm of their youth, have continued to thus honor the brave defenders of their beloved Southland. They are the leaders, the inspiration; but many younger women are constantly joining their ranks and will carry on the Memorial work when these have laid their burdens down. A most important undertaking of the Confederated Southern Memorial Association is the collection and compilation of the histories of all these memorial associations, to preserve them in book form. This volume will be of priceless value to the children and grandchildren of these noble women, who with breaking hearts amid the gloom of defeat, proved themselves the "Hearts Courageous" of those times, by gathering the sacred dust of the South s heroic dead into cemeteries of their own, and building monuments to their memory. We owe it to them, and to future generations, to preserve this record, and to see that the name under which this great work was done, be not allowed to pass into oblivion. A copy of this book, "History of the Confederated Memorial Associations of the South/ will be placed in all the Confederate Museums and principal libraries; and the proceeds from the sale of the book will be devoted to the Jefferson Davis monument. In accordance with the promise made at Louisville to assist in erecting this monument to the beloved President of the Confederacy, the energetic and earnest efforts of the Confederation have been directed to this end.

Soon after the Confederation was organized at Louisville, the subject of the care of the prison dead buried in the North, presented itself, and one particular case was brought to immediate attention. In June, 1900, Congress passed an act carry ing with it an appropriation for the disinterment of about two hundred and sixty Confederate soldiers buried in and around Washington, D. C., and providing for their re-interment in Arlington National Cemetery. This act was passed without the knowledge of many in the South, and an appeal was issued by the President of the Confederated Southern Memorial Association in September, calling attention of the Southern people, and particularly of Presidents of Memorial Asssociations to this act of Congress, that they might claim their dead (a list having been published) and bring them back to their native States. The movement was received with enthusiasm; the Confederate Veterans coming forward with contributions for removal. Much correspondence ensued, and though the desire to accomplish this work was strong among memorial women, and could have not been accomplished but for certain provisions of the act, they were doomed to disappointment; the Quartermaster General of the United States of America being ordered to execute the provisions of the act of Congress passed June, 1900. The appropriation having been made for the specific purpose of removing these remains to Arlington, the law had to be executed.

Though unsuccessful in this particular case, we do not regret the effort; and whenever and wherever possible the dust of these heroes will be claimed and returned to Southern soil. In some cases this can not be, and the bill recently introduced in Congress by Hon. J. B. Foraker, of Ohio, to provide for appropriate marking of the graves of Confederate soldiers buried in the North, met with the warm approval of the Memorial Associations, and Mrs. W. J. Behan, President of the Confederation, voiced their sentiments in her letter to Senator Foraker for his action in this matter. The bill passed the Senate, January 24th, and though the great rush of business at the close of the session prevented its consideration by the House, it is confidently hoped that favorable action will be taken at the next sesssion of Congress.

In addition to the general work of the Confederation, the Associations give evidence of renewed interest in local work by increased membership, regular meetings, and interesting programmes for Memorial Day exercises. June 3rd, the date adopted by the United Confederate Veterans at the Dallas Reunion, will be generally observed. Credit is due the Ladies Confederate Memorial Association, of New Orleans, for this action of the veterans. It is true that this day was adopted some years ago at the United Confederate Veterans Reunion in Houston, Texas, but its observance was not generally adopted and but for the zeal of these devoted admirers of President Davis, this beautiful tribute to his natal day might never have been made official. It was at Memphis that our second annual convention was held, and there the Confederated Southern Memorial Association inaugurated the beautiful custom of holding memorial services in honor of President Davis. This service was held in Calvary Episcopal Church, on the first morning of the Reunion, and the eloquent address by Bishop Gailor will long be remembered by those present. Again, at Dallas, this solemn and impressive memorial service in St. Matthew's Cathedral was the first feature of the Confederated Southern Memorial Association Convention, conducted by Right Rev. Alexander C. Garrett, whose tribute to Jefferson Davis and the women of the South was most eloquent and touching. This mark of devotion to the memory of President Davis, patriot, statesman and Christian gentleman, will continue to be the initial feature of all our conventions.

But thirteen Associations were represented at the organiza tion of the Confederated Southern Memorial Association in Louisville; sixty-two are now enrolled, with an average membership of seventy-five each. This steady growth and interest is mainly due to the ability, untiring energy and devotion to Southern memories of the President of this Confederation, Mrs. W. J. Behan.



Confederate Cemetery Memorial Association

Vicksburg, Mississipi

May 15, 1866 At a large called meeting of the ladies of Vicksburg, at the court house, the Vicksburg Confederate Cemetery Association was organized.

The following executive committees were appointed:
To find, mark, tend and report the graves of all Confederate dead scattered over our hillside for reburial. To select ground for the Confederate Cemetery. The cemetery was bought of Mr. Robert Hough and wife. It continues an enduring witness of their loyalty to the cause and largeness of heart. The deed to the cemetery was made to Mrs. E. D. Wright, President, and Miss Ellen Martin, Secretary of the Confederate Cemetery Association, as trustees, to be held perpetually for the sacred purpose of a burial place of the Confederate Dead. The Association now began with renewed energy and with sorrowful, yet glad hearts, to gather their dead to this final resting place.


To
The women of the Confederacy,
Whose pious ministrations to our wounded soldiers
Soothed the last hours of those
Who died far from the objects of their tenderest love;
Whose domestic labors
Contributed much to supply the wants of our defenders in the field;
Whose zealous faith in our cause
Shone a guiding star undimmed by the darkest clouds of war;
Whose fortitude
Sustained them under all the privations to which they were
Subjected;
Whose annual tribute
Expresses their enduring grief, love and reverence
For our sacred dead;
and
Whose patriotism
Will teach their children
To emulate the deeds of our revolutionary sires.

These were the women to whom President Davis referred in his dedication of the "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government."

Published by the Confederated Southern Memorial Association. Revised and authorized edition. Mrs. William J. Behan, President, 1904.


Give the laurel to the victor,

give the song unto the slain;

Give the iron cross of honor,

ere death lays the Southron down!

But give to these, soul proven,

tried by fire and fay pain,

The memory of a mother-love,

that pressed an iron crown!"