Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pensacola's Confederate Monument (Conclusion): "The Narrator's Narrative"

Newspapers have been a powerful force in channeling the priorities and decisions of elected officials and the public for a long time. To the extent that the Lost Cause narrative has had a role in racist activity since the Civil War, it must be acknowledged that the narrative never would have survived without a pervasive and persistent "narrator" in the form of the newspapers. But we don't hear about that. We hear about the malignant politicians, judges, racist activists, Confederate veterans, and Confederacy nostalgia enthusiasts, and...the monuments, but not the newspapers.

With the Lost Cause narrative's originator, Edward Pollard, rescinding many of the more volatile views that he expressed in his first book on the Lost Cause by 1868, it is doubtful there would have been a Lost Cause narrative without the newspapers propagating views and promoting policies that some today believe reflect the tone and sentiment of the Lost Cause narrative.

Vitally important today, though, is that our news media not use that same powerful voice to create a narrative that is false and harmful like their editorial staffs did in the late 1800s. The conduit that the news media was able to establish between those with power and the public was extraordinarily effective in the late 1800s, and it is even more so today.

Take for instance the News Journal's July 18, 2020 editorial titled "City Council right to reject myth of 'Lost Cause' monument." The newspaper had repeatedly championed the notion that the Lost Cause narrative was thoroughly enmeshed in the monument's origin and history, managing to put down opposing views as "myths," in the days and weeks leading to a pivotal City Council meeting. Then, after the City Council voted to relocate the Confederate statue, the July 18 editorial came along and congratulated the City Council for essentially buying into the News Journal's theory and for opposing the "myths." That's part of the power of the news media. It decides what is myth and what is fact, often on the turn of a phrase and the flimsiest of evidence.

One example of this was the News Journal's effort to make the case that the monument was a racist symbol when it cited a speech delivered during the 1912 Memorial Day observance at the Confederate monument. In its April 27, 1912 issue, the News Journal described Kirke Monroe's speech as "one of the best ever delivered here on such an occasion" in assessing the speech in which Monroe said, "This is a struggle for white supremacy." That citation was meant to be the final word in what the News Journal described as the monument's racist origins and past.

However, while the News Journal leveraged that speech as being indicative of the time and of the gatherings at the monument, it ignored the speeches that were given the year before and the year after during which nothing at all was said of white supremacy.

During the 1911 Memorial Day observance, Reverend Eugene R. Pendleton spoke dramatically about the cost of the Civil War to both sides and concluded his speech with words of unity, "No enduring union can be built upon hate or distrust, and when we commemorate the death of our own heroes of the south, we must not begrudge a tear for the boys of the north, and as we wind a laurel wreath around the tombs of Lee and Jackson, we must not be unwilling to place fragrant roses and southern Jasmine over the graves of Grant and Lincoln. Let the past go, and face the living present and budding future. Let our banner be peace, and a common patriotism."

The speech at the monument in observance of Memorial Day in 1913 was delivered by Oliver J. Semmes who spoke affectionately of the dead of both sides in the war. He said, "Honor to Confederate soldiers, whose ashes lie in our cemeteries; unlimited, spontaneous honors be theirs, and may the spirit of Robert E. Lee and U. S. Grant and those of the immortal hosts they led, forever enjoy a common happiness beneath the shades of the same trees across the river."

How is it that the newspaper was able to search for and locate the highly inflammatory language from one of its articles from 1912 to support their position, but not from the articles in 1911 and 1913 that provided an entirely different perspective?

There is no doubt that there was a narrative in the post-war South that romanticized the lost cause and that there were many in public office and in the news media who were almost solely responsible for propagating that narrative. There is also no doubt that there were politicians who worked aggressively to suppress and otherwise infringe on the rights of African Americans as soon as the South was free of Federal Reconstruction management, and there were news media outlets that gave them cover because they were essentially "Party" newspapers. There is no denying as well that African Americans were treated contemptuously and sometimes brutally by white supremacists. It is also certain that long after the monument was erected, it became a rallying point for racists as they gathered around the monument as though it represented their cause. Those were all blights on the history of the South in general and of Pensacola in particular.


What is in doubt for many is whether the monument, erected in the swirl of so much racist activity, was separate from that activity in its original purpose and was truly constructed to honor those who had valiantly given their lives in a war of secession that theythe common soldiersthe sons of Floridadid not start. There has been a sense among many, including those who addressed the crowd on June 17, 1891 at the monument's unveiling ceremony, that the "cause" for which the common soldier fought was the principle of simply doing one's duty.

Again, why did they go to war? Because their states called them to war. What was the "cause" that they died for? The common soldier's cause was duty. The common Confederate soldier didn't choose the battles and wasn't in the room where the politics, policies, and strategies were birthed. And again, he was an instrument of his state government; honoring him when he is dead is a reminder of the cost of war and politics.

In my view, the inclusion of engravings of tribute to Confederate leaders on the monument detracted from the monument's central theme of honoring the Confederate war dead because those engravings mean that the monument actually does much more than honor the war dead. The tributes on three of the monument's four panels have an entirely different nature than the fourth which honors the dead because they do honor the leaders of the movement that was defeated and discredited in the outcome of the war, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

I also believe that racists who used the monument as a backdrop for their demonstrations from the early 1900s into the 1970s did more harm to the legitimate symbolism of the monument than any present-day political movement could ever do. I also believe 
current impressions of the monument's meaning to today's African American community must be considered, but I cannot ignore the role of the news media in stirring up animosities and division in their distorted reporting and editorialism.

Remove the monument, or don't. But let's do what we do in full appreciation of history and a recognition of the purposes for which the monument was constructed. The fact is that many today are fired up about a history they don't even know, and the news media hasn't helped.

Consider what the four speakers at the unveiling ceremony for the monument on June 17, 1891 had to say about what it stood for and see if you believe it was part of that Lost Cause narrative or if it really was primarily a monument honoring the Confederate war dead.

Judge also the effect on the so-called "Lost Cause" narrative of an unchecked and coordinated political and media campaign to advance that narrative. Ask yourself if the "Lost Cause" narrative could have endured without their advocacy. Would the controversy surrounding the monument today have endured without it and without modern revisions of history?

There's a scene in the movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" in which the reporter, Mr. Scott, had been interviewing Ransom Stoddard, the man whom everyone mistakenly believed shot the outlaw Liberty Valance. When Mr. Scott realizes that Stoddard didn't shoot Valance and that his entire reputation and fame were based on a myth, Scott thought for a moment before throwing his interview notes That told the true story into the fire. When Stoddard asked him, "You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?" Scott answered, "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

It seems that that's where we are. The legend has become "fact" and that's what is being printed.

Pensacola's Confederate Monument (Part 7): "The Chicago Affair"

Something happened on May 30, 1895, four years after the Pensacola Confederate monument was unveiled, that many probably didn't expect: a Confederate monument was built, not in Atlanta or Vicksburg or Fredericksburg or Manassas. It was erected in Chicago's Oakwoods Cemetery and unveiled in an extraordinary ceremony well attended by veterans of the Blue and the Grey. The monument was a 30-foot granite column topped with a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier, a figure based on the painting "Appomattox" by John Adams Elder like the one that stands atop Pensacola's Confederate monument.

The Chicago Tribune published a front page article in its May 31, 1895 issue about the event under the headings, "Ends All Ill Will," "Animosities of the Rebellion Buried at Oakwoods," "Blue Joins with Gray," "Confederate Monument Dedication is a Big Success," "Are American Heroes All," "General Hampton's Speech Spirited and Full of Patriotism."

Former Confederate General Wade Hampton of South Carolina delivered the main address. It was as magnanimous as it was reverent to the Confederate dead whom the event was designed to honor. "No monument in the world has such an honorable history as attaches to yonder one. That marks the graves of no victorious soldiers, but of the followers of a lost cause; it stands not on Southern soil, but on Northern; the men who rest under its shadow come from our far-off southland; and it owes its erection not to the comrades of these dead soldiers, but mainly to the generosity and magnanimity of their former foes, the citizens of this great city."

Speaking of both, the honor of those in Chicago who made the monument possible and of the Confederate dead who fought and died for the principles in which they believed, General Hampton said, "In the name of my comrades, dead and living, and in my own name, I give grateful thanks to the brave men of Chicago who have done honor to our dead here, not as Confederate soldiers, but as brave men who preferred imprisonment and death rather than freedom obtained by dishonorable sacrifice of the principles for which they were willing to die."

Then, General Hampton spoke for the hundreds of thousands of enlisted soldiers who went to war, simply as a debt of duty. "Of the 6,000 Confederates buried here not one was an officer; all were privates, in no way responsible for the unhappy war which brought a myriad woes upon our country. And yet these humble private soldiers, any one of whom could have gained freedom by taking the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, preferred death to the sacrifice of their principles. Can any possible dishonor attach to the brave men of Chicago because they are willing to recognize the courage and devotion to duty of these dead Confederates? Every Southern man felt a call made upon him by his State was an imperative command, and his duty was to obey without hesitation and at all hazards. When the North called on its citizens to rally to the old flag they responded to the summons from a sense of duty, as did the people of the South to the call made on them."

Papers throughout the country, newspapers like the Morning Democrat (Davenport, IA), the Marion Daily Star (Marion, OH), the Montclair Times (Montclair, NJ); the Springfield Leader and Press (Springfield, MO), the Spirit of Jefferson (Charles Town, West Virginia), the News-Journal (Mansfield, OH), the Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, NE), the Times Herald (Port Huron, MI), the Reading Times (Reading, PA), the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA), the Courier (Waterloo, IA), the Alameda Daily Argus (Alameda, CA), the Journal Times (Racine, WI), the Knoxville Journal (Knoxville, TN), the Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, WI) published reactions to the unveiling of the monument written on other editorial pages from around the country:

"They seem to have concluded out in Chicago, anyway, that the war is over. 
 - Boston Globe

"There is nothing small about Chicago. She has no ill will against the dead heroes in gray." 
Nashville American

"To our view the Chicago incident did far more to obliterate Mason and Dixon's line than anything which has occurred since the war." 
Oswego Palladium

"The Confederate monument dedicated at Chicago is something more than a pure granite shaft, with tablets of bronze. It is a monument to the good sense and genuine patriotism of the American people." 
New York World

"When fair southerners strew flowers on the graves of the Union dead, and that people of Chicago assist in the dedicatino of a Confederate monument, it is safe to conclude that in some portions of the country at least the cruel war is ended." 
Detroit Free Press

"History furnishes few events as encouraging as the dedication of the Confederate monument in Chicago. It shows that the soldiers of the north and of the south are not only brave enough to do battle, but they are brave enough to forgive and forget." 
Detroit Tribune

"They can unveil all the Confederate monuments they please. It is not the causethe lost causethey are honoring but the bravery and life some men gave to that cause. The cause itself is as dead and buried as the quarrel of Ghibellines and Guelphs. 
Cincinnati Commercial Gazette

"Among those who participated in the unveiling of the Confederate monument at Chicago yesterday were some of the bravest and most noted men who fought in the Union army. If such men saw nothing improper in attending the exercises, it is for others to refrain from criticism." 
Grand Rapids Democrat

"The monument erected in Chicago to the Confederate dead who died in prison there was unveiled with appropriate ceremonies and without kindling the fires of rebellion. From flowers watered with tears, treason does not grow. Southerners are not worse but better for grieving over the unreturning brave, their comrades is a lost cause." 
Terre Haute Gazette

Pensacola's Confederate Monument (Part 6): "Voices of the Unveiling"

Whatever else was happening in the South in 1891 and afterward, it seems appropriate and important to interpret Pensacola's Confederate monument's origins through the words and actions of those who were directly involved in its christening rather than rely only on concurrent yet potentially unconnected events such as the discrimination and suppression of African Americans, the Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws that were so rampant throughout the South and in other parts of the United States for 100 years after the end of the Civil War.

The tortured linkage of the Lost Cause narrative to the construction of the Pensacola Confederate monument implies that honoring the dead with the monument wasn't merely concurrent with the propagation of the Lost Cause narrative but that it was synonymous with advancing the narrative. It means that in spite of the emotional sentiments expressed at the memorial's dedication, those expressions were cynically insincere because what Pensacolians really cared about when they funded and erected that monument was suppressing African Americans instead. But we don't hear diatribes against African Americans in these speeches; we hear about their war dead and the reasons that they went off to war

Why did they go to war? Because their states called them to war. So, what was the "cause" that they died for? Was it slavery or states' rights? The common soldier's cause was the same as it has been in every war fought by Americans since the beginning. The "cause" was duty. The common soldier then was little different than the common soldier of today in that he didn't choose the battles and wasn't in the room where the politics, policies, and strategies were birthed. He was an instrument of his state government; honoring him when he is dead is not a glamorization of war or its politics, it's a reminder of the cost of war and politics.

But the July 4 News Journal editorial described the monument as “a piece of stone intended to dignify, sanitize and whitewash all the treasonous sentiments and corrupt behavior of those who had unjustly seized power in this city.”

Let’s listen to the voices of that day in 1891 and judge them for ourselves...

Under an overcast sky, the dedication parade formed and marched to the monument as the divisions that formed the parade positioned themselves around the reviewing stand. After a prayer was said by Reverend H. S. Yerger, Master of Ceremonies Colonel W. D. Chipley announced the singing of "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Of the rendition of the song, the June 18, 1891 issue of the Pensacola News reported, "With the aid of the band the song was rendered, Mr. J. W. Lurton directing, and with a pathos and fervor that left no doubt of the sincerity of those who voiced its sentiments."

The song, "My Country 'Tis of Thee" ("America") was a popular de facto National Anthem of the United States until the Star Spangled Banner was adopted in 1931.

Then, as soon as the drapery that surrounded the monument was dropped to the ground, the band struck up the song "Dixie" "but the music for a moment was lost in the great cheer which sped heavenward from those ten thousand throats, and the scene became wildly animated as hats, handkerchiefs and flags were waved high in the air," according to the Pensacola News article.

When the cheering subsided, Colonel Chipley introduced Pensacola attorney Evelyn C. Maxwell for the introduction of Florida Governor Francis P. Fleming. 

Maxwell was the son of former Florida Secretary of State and Chief Justice Augustus Maxwell, and the grandson of former Justice Walker Anderson. Maxwell grew up in Pensacola and became a criminal court judge in 1892 and a circuit judge in 1896. Then, he became a Florida Supreme Court justice in 1902 and served in that capacity for two years.

Of the Governor, Maxwell said, "With the first notes of war he responded to the call. Young in all save his ardor of patriotism, a youth who had not yet reached man’s estate, he enlisted in the fight. The strength of devotion steeled those sinews which time had not yet matured, and throughout the long years which followed he remained at his post in the desperate struggle for what he felt to be the right. In Virginia, in Tennessee and in North Georgia he followed the fortunes of the Southern arms, until the curtain fell; the wager of war was decided against him and he bowed to the bitterness of defeat. The end came and with it he recognized that the same devotion to his state which in time of war called him to arms demanded in time of peace that he accept the issue of the fight and take up again the duties of civil life. He laid aside the captain’s sword, which he had so hardly won, and devoted himself to the task of raising his loved state from the prostration which marked the close of hostilities to that proud position in a prosperous South which she now holds."


Governor Francis P. Fleming, Florida's 15th governor, a Democrat and a Confederate war veteran, took the stand next. He said that while some might say that the South fought a war in vain which resulted in the loss of property and the useless loss of lives, he could not think that the lives of soldiers were lost in vain. "The world is richer and better for such libations poured upon the altar of Country, and the contribution to history made by Southern valor and Southern heroism, in a war waged to maintain the right of self government and in defense of homes and family altars from invasion and destruction. And now that more than a quarter of a century has passed and we can recall our motives in the clear light of mature deliberation, with most of our comrades asleep in their graves and the great Creator of the universe looking down upon us, we may face the whole world and declare it to be our sincerest conviction that men never went forth to battle with a clearer consciousness of the purity of their motives, or the righteousness of their cause." Then, he spoke of the present, "Let us cherish the memories of the past to be transmitted as a sacred heritage to posterity. But let us be equally true to the duties of the present and the hopes of the future. Let us remember that the stars and stripes is our flag and the emblem of a united country to which our allegiance is due."


Next to address the audience was Reverend J. H. Curry who introduced the event's primary speaker, Colonel R. W. Davis.

He told the crowd gathered around him, "No monumental pile, however sublime or beautiful in sculptor’s conception or architectural build can justly commemorate the heroism and glory of these crownless martyrs—these ungarlanded heroes of Confederated hopes, fortunes and sympathies. Ah, no, not to perpetuate their fame do we erect this monument; a nobler purpose impels us, a holier motive urges us. This monument is to be a sublime, but silent witness of our abiding faith in the rightness, honesty and sincerity of the principles for which the great sacrifice was made—it is to be a perpetual proclamation of our loyalty to what was and is and forever shall be—conviction to duty at any cost short of honor and integrity."

He told the audience that while they gathered to honor those who died in defense of the principle of commitment to duty, they stood united as Americans. "This monument is a pledge of our appreciative remembrance of those who spent and were spent in defense of cherished principles, contended for, crushed but never surrendered. No one can censure us for honoring our heroic dead; nor can they attribute this endeavor to do so to motives antagonistic to our common country, the grandest, freest, best government on God’s earth—our American Union of States, indissoluble forever, under the common banner of a common brotherhood for God and human rights eternally."

Addressing the possibility that the event would be misinterpreted as being centered on the romantic image of the Southern soldier, he said that they were there to honor their dead. "This was the more than poetic-inspired conception of the brave, romantic Southerner, whose very name is a synonym for chivalry—a chivalry that dare resist an insult offered to a brother—quicker even than to self—than rather die than surrender personal honor. This was the secret and inspiration of that sublime struggle a score and ten years ago. But the result is gone into history and we do not now come to revive any discussion; but we do come to honor ourselves in doing honor to our deathless dead; and while we loved them living we more than love them departed."


Finally, the event's primary orator, Colonel Robert W. Davis took his place to deliver his speech.

He cautioned the audience that although he intended no offense, he would speak the truth. He said, "We have assembled to-day for no festive purpose, for no trivial cause, but to perform a grave and sweet duty, sad to give outward sign and public expression to the feeling of our hearts."

He said that within the past few years, a crumpled parchment dated January 10, 1861 was found in the basement of the State Capitol on which sixty-nine of their representatives added their signatures to the ordinance that withdrew Florida from the Union and "plunged us into war, and made all the sad history that followed—contained the decree that made fame for some—dug graves for many—wrought tears and spilled blood."

He then spoke in defense of the secession ordinance, for which Florida never published a "declaration of causes" as four other Confederate states had, "...for all the brave men who fought and bled and fell in advocacy of the principles of that Ordinance of Secession, I shall say here to-day under a Florida sky, and in the face of all the people of this great and now reunited country, as God is my Judge, I believe the people of Florida had the right to separate in peace from the American Union—that we had the same right our forefathers of the American revolution had. Yet, though we fought for the same principle our forefathers fought for, upon the same red hills of Old Dominion, and along the same sea coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia, where our forefathers bled, we are told now, and our children are taught, that one was American patriotism, and the other criminal rebellion and treason."

But then he was clear that as he believed the secession was not treasonous, he said he believed that to be the case as a credit to the dead they were assembled to honor that day. “Do not misunderstand me. I am not speaking with vain regrets. I am not carping that we did not succeed. I am not clamoring for another war. I do not now wish to see the American Union dissolved or its growing greatness retarded or destroyed. I do not wish to open old wounds, or re-kindle the old and now extinguished flame. I only speak out my heart in justice to the memory of those who died for a principle they believed in—who fought for a cause they deemed just, and to preserve whose memory this granite shaft is unveiled to-day."

Believing that the Northern soldiers who fought against them would not harbor ill will toward them for honoring their dead, he said, “My friends of the North—my generous, brave and noble friends—you who fought against us in those days, and you who conquered us and who replaced the Southern cross by the Stars and Stripes over a re-united land, you do not blame us for refusing to turn our backs on our own brave dead, or for defending the principles which actuated and moved us; nor do you sympathise with a certain and unnamed United States senator, who in a recent speech in the United States senate scoffed at the loyalty of the Southern people and sneeringly said of them—“They have their own heroes, their own anniversaries; they celebrate their own victories; they rear their own monuments to civil and military leaders whose claim to glory is that they fell for slavery and anarchy.” [from a speech by Sen. John J. Ingalls (R-Kansas) on the U. S. Senate floor on January 23, 1890]

In a further declaration that he opposed continuing the strife between North and South, he attributed the fomentation of disharmony to those who never wore a uniform during the war. “God be praised that the country now, North and South, has no toleration for those who attempt to foment and keep alive the strife they never dared enter when it raged in reality, and who fight over for political purposes battles the smoke of which they never saw, and the roar and rattle of which they never heard."

He then returned to visions of the fanfare of young men marching off to war, but added that while he had hoped to go to the fighting himself as a young man, he lived to regret that he ultimately did. “Oh! what years, Oh! what a war? How vividly we recall the days when the boys marched off. I see now the bright faces of the plumed and uniformed men as, to the step of fife and drum, they marched along. I see now the smiles of fair women—smiles that shone through tears, as with fluttering kerchief they waved their loved ones away to the war. I was a boy then and lived in Georgia. I remember the first company of gallant men that left my old home with waving banners and gay beating hearts. I remember, too, that their destination was Pensacola. In my boyish fervor I was afraid the war would end before I grew old enough to enter it, and I lived to regret that it did not."

He also expressed the hope that every town in the south would honor their war dead. "History has embalmed the deeds of the soldiers on both sides of this great conflict, but it will be the historian of the future who will do the Southern soldier the full meed of praise. I wish every hamlet, in every country, in every Southern state had a monument to their soldier dead. I would that every mile post along every Southern road could be shaped into a separate monument for some soldier and his name and deeds could be inscribed upon it. Then the poor private who bore the brunt and heat of battle might be personally perpetuated. Whereas now, we must content ourselves with speaking of them collectively as the “Confederate dead...”

Then he advocated for something that some today have called for, more monuments that tell a more complete story. “In Jacksonville, in this state!—mind you in Florida—a Southern state, a similar ceremony to this took place within a month past, but it was not the unveiling of a Confederate monument, it was the ceremony of unveiling of a monument to the Federal dead. I was not present but had I been able I should have been there. I was pleased too, that the sentiments expressed on that occasion were so manly and loyal and at the time the merits of the Southern soldier were so fully recognized. There is no reason why these monuments may not stand side by side, and yet speak out for the merits of their respective dead."

He seemed to anticipate the controversy that has surrounded the monument in recent years when he pleaded, “Monument, stand there, and may the hand of time deal gently with you. When the winds sweep around you, stand a sturdy symbol of the Confederate soldier as he stood while the winds of adversity swept around him; stand through the ages yet to come that posterity may know how we loved and cherished our martyred dead."

Finally, he addressed the young soldiers who were in the crowd and were part of the parade in reminding them where their loyalties resided, “Young Soldiers: You who stand in line before me, your gay plumes floating in the breeze; you are not Confederate soldiers, but you are soldiers of your state and common country; you are the guardians and protectors of the pubic peace. Some of you may have been in the late war; some of you may be sons of those who fought under the stars and bars, or under the stars and stripes—it matters not now. You are ready to march at the call of your state or at the call of the general government. You are from good stock, from whichever side you sprang. Let me point you to these veterans and to the dead soldiers of whom I have been speaking, for if you wish examples of valor and heroism you will find them there."

Pensacola's Confederate Monument (Part 5): "The Grandest Display"

On June 18, 1891, the day after the unveiling of the Confederate monument, the Pensacola News ran a front page article under the headline “The Dedication” and subheadings “Pensacola’s Confederate Monument Given to History” and “Grandest Display Ever Witnessed in This City.” The article that followed was pure prose, “A grand scene—grander by far, indeed, than pen might adequately picture.”

The first section of the article described the crowd that gathered for the unveiling:
Ten thousand people on Palafox hill.
A vast mass of surging humanity, surrounding a granite shaft on which stood a veiled figure.
On balconies, in windows, in some instances on the roofs, of adjacent dwellings were people whose eyes were bent upon that central spot containing the monument.
Far down into the different thoroughfares leading to that point the mass had boiled over, and struggling for position from which to gain a better view the constituents of that great concourse caused an ever rolling wave, created by human heads, that apparently swept toward the centre, only to recoil and sweep back again.
Slightly raised above the heads of the multitude near the monument was a stand which was also peopled. To the stand from the summit of the shaft two cords were leading.
Directly those close to the stand were seen to uncover and bow their heads. Those on the stand did the same. The act betokened a prayer.
The article continued:
The 17th of June, 1891, has gone into history. And for the people of Pensacola the date shall be an ever memorable one—the most glorious day that old city has ever known.
Yesterday she welcomed and entertained more than 3000 people; yesterday her old streets resounded to the marching of a regiment of the citizen soldiery of Florida; yesterday she gave to the world a lesson in patriotism that will stand for ages; yesterday she became first of all the cities of the South in paying monumental tribute to the memory of the Confederacy’s dead president—Jefferson Davis; yesterday she honored herself, as one of the orators of the occasion put it, in honoring her own dead and the dead generally of the old Confederacy.
The article also included a note of appreciation for the contributions that were made to the project: some of the names on the list of donors would be familiar to many Pensacolians today: S. A. Moreno, H. Baars, Lewis Bear, W. A. Blount, Geo Bonifay, F. C. Brent, W. D. Chipley, A. V. Clubbs, A. F. Mallory, A. E. Maxwell, J. N. Moreno, E. A. Perry, C. C. Yonge, Jr., for instance.

The final section of the article set the scene of the unveiling:
Wednesday, the 17th of June, 1891 was born in a cloud-burst. The rain came down in torrents, and the outlook was indeed a gloomy one. Fears were entertained that the weather would not clear in time for the observance in full of the programme arranged, and the doubts were by no means dispelled when at noon the wind shifted and a break to the north and west became visible.
But Nature’s proposition for a truce was in good faith, and, though the sky was overcast throughout the afternoon, not another drop fell, and the exercises were conducted without let or hindrance.
The rain had the effect of laying the dust, which would have proven very disagreeable, and much less preferable than the mud which succeeded it. The atmosphere also was cooled by the showers, and rendered more bearable by the thousands who came out to see the parade and witness the ceremony.
The parade included notable names such as Master of Ceremonies W. D. Chipley and assistant marshal F. R. Goulding. Governor Fleming was in the first division as were the Ladies of the Confederate Monument Association and the President of the city and the board of commissioners. The second division was led by assistant marshal D. G. Brent and an array of military rifle squads and guards from around the state. The third division consisted of young ladies representing the 15 Southern states, the Grand Army of the Republic (a Union military fraternal organization), and the Sons of Veterans. The fourth division was led by assistant marshal R. M. McDavid and consisted of local fraternal organizations: Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and musicians. The fifth division was led by assistant marshal S. A. Moreno and the fire department.

Next: Part 6: "Voices of the Unveiling"