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In Memory of the President of the Confederate States of America

Jefferson Davis

1808 - 1889


To the Memory of Jefferson Davis - Interesting Services.

The Board of Directors of the Confederate veterans’ Association of Upper East Tennessee convened in extraordinary session at the office of Col. O. C. King, President of the Association, at 10 o’clock on Wednesday the 11th inst., and arrangements were made for the public meeting at the Opera House at 11 o’clock, in pursuance of the call by the president of the association, which was published in last week’s Gazette. At the directors’ meeting a committee composed of five directors, Col. Jas. E. Carter, Capt. J. C. Hodges, Hon. Jas. G. Rose, Maj. G. W. Folsom and W. T. Robertson was appointed to draft a memorial of Mr. Davis, to be engrossed on the record and roster books of the association; after which the board took a recess until 2 o’clock p.m., and immediately the members went to the Opera House, where a large and select audience of the best people of Morristown and vicinity was in waiting. The large attendance of ladies was noticeable. About 11:30 a.m., the exercises at the Opera House began, the choir singing “How blest the righteous when he dies.” The opening prayer was made by the Rev. Geo. F. Robertson of the Presbyterian church and was a fervent and eloquent petition to the Throne of Grace. Then the president of the association, Col. O. C. King, delivered a brief preliminary address, eloquent in its just tribute to Mr. Davis. After King was followed by the beautiful and appropriate hymn - “Rest.” rendered with exceptional taste and affect by the choir. After this Capt. J. C. Hodges delivered an address which was listened to with marked interest. He was followed by Col. Jas. E. Carter, who though not practiced in public speaking, made a speech of a few minutes, which, for its earnestness and sincerity, was deeply affecting. The choir then rendered the beautiful and touching piece founded upon the last words of Stonewall Jackson - “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.” Then followed an address by Rev. R. N. Price, in which the religious and moral traits of Jefferson Davis’ character were dwelt upon in length, and several incidents in Mr. Davis’ life, were told with marked effect. Then followed the reading of a short eulogy by Mr. Thomas Price Williams. Then J. H. McClister, Esq. secretary of the association, delivered a brief address. Then followed the doxology and the benediction by Rev. R. M. Hickey.

The exercises throughout were characterized by a grand solemnity befitting the occasion, and we doubt if anywhere the funeral of Jefferson Davis was more appropriately observed than at Morristown.

At 2:30 p.m., the board of directors met again at the office of Col. O. C. King, when the committee on Memorial submitted the following paper, which was unanimously adopted as the sense of the association, and was ordered to be spread of record and also engrossed on a memorial page of the roster of the association:


Unanimously adopted by the Confederate Veterans’ Association of Upper East Tennessee:

On the 6th day of December, 1889, in the city of New Orleans, State of Louisiana, Jefferson Davis, late President of the Confederate States of America, departed this life. In his long and eventful life has been illustrated more vividly than in the life of any other American, living or dead, the most exalted phases of American manhood. In early life fortune smiled on him, in that he was afforded abundant opportunities for high mental culture. These opportunities were faithfully improved by him, so that at the dawn of his early manhood he was abundantly equipped to meet the wants of the active and useful life upon which he was at once called to enter. He was born and educated for a leader among men, and opportunity for the development of the qualities of his mind and body came thick and fast in after life. He first became widely known to the people of America through his transcendent qualities as a soldier during the Mexican war. The fearful charge of the Mississippi Rifles, led by Jefferson Davis, on the battlefield of Buena Vista, has only here and there a parallel in the history of wars. That day gave the name of Jefferson Davis to the world, to be placed on the roll of famous men. From that day forward he was known and recognized and treated as a leader of men. And whether in the cabinet or in the national council, or as the chieftain of the people of his own Southland, he illustrated at every point he greatness of his character.

Time would fail if we should attempt even a slight glance at the great events in the history of this country in which he acted an honorable and prominent part.

But whether in camp or council, whether in the din of war or in the hush and quiet of his long retirement in private life, he ever impressed the world with the great fact that he was a Christian gentleman in the very highest sense of those terms. As a slight token of the regard in which he is held by the Confederate Veterans of East Tennessee.

Be it resolved, That in the death of Jefferson Davis there has passed from earth one who, in all the elements of his character and in all his acts in life, illustrated the very highest type of American patriotism and exalted manhood.

2. That we will ever cherish his memory, not so much because he was our great leader in war as because in all the walks of life he was an ensample worthy of our imitation, and because he ever showed himself worthy the highest respect of those who honor and love the patriotic citizen, the true soldier and the Christian man.

3. That we tender to the widowed wife and orphaned daughters assurances of our heartfelt sympathy for them in this hour of their saddest bereavement.

4. That the Secretary of this Association be directed to set apart in his roster a memorial page upon which he will in a suitable manner inscribe this memorial.

5. That the Secretary forward to Mrs. Davis and engrossed copy of this memorial.

The board adopted a resolution of thanks to the members of the choir for the excellent and appropriate music rendered by them during the services at the Opera House, and also to Mr. Thomas Price Williams for the eulogy read by him, and he was also requested to furnish a copy of it for publication, and to give the original to the Association, to be filed with its archives. The thanks of the Association were also extended to the Rev. Messrs. Robertson, Price and Hickey, for the parts taken by them respectively in the services of the day.

(ROGERSVILLE REVIEW NEWSPAPER, Rogersville, Tennessee, December 22, 1889 from a report that was written in the MORRISTOWN GAZETTE)

Music playing is "Rest", the hymn that was used at the memorial. To play again press the arrow on the left.

( I personally dedicate this page to the Bradford/Rose SCV Camp at Morristown, Tennessee, who continue to preserve the history of our past , being carried out by men of quality and high standards - the men who paid this tribute to Jefferson Davis would be very proud to know these men who are following in their footsteps today.)


Copyright © 2000-2001 by Sheila Weems Johnston

Page created 8/27/2000