Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Honoring the dead: Memorial Day...
 Preserving the past: Monument...
 Renewing old friendships: Veterans'...
 Preparing for the future: Academic...
 Conclusion: Some observations and...
 Biographical sketch

Title: Ceremonial speaking and the reinforcing of American nationalism in the South, 1875-1890
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00097643/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ceremonial speaking and the reinforcing of American nationalism in the South, 1875-1890
Physical Description: v, 237 leaves. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Towns, Walter Stuart, 1939-
Publication Date: 1972
Copyright Date: 1972
Subject: Rhetoric   ( lcsh )
Oratory   ( lcsh )
Nationalism -- United States   ( lcsh )
Speech thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Speech -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 228-235.
Additional Physical Form: Also available on World Wide Web
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00097643
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000580541
oclc - 14050678
notis - ADA8646


This item has the following downloads:

PDF ( 10 MBs ) ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Honoring the dead: Memorial Day addresses and eulogies
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Preserving the past: Monument dedications
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
    Renewing old friendships: Veterans' reunions
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Preparing for the future: Academic ceremonies
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Conclusion: Some observations and suggestions
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
    Biographical sketch
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
Full Text

Ceremonial Speaking and the
F'einforcing of American Nationalism
in the South, 1875-1890















. iii

INTRODUCTION . . . . ...


DEDICATIONS ...........

REUNIONS . . . . . .

CEREMONIES . . . . . .

SUGGESTIONS . . . . . .

APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . .

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . .


. 1

S 25


S 131

S 169

S 207

S 225

S 228

S 236

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Walter Stuart Towns

March, 1972

Chairman: Dr. Donald E. Williams
Major Department: Speech

This historical-descriptive study examines twenty-six post-Civil

War ceremonial speeches delivered by Southerners to Southern audiences

in an attempt to determine the nature of post-war rhetoric of reconciliation.

The study is limited to speeches made in the geographical area of

the Confederate States of America, with primary focus on Virginia, North

Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. An additional limitation is that the

speakers studied were long-time residents of the South and men who were

commonly recognized leaders in their communities. The speakers include

William B. Bate, J.C.C. Black, Matthew Butler, John W. Daniel, Charles

E.R. Drayton, Clement A. Evans, John B. Gordon, Henry W. Grady, John

Temple Graves, Atticus G. Haygood, Moses D. Hoge, W.B.W. Howe,

Thomas J. Jarvis, John Kemper, David M. Key, Evander M. Law, Fitzhugh

Lee, Thomas M. Logan, Samuel McGowan, U.M. Rose, James W. Throck-

morton, and Alfred Moore Waddell.


The ceremonial situations examined included Memorial Day,

eulogy-producing events, monument dedications, veterans' reunions,

and educational occasions such as commencements and alumni meetings.

The major themes discovered are: (1) Both the South and the North

have made major contributions to the nation's heritage. (2) The South

accepts the verdict of the sword and is ready to participate again in the

national life. (3) The model of Northern and Southern leaders as they

practice reconciliation should be followed by all citizens. (4) The politician

is largely to blame for preventing total reunion. (5) There is a bright future

for the reunited nation and the South will play a vital role in that future.

These speakers also attempted to reinforce American nationalism by

appealing to the human values of patriotism, forgiveness, friendship:

cooperation, and responsibility.

Based on this survey some suggestions are made concerning the

nature of speaking which would reaffirm reconciliation. It is suggested that

a speaker ground his premises on those human values most directly related

to a spirit of harmony, such as patriotism or loyalty, forgiveness, friendship,

cooperation, and responsibility. Second, it is suggested that speakers

intensify these values by illustrating them with contemporary examples of

reconciliation taking place. Again, a speaker's strategy could include

helping his audience accept the fact that in a situation calling for reinsti-

tuting harmony, there is generally a "loser" and a "winner. Finally,

the speech could provide specific examples of what the two factions, sections,

or groups have in common -- either goals and purposes or heritage and



Reconciliation is not. analogous to a religious philosophy of

"once saved, always saved." Rather, it is a process with no clearly

definable beginning and with no point in time when one is totally

reconciled. It is more accurate to say that the post-Civil War South

was in the process of becoming reconciled to national goals and

purposes -- a process even yet unfinished. This study examines what

these speakers said on the subject of national reunion and suggests

some possible strategies and considerations for contemporary speakers

who would attempt to reconcile antagonistic elements of our national



Problem, Purpose, and Method

In 1937 Paul H. Buck wrote that by 1895 the "people of the United

States constituted at last a nation integrated in interests and united in

sentiments." He went on to remark that "within a single generation true

peace had come to those who had been at war."1 Assuming there is at

least a degree of truth in these statements, it is unusual that students of

Anieliucdi public address have not seized uJUpo Buli cks eeirences in ai

attempt to discover the function and place of speech-making along this road

to peace and reunion. What was the nature of the post-war rhetoric of

reconciliation? This is the prime motivating question behind the present

study. It is assumed that part of the answer may be found in an examination

of speeches made by Southerners on ceremonial occasions; this speech

situation is the focus for the present investigation.

Rhetorical critics and speech historians have largely overlooked this

major area of research: post-bellum Southern speaking. The field of public

address history and criticism contains a wealth of articles, theses, and

1 Paul H. Buck, The Road to Reunion, 1865-1900 (New York: Random
House, 1937), pp. 310, 320.

dissertations dealing with various aspects of ante-bellum Southern oratory

and orators, but with the end of the Civil War, the door is almost closed

on nineteenth century Southern speechmaking.2 For example, Robert T.

Oliver's survey, History of Public Speaking in America, discusses briefly

the post-war speaking of Henry W. Grady, L.Q.C. Lamar, and Booker T.

Washington, but leaves the bulk of Southern public address of the period

in limbo. The three-volume History and Criticism of American Public Address

contains essays on Edwin A. Alderman, Grady, Lamar, and Washington, but

ignores other post-war Southern speakers and the reconciliation issue. There

have been dissertations on Joseph E. Brown, Benjamin Morgan Palmer, Robert

Love Taylor, J.L.M. Curry, Zebulon B. Vance, and Washington, but with these

studies, the survey of modern criticisms of post-war nineteenth century

Southern public address is about complete. Dallas C. Dickey pointed out

2 I have reached this conclusion after investigating Cleary and Haber-
man's Rhetoric and Public Address, A Bibliography, 1947-1961; Knower's
"Index of Graduate Theses, and Auer's "Dissertations in Progress" both of
which appear annually in Speech Monographs. I have also examined the 1971
edition of the Index of The Quarterly Journal of Speech and the various region-
al speech journals as well as the "Bibliography of Speech and Theatre in the
South" which appears each year in The Southern Speech Journal, and Disserta-
tion Abstracts through 1971.

3 V. Littlefield, "An Evaluation of Joseph E. Brown's Invention." Ph.D.
Dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1965; W.J. Lewis, "The Public Speak-
ing of J.L.M. Curry." Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida, 1955;
M. Bauer, "Henry Grady, Spokesman for the New South." Ph.D. Dissertation,
University of Wisconsin, 1939; W.C. Eubank, "Benjamin Morgan Palmer, A
Southern Divine." Ph.D. Dissertation, Louisiana State University, 1943;
Raymond W. Buchanan, Jr., "The Epideictic Speaking of Robert Love Taylor
Between 1891 and 1906." Ph.D. Dissertation, Louisiana State University,
1970; F.R. Shirley, "The Rhetoric of Zebulon B. Vance: Tarheel Spokesman."
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida, 1959; W.N. Pitts, Jr., "A
Critical Study of Booker T. Washington -as a Speechmaker, With an Analysis
of Seven Selected Speeches." Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan,

this vacuum in speech research in 1947 when he said, "The speaking of

southerners on the problems of reconstruction is unknown except for that

of a few men such as Grady and Lamar";4 the situation has not been altered

significantly in the intervening two and a half decades. It is hoped that

this dissertation will begin to open the door to this virtually untouched

resource and thereby help fill this gap in American public address history.

It should be pointed out that the reconciliation process had already

begun by 1875. The General Amnesty Act of 1872, L.Q.C. Lamar's "Eulogy

on Charles Sumner, and countless lesser-known events had encouraged the

reunion process beginning practically with the meeting between Grant and

Lee at Appomattox Courthouse. Therefore, for many Southerners, a feeling

of a re-united nation was already part of their life-style, and orators aimed

their rhetoric at reinforcing this spirit of harmony.

To further illustrate the probability that many Southern orators were

facing audiences at least partly reconciled,one simply needs to recall the

statement Patrick Henry made a century before in the Virginia Ratifying Con-

vention of 1788. Henry, and probably many other Southerners, obviously

had an affection for the new concept of America. In a speech opposing the

proposed American Constitution Henry remarked:

I am a lover of the American Union . . The
dissolution of the Union is most abhorrent to
my mind. The first thing I have at heart is

4 Dallas C. Dickey, "Southern Oratory: A Field for Research,"
The Quarterly Journal of Speech, XXXIII (December, 1947), 461.

American liberty; the second thing is American
Union; and I hope the people of Virginia will
endeavor to preserve that Union.5

Henry's strong American sentiment was doubtless still present in many

Southerners in the immediate pre-Civil War years. An example would be

Robert E. Lee's agonizing decision to leave the Unio* with his native state

and to offer his sword to the Confederacy.

In addition, as James L. Golden demonstrates, there were quite a

few Southerners, who, on the very eve of the civil conflict, deplored and

fought against secession. Sam Houston, the hero of Texas Independence,

remarked in an 1850 Senate speech on the Clay Compromise measures:

If I am of the South, can I not recollect the North?
What is our country? It is a nation composed of
parts, East and West, South and North. It is an
entirety. There are no fractions in it. It is a unit,
and I trust it will so remain. 6

The fact that Houston was Governor of Texas in 1861. attests that there wern

a number of Texans who shared his Unionist sentiment. In 1860, Benjamin I

Perry of South Carolina delivered a speech at the National Democratic Con-

vention in Charleston in which he said he came to the meeting as "a Democr

and a Union man, "who was "determined to do all that I could to preserve the

Democratic party and the Union of the States."7

5 Patrick Henry, "Against the Federal Constitution, Virginia Ratify
Convention, Richmond, June 5, 1788. In Ernest J. Wrage and Barnet Basker-
ville, eds., American Forum (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 196C
p. 16.

6 Quoted in James L. Golden, "The Southern Unionists, 1850-1860.
In Waldo W. Braden, ed., Oratory in the Old South, 1828-1860 (Baton Rouge
Louisiana State University Press, 1970), p. 260.

7 Ibid., p. 273.

In sum, the spirit of national harmony was present in the South.

Many Southerners longed for peace between the sections, as many of the

speeches described in this study reflect. The concept of union was dear

to many, and the Southern speaker's task with these auditors was to rein-

force this attitude. A leading Southern historian, C. Vann Woodward,

confirms this deep-seated Americanism when he writes, "The South was

American a long time before it was Southern in any self-conscious or

distinctive way. "

A description of Southern oratory should be productive in illuminating

the reconciliation process; therefore, the major purpose of this dissertation

will be to characterize Southern ceremonial public speaking as it helped

reinforce the reconciliatory attitudes and actions of the post-Civil War

Southerner. An additional purpose of the dissertation project is simply to

locate ceremonial speech texts for the period 1875 to 1890 in which national

harmony was a theme. No student has made such a collection of prime

sources and it is believed this gathering together of speeches is a contri-

bution in itself.

This first chapter will establish the purpose and parameters of the

study. The second through the fifth chapters will describe what these speakers

said to further reconciliation in various ceremonial situations. In other words,

these chapters will discuss the nature of ceremonial speaking which aimed

at the reestablishing of national harmony. The main body of this inquiry will

b C. Venn Woodward, The Burden of Southern History (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1960), p. 25.

identify the sub-theme: upon which the reconciliation spokesmen focused

in their effort to reconcile Southerners to political exigencies of the time.

That is, these fourchapters will characterize the values which, together,

made up the content of the reconciliation message. The main body of the

study will also describe the rhetorical strategies employed by the leading

reconciliation orators. This feature of the study will give particular

attention to the rhetorical means by which the speakers sought to reinforce

those values associated with the mood of reconciliation. In sum, it will

be the aim of these four chapters to describe both the what and how of

reconciliatory address, as revealed in the practice of these Southern

speakers. The final chapter will characterize, in an over-all way, the

reconciliation message as expressed by these men, and draw any generali-

zations which may be warranted concerning the nature of reconciliation

oratory. It is anticipated that this descriptive study will expand and

thereby improve our understanding of how a group of speakers on ceremonial

occasions dealt with the task of reinstituting national harmony.9

9 Descriptive studies, according to Auer, are designed to serve one
or more of these goals: "ascertaining norms, establishing goals, or develop
ing methods." This study is primarily concerned with determining,through
observation of speech texts, the norm, or status, of ceremonial public
speaking as it dealt with the problem of national harmony in the post-Civil
War South. In addition, description of what these speakers said about
reconciliation will help expand and improve our knowledge of public address
as a social act. J. Jeffery Auer, An Introduction to Research in Speech (New
York: Harper and Brothers, 1959), p. 35.

Geographical and Chronological
Limits of the Study

This survey will be limited to speeches made in the geographical

area of the eleven Confederate States of America.10 Due largely to lack

of available speech texts from some of the states, the primary focus will

be on Virginia, North Carolina,- South Carolina, and Georgia, but will at

the same time include a number of speeches from other Southern states

which will help illustrate and define the Southern strategy of reconciliation


A further limitation is that the study will include only those

speakers who were either long-time residents or natives of the South, or

were identified in an integral way with the short-lived Confederacy. In

short, the focus is on those men who had first-hand knowlpdgp of Southern
life and values. Yet another limiting factor, by necessity, is that the

study will embrace only those Southern speakers whose speeches have

been recorded and preserved and which are available. The survey is not

concerned just with the nationally famous orators of the post-bellum period

such as Henry W. Grady. It will describe as well addresses presented by

lesser-known men who strove to influence the opinions and values of more

limited areas and groups.

10 The speaking of Southerners in the North has been examined. See
Huber Winton Ellingsworth, "Southern Reconciliation Orators in the North,
1868-1899." Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University, 1955.

11 For a definition and discussion of Southern speakers, see Kevin
Kearney, "What's Southern About Southern Oratory? The Southern Speech
Journal, XXXII (Fall, 1966), 19-30.

The limiting dates for this study are 1875 to 1890. Although

these dates may appear to have been chosen arbitrarily, there is a

rationale for limiting the dissertation to this particular time span. In the

first place, political reconstruction was coming to an end in most states

by 1875, although the final settlement was not made in three states (South

Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana) until the celebrated "Compromise of

1877. While the number of Federal troops stationed in the South from 1865

until 1877 were greatly insufficient for their task, 2 their symbolic presence

angered Southerners and made reconciliation efforts more difficult before

their total withdrawal. In fact, one historian believes that for some

Southerners, "military occupation was worse than defeat on the field of

b 13
battle." The process of reconciliation has no clearly defined beginning.

Indeed, much reunion had occurred by 1875; but the various centennial

celebrations for the War of Independence, which began in 1875, can be

seen as one significant milestone in the road to reunion.14 By the following

year, "Northern public opinion was also veering toward sympathy for the

white Southerner,"15 and in 1877, the compromise legislation in the presi-

dential administration of Rutherford B. Hayes touched off a wave of recon:cili

tory efforts such as the President's goodwill trip to the South and his

12 Rembert W. Patrick, The Reconstruction of the Nation (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 150.

13 John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction: After the Civil War (Chicago:
The University of Chicago Press, 1961), p. 35.

14 Buck, Road to Reunion, p. 139.

15 Patrick, Reconstruction of the Nation, p. 250.

participation in Memorial Day services in Tennessee.16 Even some of

the Northern "bloody shirt" orators, such as Robert G. Ingersoll, who

fanned the flames of sectionalism after the war, began to support

reconciliation by 1877; Southerners such as Lamar, Hill, and John B.

Gordon responded with similar messages.17 Patrick believes that by

1876-1877 "the time for vengeance had passed; the day of understanding

and appreciation had arrived. Former anti-southern journalists shifted

their bias."18 In other words, prior to the mid-1870's feelings were still

so intense between the sections that reconciliatory rhetoric often fell

upon rocky soil. With the ending of political reconstruction, the total

withdrawal of the token forces of occupation and the essential abandonment

of the "Negro question" to Southern solutions, the ground was more fertile

and speakers were able to reinforce the latent feelings of intersectional

peace and harmony. One can suspect that most Americans longed for a true

national reunion after decades of bitterness and bloodshed. Although there

had been, of course, efforts to promote national harmony prior to the end of

political reconstruction, the process toward intersectional peace gained

impetus in the 1875-1877 period; it suggests an appropriate starting point

for this study.

16 Buck, Road to Reunion, p. 107.

17 Ibid., pp. 108-109.

18 Patrick, Reconstruction of the Nation, p. 290.

Fifteen years later, in 1890, the farmer's revolt against the

"Redeemers," the established white conservative order -- reached its

peak. The success in 1890 of the Farmers' Alliance candidates19 reflected

marked agrarian discontent with the men who had controlled the Southern

states since the mid-seventies. With the election of agrarian Benjamin

Ryan Tillman of South Carolina and James S. Hogg of Texas to their states'

governorship in 1890, the Redeemers were overthrown and a new order took

their place. 20 According to Clark and Kirwan, "A political revolution of a

sort took place in the South in the early 1890's as veterans of State legis-

latures and of Congress were replaced by tillers of the soil. "21 The Ocala,

Florida, meeting of the Southern Farmers' Alliance in 1890 formed what was

to be the platform of the soon-to-be-created Populist Party, thus helping

to identify 1890 as a turning-point year in Southern life. To a large degree,

the process of reunion and reconciliation had run its course by 1890; the

South, as a region, was again in the mainstream of national life, participating

in large-scale public deliberation on popular issues. By the time of the

Spanish American War in 1898, the nation was functionally reunited in the

9 Seven Southern states elected Alliance legislatures and forty-
four Alliancemen were elected to the House of Representatives. Theodore
Saloutos, Farmer Movements in the South, 1865-1933 (Lincoln: University
of Nebraska Press, 1964), p. 116.

20 Woodward, Origins of the New South, 1877-1913 (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1951), p. 204.

21 Thomas D. Clark and Albert D. Kirwan, The South Since
Appomattox, A Century of Regional Change (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1967), p. 69.

face of a common enemy, with the South furnishing many of the nation's

fighting men. Since 1890 marks the beginning of the end for the reconcilia-

tion-oriented leadership of the Southern states, it presents a useful date

with which to terminate this examination of Southern public address.

The Ceremonial Address

Since it is the position of this study that these speakers who pro-

jected the reconciliation message were primarily concerned with reinforcing

the sentiment of American nationalism, the ceremonial speech was selected

as an appropriate type of speech to examine. As shall be demonstrated,

this speech situation is designed to reaffirm values generally held by an

audience. This speech type played a large role in the life of the post-war

South, as, indeed, it did everywhere in the nation until the advent of

nationwide radio, television, and spectator sports. The Memorial Day or

Fourth of July oration, for example, was a community-wide celebration, and

to be selected as the "orator of the day" was a true honor. In nineteenth

century America, the ceremonial occasion served as a focal point for social

fellowship and, as such, as a key factor in reinforcing community values.

These speeches were often printed, thereby enhancing their potential to

reach a wider audience. This wider distribution implied also that a large

and influential segment of the listeners felt them to be important.

For over two thousand years of public speaking theory and criticism

men have written about the ceremonial address. For Aristotle, the epideictic

was one of the three major forms of Athenian public address. The epideictic

speech was presented to groups on special memorial and celebration days

and was designed for praise or blame of a man or institution.22 It is the

position of this study that the epideictic is a species of a larger, more

encompassing type of address to be labeled here the ceremonial. In

America the Boston Massacre and Fourth of July orations, Memorial Day

addresses, funeral sermons, graduation and bacculatreate addresses,

building dedications, Thanksgiving and Election Day sermons, after-dinner

speeches, convention keynote speeches, and presidential inaugural addresses

are examples of a major speaking genre -- the ceremonial -- which became

part of our oral tradition.

What is the basic function of the address presented on certain

ceremonial days in honor of standardized, conventionalized events? It

seems rather obvious that the chief purpose is to confirm, support, reinforce,

and affirm shared community values Or to put it a different way, to reinforce

community cohesiveness. Many writers have commented on this form of

oratory and its social role. For example, Wil A. Linkugel, R.R. Allen, and

Richard L. Johannesen, in their anthology, Contemporary American Speeches,

point out that on certain occasions,

22 Richard Chase, "The Classical Conception of Epideictic,"
The Quarterly Journal of Speech,XLVII (October, 1961), 299. It should be
recalled, however, that Charles Sears Baldwin, in referring to the trans-
lation of the Greek term for this type of oratory, says: "' demonstrative' is
flatly a mistranslation, 'oratory of display' is quite too narrow a translation,
and 'epideictic' is not a translation at all . .. The French equivalent is
discours de circonstance." Ancient Rhetoric and Poetic (Gloucester,
Massachusetts: Peter Smith, 1959), p. 15.


speakers address audiences about the values that
both share as members of a common group. The
speeches given in such moments are thus noncon-
troversial for a specific audience. They dohot
urge adoption of new values or rejection of old
values. Rather, they seek to reinforce and re-
vitalize the existing audience values. The speaker
seeks unity of spirit or a re-energizing of effort or
commitment; he tries to inspire, to kindle enthusiasm
or to deepen feelings of awe, respect, and devotion.23

John D. Groppe points out that "social ritual is employed on rather specialized

social occasions, such as a group's formal, public occasions, as a means of

manifesting and achieving solidarity." On these occasions, the speeches

presented "are analogues of the creeds that are recited by congregations in

Christian churches . to manifest the unity of the group. "24 In writing

about Memorial Day and rites such as Armistice and Veterans Day, Lloyd

Warner says they are "rituals of a sacred symbol system which functions

periodically to unify the whole community, with its conflicting symbols and

its opposing, autonomous churches and associations.25

-Samuel R. Johnson, in presenting a critique of the Aristotelian model

of epideictic speaking, asserts that "American epideictic speaking is most

often confirmational." He argues that the speaker's purpose may not be to

praise or blame at all, but may be "to speak for maintenance value."26

23 Wil A. Linkugel, R.R. Allen, and Richard L. Johannesen, Con-
temporary American Speeches, 2nd ed. (Belmont, California: Wadsworth
Publishing Company, 1969), p. 278. Italics supplied.

24 John D. Groppe, "Ritualistic Language," The South Atlantic
Quarterly,LXIX (Winter, 1970), 63.

25 W. Lloyd Warner, American Life, Dream and Reality (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1953), p. 3.

26 Samuel R. Johnson, "The Non-Aristotelian Nature of Samoan
Ceremonial Oratory, Western Speech,XXXIV (Fall, 1970), 273. It should

William J. Brandt observes, however, that the speech of praise --

central to the Aristotelian concept of epideictic -- performs an "important

civic function, for as it praises a person, it reaffirms the "traditional

values upon which such praise was based. It was thus an affirmation of
,, 17
community solidarity. "2

Thus, an important aspect of the ceremonial address is its emphasis

upon community values. The focus is not upon expediency or practicality as

in deliberative, political, policy-making oratory. Nor is the forensic speech

one which centers upon values -- other than the ultimate goal-value of

justice. Here the question is guilt or innocence. But the ceremonial address

is value oriented; it functions to reinforce values. It goes to the very bed

rock of society and employs as its subject matter values that society holds

dear. Indeed, human values must exist before standards of guilt and

innocence can be established and before policy can be determined and action

urged. Ceremonial oratory is, therefore, basically conservative in the best

sense of that word, since it attempts to reaffirm the basic values of a society.

be pointed out, however, that while this student agrees with some of his
conclusions regarding ceremonial speaking, one of Tohnson's contentions,
namely that ceremonial address is "relatively unstructured," is not con-
sidered accurate. Instead, it would appear that ceremonial address is rather
rigidly bound by the situation of the ceremonial event and that audience
expectations play a large role. For further demonstration of the situational
demands on the ceremonial speaker, see Ronald H. Carpenter and Robert V.
Seltzer, "Situational Style and the Rotunda Eulogies," Central States Speech
Journal,XXII (Spring, 1971), 11-15.

27 William J. Brandt, The Rhetoric of Argumentation (Indianapolis:
Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1970), p. 13.

An additional purpose of ceremonial oratory is suggested by

Johnson when he discusses ceremonial address as "oratory of display."

He observes that sometimes the speaker may be addressing the audience

"merely for the satisfaction of the audience and speaker. "28 Brandt also

recognizes this purpose, pointing out that "the oratot who was not partic-

ularly awed by the ceremonial occasion could see in an epideictic oration

a handsome opportunity for personal display."29 Edward P.J. Corbett, in

discussing ceremonial addresses describes it as the "oratory of display, "

in which the speaker is "not so much concerned with persuading an audience

as with pleasing it or inspiring it. "30

J. Richard Chase, in his survey of "The Classic Conception of

Epideictic, "31 shows that Aristotle believed that in epideictic speaking

the audience's "interest is centered upon the speaker's performance." Chase

says this is the focus for, "in epideictic there is no burning issue that

demands a decision. Thus the listener, not caught up in the conflict of

ideas, can better appreciate the artistic efforts of the speaker. Brandt

also makes this distinction, observing that, "members of the audience were

spectators, presumably because they shared the sentiments of the speaker

even before he began. "32

28 Johnson, "Non-Aristotelian Nature," 273.

29 Brandt, Rhetoric of Argumentation, p. 13.

30 Edward P.T. Corbett, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), p. 29.

31 Chase, "Classical Conception," 295, 296.

32 Brandt, Rhetoric of Argumentation, pp. 12--13.

It should be clearly pointed out that the distinctions between'the

three forms of oratory -- deliberative, forensic, and epideictic -- are not

rigid nor mutually exclusive. Writes Corbett:

Ceremonial discourse sometimes shades off into
deliberative discourse, sometimes into judicial.
The ceremonial orator did indeed seem to be more
intent on impressing the audience with the eloquence
of his laudatory efforts than he did in persuading his
audience to adopt a certain course of action. But in
praising a great man, he was suggesting, indirectly
at least, that his audience go and do likewise; and in
thus suggesting a course of action he was moving over
into the realm of deliberative discourse. Likewise,
when he praised or censured a man, he encroached on
the province of judicial discourse, because like the
lawyer in the courtroom he seemed to be engaged in
exonerating or discrediting someone.33

As this passage from Corbett demonstrates, there is much overlapping

of Aristotle's three divisions of the rhetorical act -- perhaps so much th'at

they become practically meaningless.34 For instance, there is the function

of counseling, normally considered the prime aim of the deliberative, policy-

making speech. In the final analysis, the ultimate rationale of all rhetoric

is counseling: helping an audience make decisions based on what the speaker

sees as truth, the best solution to a problem, the best value to be upheld,

or the guilt or innocence, worthiness or unworthiness of a person. Yet in a

33 Corbett, Classical Rhetoric, p. 139.

34 For example, Donald C. Bryant, in his essay, "Rhetoric: Its
Function and Its Scope," says that "any systematic construction of human
phenomena, even Aristotle's, will either leave out something important and
significant or will include a category, however named, which is, in effect,
'miscellaneous.' That I think Aristotle did in discussing the rhetoric of
the ceremonial or epideictic speech." Quarterly Journal of Speech, XXXIX
(December, 1953), 405.

narrower sense than this, there is a counseling dimension of a speech

presented at a ceremonial situation. A hypothetical example should help

make this point clear.

Suppose that a speaker, addressing an audience on Memorial Day,

reinforces the spirit of reunion in an effective manner so that it truly

becomes a meaningful part of the life of a United States Congressman who

was present in the audience. Suppose further that the speaker did not in

any way advocate a policy, state his views on political matters, or do

anything else one might usually consider within the province of a deliber-

ative address. But that Congressman, a week or a month later, recalls

that reunion message and its meaning to him. Because of that speech he

encourages his fellow Congressmen to vote on a certain bill in a way which

will aid in destroying intersectional barriers. That ceremonial speaker,

then, did contribute to the deliberative process -- but did not give a deliber-

ative address as rhetoricians have traditionally thought of it. It is not

within the scope of this study to determine when, or if, this aspect of

ceremonial address occurred. It is simply pointed out as an example of

how the traditional divisions of rhetoric are not mutually exclusive.

Again, ceremonial address can be deliberative -- that is, advice-

giving or counseling -- in yet another situation. The speaker counsels

when he deals with attitudes or opinions held by his auditors which may

be counter to his own point of view or the thesis of his speech. For instance,

when a Southern speaker encouraged his listeners to support the reunion of

the nation, he may have been speaking in the face of deeply held anti-Union

sentiments. Therefore, he is asking his audience to rethink, to deliberate

with themselves, to change this attitude. No vote is taken in a legislative

chamber. Rather, the debate goes on within the listener himself as a result

of our hypothetical speaker's influence on him. Again, this is an aspect of

the ceremonial address with which the present study will not be concerned.

It is simply mentioned as an aspect of the speech type which could, and

probably did, occur.

At any rate, the ceremonial address is basically concerned with first,

reinforcing shared community values and second, with satisfying or enter-

taining an audience with the speaker's display of rhetorical ability. The

first of these functions will be the major focus of this study. It is assumed

that these ceremonial speakers did attempt to reinforce the value goal of

national reunion by calling upon community values such as patriotism,

forgiveness, friendship, and cooperation. This study will attempt to discover

whether, indeed, these speakers did fulfill this value-reinforcing function

of the ceremonial address.

Carroll Arnold, in his study of one of America's greatest ceremonial

speakers, George William Curtis, sums up the genre in this manner:

In general, those who wait upon ceremonial speakers
are drawn from their habitual haunts by a sense of
duty, a personal involvement in the occasion, a
lively curiosity, or -- perhaps most often -- by a
desire to hear a preachment upon the present signi-
ficance of the occasion. And the ceremonial speaker,
freed from the exactions of opposition, from knottily
worded propositions, and from the necessity of
counseling detailed and immediate action, is usually
at liberty to view the celebrated event in its most
symmetrical cosmic attitude. Listener and speaker
are intent upon contemplating together the relation to
the received values honored by all parties. The

celebrants may differ with those outside their bethel,
but differences among themselves are usually excluded
by tacit agreement.

These sanctions of ceremonial address have probably
never been more scrupulously observed in America than
in the late. half of the nineteenth century.35

The body of the study is divided into chapters according to the

various types of important ceremonial occasions under which these speeches

may be grouped: Chapter Two concerns Decoration Day, Memorial Day, and

other eulogy-producing occasions; Chapter Three deals with monument and

statue dedications; Chapter Four discusses Confederate veterans' reunions;

and Chapter Five treats educational occasions such as commencements,

baccalaureates, and alumni gatherings.

The content of these ceremonial speeches which deals with

reconciliation themes, symbols, and values will be described. It is not

the intent of this dissertation to consider ceremonial oratory in general, but

rather to examine how these speakers, on these ceremonial occasions, handled

the theme of national reunion.

Sources and Selection of Speech Texts

It was assumed at the outset of this investigation that public speaking

played some discernible role among the road to reunion in the South. An

attempt was made, therefore, to discover ceremonial speeches which dealt to

35 Carroll C. Arnold, "George William Curtis," in History and
Criticism of American Public Address, Vol. III, ed. by Marie K. Hochmuth
(New York: Longmans, Green and Company, 1955), p. 153. Italics supplied.

some degree with a conciliatory topic: that is, speeches in which the

orator made a direct or a symbolic reference to national reunion, the

causes of disharmony, and solutions to this problem, or a plea for peace

between the North and the South. These speeches were selected because

the speakers attempted to promote good will between the sections.

After consulting^a number of secondary sources describing the

history of the period, the writer compiled a list of speakers who were in

some role or another as public figures. This list was arranged by states,

and a tour of several major Southern historical collections was conducted

in order to locate ceremonial addresses by these men. Speeches were

located in which amity, not emnity, Was an overriding consideration of

the speaker. These speeches are the sources used to describe a portion of

the South's reconciliation speaking.

As pointed out earlier, only those texts of speeches given by South-

erners to Southern audiences, which have been preserved and which have

been found during the research stage, will be utilized in this study. Most

of the speeches examined in this dissertation were printed in pamphlet form

by the speaker himself or by a committee who heard the address and thought

it worthy of recording for a wider audience. 36 The remainder of the speech

texts were found in contemporary newspaper reports of the occasions.

36 Some of the comments regarding the publication of the speeches
are interesting. For example, a committee in writing to Governor Thomas J.
Jarvis of North Carolina requesting permission to publish his speech to the
Society of Alumni at Randolph Macon College felt "assured that happy
results will follow its circulation." Thomas J. Jarvis, Address Delivered
Before the Society of Alumni of Randolph Macon College, June 15, 1881.
(Richmond: Johns and Goolsby, 1881), p. 3.

Admittedly, the bothersome problem of textual authenticity must

be recognized; some of the texts studied probably do not represent a word-

for-word record of what the speaker actually said. For one thing the

speakers may have had a desire to make their speeches "read as well as

possible" when they were published, and second, the possibility for

errors in transcription and printing make it difficult to obtain a verbatim

record of the speeches which were made before the advent of electronic

recorders.37 Doubtless, those speeches which were printed by the speaker

or by a public committee in pamphlet form represent an accurate statement

of the ideational content of the speech. Those speeches discovered in the

public press, however, should be looked upon with some reservation, since

they were often the product of a reporter's memory and his dictation skills.

Probably, however, the basic macrostructure of the content, the ideas

expressed, and the general language used by the speaker is enough similar

to what was verbalized on the platform that these speeches will be useful

in this descriptive study of Southern public speaking.

Studying speeches presented years ago places another burden on the

modern student when one realizes to what a limited extent printed texts

include on-the-spot attempts by the speaker to adapt to his individual audience

and his possible reactions to feedback. For example, the newspaper account

of a speech by John B. Gordon remarks that the orator prefaced his prepared

address by "several minutes impromptu speaking."38 Nowhere in the reports

37 Lester A. Thonssen, A. Craig Baird, and Waldo Braden, Speech
Criticism, 2nd ed. (New York: Ronald Press, 1970), pp. 323-346.

38 Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), April 28, 1887.

of this speech does any hint appear about the content of these impromptu

statements, which doubtless affected the rhetorical situation. If the

critic cannot discover how the speaker might have made immediate adapta-

tions to the audience and social environment, he must neglect consideration

of this potentially important rhetorical tactic.

An additional problem presents itself when one considers the printed

speech text. Speeches are transitory acts. Critics have observed that

there are "many elements of an evanescent sort" present in the speaking

process. These elements are "effective and significant while the speech

is being delivered but irretrievably lost once the speaker leaves the plat-

form. "39 The student and his reader must accept this fact and realize that

not hearing the spoken word and not seeing the gestural language of the

orator nor his physical appearance on the platform, places additional limits

upon the effectiveness of the study.

Most of the speech texts selected for this study, as well as others

which were originally selected but later rejected as either being too repetitious

of other speeches or as not covering the reunion theme in more than just

passing reference, were uncovered during research in the excellent historical

collections at the following University libraries: University of South

Carolina, University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill), Duke University,

University of Virginia, Louisiana State University, Emory University and

the University of Georgia. Others were selected from the Cossit Library

39 Thonssen, Baird, and Braden, Speech Criticism, p. 9.

in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Little Rock, Arkansas, Public Library,

as well as the Universities of Texas, Houston, Arkansas, Mississippi,

and Florida, and the North Carolina State Library.


Public speaking always grows out of a situational problem in the

speaker's social environment; as Lloyd Bitzer put it, "the situation calls

the discourse into existence.40 The speaker speaks because he sees --

or thinks he sees -- a problem, or an issue, and has something he wishes

others to hear about it. His discourse may be either appropriate or

inappropriate to that situation. This is for his audience to determine. But

the speaker is compelled by circumstances to respond to what Bitzer calls,

an "exigence," defined as "an imperfection marked by urgency; it is a

defect, an obstacle, something waiting to be done, a thing which is other

than it should be."41 The focus of this study is the exigence of national

disharmony and some of the attempts Southerners made to deal with this


Study in the field of Southern public address history focusing on the

rhetorical strategy of post-Civil War reconciliation is patently warranted.

At a time in America's history when unity and harmony over national purpose

are practically non-existent for certain segments of our population, when

40 Bitzer, "The Rhetorical Situation," Philosophy and Rhetoric, I
(January, 1968), 2.

41 Ibid., 6.

sectional battles over racial policy echo the debates of the previous

century and when a developing gulf is threatening between those who

would destroy our environment and those who would conserve it, serious

students of communication in American society should focus more

specifically upon research pertaining to reconciliation and national

harmony. Perhaps this study can contribute to this urgent quest by

describing how a group of men, living in the decades following the Civil

War, attempted to mend the spirit of a broken nation.


The Civil War ground to a halt in the Spring of 1865. Within a

matter of weeks, Southern women began the practice of honoring their

dead heroes who had fought and died in the "Lost Cause." Indeed this

process had begun in some towns even before the war's end.1 Throughout

the South, springtime flowers were brought to the gravesides as women

attempted to beautify the tombs of the fallen gray-clad soldiers. As the

azealea, wisteria, buttercups, and gardenias bloomed, their blossoms

were brought to the new cemeteries scattered across the Southland --

cemeteries filled with thousands of freshly dug graves. The women of

the South did their share to make the last resting places more elegant

and pleasant that Spring, but they felt more could be done.

Accordingly, the next March, Mrs. Mary Williams of Columbus,

Georgia, wrote a letter to the Columbus Times in behalf of her bereaved

comrades and the men they wished to honor:

The ladies are now and have been for several days
engaged in the sad but pleasant duty of ornamenting
and improving that portion of the city cemetery sacred
to the memory of our gallant Confederate dead, but we

1 Paul S. Buck, The Road to Reunion, 1865-1900 (New York:
.Random House, 1937),p. 120.

feel it is an unfinished work unless a day be set
apart annually for its special attention . .
we can keep alive the memory of the debt we owe
them, by dedicating at least one day in each year
to embellishing their humble graves with flowers . .
and we propose the 26th day of April as the day.2

By 1875 this custom had spread throughout the South, although

there was never any total uniformity in dates. Many localities did adopt

Mrs. Williams' April 26 holiday, but the date varied from town to town.

Certainly there was no uniformity as there was in the North where May 30

was legalized as Memorial Day in 1868 and celebrated as such throughout

that victorious section under the direction of various local posts of the

Grand Army of the Republic.3

An editorial statement in the Atlanta Constitution dated April 22,

1887, explained some of the history of the Confederate memorial observance:

For the past twenty years the people of the South have
been accustomed to gather about the graves of the
heroes of the 'lost cause' on the 26th of April to pay
their tribute . . This beautiful rite was instituted in
Georgia. It was suggested and founded by Mrs. C. H.
Williams of Columbus . . The 26th of April was chosen
because it is the anniversary of the surrender of the last
organized army of the confederacy . . The women of
the South instituted it, and they have constantly maintained
it with loving pride and heroic devotion.4

2 I. W. Avery, The History of the State of Georgia from 1850 to
1881 (New York: Brown and Derby, 1881), p. 715.

3 Buck, Road to Reunion, p. 121.

4 "Shall Memorial Day Be Changed?", Editorial, Atlanta
Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), April 22, 1887, p. 4.


A running controversy in the Constitution over the next few days

gives further insight into the nature of the holiday. The suggestion had

been made to bring the South's celebration into line with the North's

observance of Memorial Day by changing the often-accepted Southern

date of April 26 to May 30 -- which was by the 1880'3 a "national"

holiday. Among the several comments between April 22 and 26 which

appeared in the Constitution there was this notable one from C. H.

Williams, the son of the holiday's founder:

I do not understand how such a change could be
seriously considered for a moment by any one who
comprehends the true tenderly mournful meaning of
our "Memorial Day" . . it is now woven into
the sweet and tender traditions of the south as one
of mourning not of exultation. "Decoration Day" at
the north is celebrated as a day of triumphant exul-
tation over the last expiring gasp of the cause we
seek to mourn for and sanctify in the memory of the
youth of the land.

The editorial writer of the Constitution replied that same day with

the comment that the origin of Confederate Memorial Day "is something

worthy of being remembered with patriotic pride. We owe the day to a

noble southern woman's devotion. "6

Although in due time the South did agree to participate in the

national celebration, April 26 is still Confederate Memorial Day in many

parts of the South.7

5 Letter to the Editor, ibid., April 26, 1887, p. 4.

6 "Suggested by the Day," Editorial, ibid.

7 Confederate Memorial Day is still being observed at various places
in the South. See, for example, the Pensacola (Florida) News Journal,
April 27, 1969, for a brief description of the 1969 observance of the event

In the South, the annual observance was one of the key factors

enabling the "Lost Cause" to achieve potent myth status, by which

several generations of Southerners have lived. If the Lost Cause did

assume a religious character, as two scholars have recently pointed out,8

Confederate Memorial Day (or Decoration Day as it was known in some

places) played a significant role in this process. The Raleigh, North

Carolina, News and Observer clearly expressed in an 1887 editorial the

prevailing sentiment in that region:

Again the 10th of May rolls around and we repair to the
last resting places of those who wore the gray and died
in that patriotic service specially to recall once more
the heroic value of the sleeping army and the virtues of
those who gave up all that made life sweet to go cheerily
to war because it was for home and country. It is a
custom as appropriate as it is touching, and we trust it
-ll alwayss and without breach be observed in our southland9

in that northwest Florida City. See also Herbert F. Birdsey, "Rose Hill
Cemetery -- Macon, Georgia, April 26, 1866 -- April 26, 1966" The
Georgia Review, XXI (Fall, 1967), 370-72.

8 Thomas D. Clark and Albert D. Kirwan, The South Since
Appomattox, A Century of Regional Change (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1967), p. 51.

9 "Memorial Day," Editorial, News and Observer (Raleigh, North
Carolina), May 10, 1887. In her delightful description of Decoration Day,
Margaret Inman Meaders expresses how some in the South needed this
celebration: "The defeated have left to them only the transforming of
grief into glory. Losses can be endured only when wreathed in laurel.
Memories must march to drums; and fears, be beaten down by fifes.
Pride must be reborn before its earlier death can be admitted." "Post-
script to Appomattox: My Grandpa and Decoration Day," The Georgia
Review,XXIV (Fall, 1970), 298-99.

This social phenomenon, heavily steeped in symbolism, is

deserving of careful study. It is important to the present investigation

to report what was said on these annual occasions, and to determine

what role the observance played in the reconciliation process. For

only through this context are we able to understand fully the rhetorical

phenomenon of post-Civil War reconciliation oratory.

A typical Memorial Day ceremony in the South can be characterized

in this way: There was usually a procession of the Confederate veterans

and the women and school children from the center of town to the cemetery

where the bands and choral groups of the locality presented one or two

"appropriate" selections. If held in a hall, the women prepared and

arranged elaborate trappings such as black sashes and drapes, evergreens,

and pictures of the famous deceased such as Robert E. Lee or "Stonewall"

Jackson. The ladies of the community were generally accorded places of

honor both on the platform and in the procession. Prayers were offered

by various clergy members, and there was always the ubiquitous oration,

which was often followed by more prayers and musical selections.

In considering specific celebrations of this event, two speeches

made by the noted Georgia journalist and orator, John Temple Graves,

provide an appropriate starting point. The first of these was delivered at

West Point, Georgia, on April 26, 1876;10 the second was addressed to

10 John Temple Graves, "Memorial Address," Delivered at West
Point, Georgia, April 26, 1876. Text from an undated, newspaper clipping
in John Temple Graves Scrapbook, The South Caroliniana Library, University
of South Carolina.

the Union "Decoration Day" ceremonies in Jacksonville, Florida, on

May 30, 1885.11

The West Point address was one of at least two memorial addresses

Graves made in the two years following the completion of his college work

at the University of Georgia in August, 1875. The other speech was made

in 1877 at LaGrange. Taken together, these two addresses significantly

helped in building Graves' reputation as "the orator of Georgia," as he was

grandly introduced for a speaking engagement at the opening of the 1890

Piedmont Exposition in Atlanta.12 The eulogistic biographical sketch in

A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians says that during his period as

teacher at West Point and La Grange, "he attracted much attention for two

memorial addresses, delivered over the graves of Confederate soldiers."13

The young orator begins his speech14 with a brief statement to the

effect that Memorial Day is the occasion for "grateful memory" of the past

11 Graves, "Union Decoration Day Speech," delivered at Jackson-
ville, Florida, May 30, 1885. Text from an undated, unknown newspaper
clipping in ibid.

12 Atlanta Constitution, October 16, 1890. Clipping in ibid.

13 "John Temple Graves," in Lucian Lamar Knight, A Standard
History of Georgia and Georgians, Vol. VI (Chicago: Lewis Publishing
Company, 1917), p. 2873.

14 The only text found for the La Grange oration is a badly
mutilated copy of a newspaper clipping from which is missing a large
portion of the speech. Therefore, only the earlier West Point address
will be examined. All quotations from the speech are from the text in
Graves Scrapbook.

and a memorial as well to woman's deathless gratitude. He also makes

it clear that "the sorrows, trials, and bitterness of our desolation have

dulled no chord of memory's music. "

After his standard introduction, which points out the significance

of the occasion, Graves moves into a melodramatic portion in which he

paints an emotionally vivid but highly romanticized description of war:

Now we see the glittering sabre gleam in the bouyant
hand and then dash onward to the foe; the grand leaders
calm, serene and dauntless in the jaws of death . .
Then the roar and the rush . death shots falling thick
and fast, like lightning from the mountain cloud . .
Then the slow ambulance and the heated hospital, and
the mangled, bleeding loved ones coming home to linger
or to die.

He perpetuates this mood as he describes the period immediately

after the war:

And after this the calm -- the calm when the storm is
spent and awed nature wonders at the deep repose she
holds. The solemn stillness of despair and desolation
broken only by the miseres /sic/ sighing through the
tall proud pines, with sad soothing to a people mourning
over dead hopes and perished principles in a land strewn
with the salt and ashes of desolation.

The youthful Georgian then turns quickly from the horrors of war

to a glowing tribute to the idealized women of the South who whisper

"comfort to the troubled hearts that droop above these idolized dead."

In a passage more appropriate to his later "New South" advocacy, he

challenges them not only to continue the yearly tribute to the dead, but

also to "work now to build again the land /the Confederates/ died to

save, and make it bloom and blossom like the rose."

Graves makes a smooth transition from the early portion of the

address: "But these are memories and we cannot live in memories for-

ever. There is a clamorous present and an unformed future. We must

live the one and bravely mould the other. "

He then turns to the principal theme of the o-ation, national

reconciliation. He points out that the Southerner still has "a part to

play in our nation's history," that Georgia is still "among the Union of

original states," and that, "we still claim, and justly, the heritage and

honor of American citizens." He urges his listeners to "tear aside this

veil of prejudice and personal feeling" and to "speak peace to the troubled

tides of passion and revenge that sweep upon the surface of our sectional

heart." He feels that Northern "dastardly and designing politicians" have

"fostered and fed the flame of sectional hatred, but that "behind the

prosperous corruption" of these men the South's "Northern brethern"

have hearts "that beat true and pure."

Graves moves ahead with this theme of true peace between the

sections as he urges those Southerners of his generation to "come as brothers

with the clasped hand of brothers, knowing around the common altar of our

common country, no North, no South, no East, no West." He explains that

both sides fought for what they believed, and that had the "political renegades"

left them alone, "they would have clasped hands above the red stream of

their comrades /sic/ blood, and settled there forever the issues of the war. "

He calls for "a sorrowing, regretful sigh about the last home of the

soldier in blue, who fought and died for his belief."

Then Graves almost negates his positive plea for intersectional

harmony by contending that the "truth of history" will vindicate the South

and its role in the preceding "fifteen shadowed years." History, he says,

will compare the principles of these "who are said to have failed, with the

principles of the men who are said to have succeeded": for example,

Jefferson Davis as Secretary of War under President Pierce will be contrasted

with W. W. Belknap, Secretary of War under President Grant. In other

words, the honor and integrity of the lives of Southern leaders are more

lasting than these character attributes as they were reflected by Northern

leaders. This rhetoric of vindication is one of the recurring threads of

Southern oratory for this period and is worthy of a full study itself.

The young Georgian returns to the reconciliation theme, however,

saying, "Now we wish peace and brotherly love . . Oh, we would

plead for peace in this storm lashed motherland!" When the birthday celebra-

tion for the nation's centennial occurs, let the "jubilate of reconciliation

swell out in the grand chant."

Returning to his discussion of Southern principles, Graves urges

his listeners, especially the younger ones, to "remember and cherish

those that have come to you bathed in your fathers' blood. Cling to them,

as the last heritage of a better and a purer day, study them, honor them,

live them out in your lives."

This speech is a curious mixture of reconciliation and vindication;

doubtless, Graves' ex.:reme youth at this point led him to speak cautiously

with reverence for the past (as would be expected by the Memorial Day

audience) and to support staunchly Southern principles (which he never

clearly delineated in any specific way). At the same time, his participation

and membership in a new generation called for him to turn to the future and

urge reconciliation -- if reunion could come without the expense of Southern

tradition and ideals. The following passage illustrates this dichotomy:

God grant that ere my eyes may close forever, I may
see this land which I do love supremely, once again
the sunny South of history, with no gloom of tyranny
or darkness of oppression shrouding her.
When her states shall be sovereign, her people
free, and her liberties disenthralled. When she shall
take her stand co-equal with her brethern of the North
and the wide and measureless chasm which grasping
politicians and thieves have made shall be closed for-
ever by a reunited solidery who weep their mutual dead !
When the time-honored flag of Washington and Jefferson
shall not be foul with the odors of civil rights and race
amalgamation, but with the glorious motto of "Constitutional
Liberty"15 blazing on every fold, it shall sweep triumphant
upon every breeze, in every land, on every sea, fostering
patriotism, awakening freedom and scattering the mists of
tyranny from the world!

Graves' expression of hope for the far distant future, "ere my eyes

may close forever, seems a bit artificial and out of place for a youth of

twenty, but the rest of this passage illustrates the pressures his generation

faced and the major problems they had to deal with: intersectional

15 In the newspaper text found in the Graves Scrapbook, "Consti-
tutional Liberty" has been capitalized and set off by hand in ink with
quotation marks; presumably Graves himself did this.

animosity and racial conflict. It was a plea for the bright future of the

South, but with the North granting many of the South's wishes --

especially in respect to the racial question.

The tone again seems to shift back to the earlier romantic mood as

Graves concludes his address. He thanks the women and once again

gloriously eulogizes the Lost Cause and shows he is aware of and con-

cerned about the expectations of his auditors: "Forgive me if I have made

no florid eulogy above the sweetly sleeping patriot dead. They need no

praise from me where every floweret breathes their fame, and I shrink

from a withered offering." He then concludes with several more romanti-

cized passages and with a stanza from a poem that ends with the hallowed

"name of Lee." Since Robert E. Lee was considered the leading Southern

hero of the War, reference to him was a most appropriate conclusion.

Nine years later, Graves, by this time a prosperous Florida journalist,

participated in a "Decoration Day" celebration in Jacksonville, Florida,

which was sponsored by the Grand Army of the Republic. The scrapbook copy

of this address has a significant note penned across the bottom: "This

speech was one of the most successful of my life." The oration was fairly

brief, in contrast with typical nineteenth century speeches, as, again in

Graves' own words, he spoke "five minutes on the following line." Graves

assessed the event as "a grand affair" in which he spoke to "an immense

concourse of people."16

16 All quotations are from the text in Graves Scrapbook.

The entire address is centered on the theme of reconciliation.

Early in the speech Graves sets the tone by the following clause, "The

Grand Army of the Republic locking arms with the remnant of Confederate

Veterans leads a great host of citizens who sing: 'My Country 'tis of

Thee. "' This skillful juxtaposing of the "Grand Army of the Republic"

with "remnant of the Confederate Veterans" leaves no doubt who was the

victor. Thus, from the beginning, the audience, and the sponsoring organi-

zation, understand clearly who is leading the "great host of citizens."

This represented a marked change from Graves' earlier Confederate

Memorial Day address in which he called for reconciliation only on

Southern terms. Two reasons perhaps can explain this different tone.

First, the North had noticeably capitulated by this time to Southern

demands to "let us settle the race question"; in short, reconciliation, to

the degree that it had occurred, was on Southern terms. So Graves saw

no need to be antagonistic; the South had lost the war, but she had won

the peace.17 In the second place, Graves was doubtless deferring to

the demands of the situation. The G. A. R. was sponsoring the event

at which he was one of the featured speakers; why not bolster its ego --

indeed, could he have performed differently?

17 Woodward writes that in 1877, the North not only withdrew
the remaining Federal troops, they also abandoned the Negro as "a ward
of the nation, gave up trying to guarantee his civil equality, and
acquiesced in "the South's demand that the whole problem be left to the
disposition of the dominant Southern white people." The Strange Career
of Jim Crow, 2nd Rev. Ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1966),
p. 6.

This entire oration is a prime example of how the rhetorical

situation can drastically shape the nature of a message. The entire

ceremony was oriented toward reconciliation; the resting places of both

Blue and Gray were decorated by the participants. Both Northerners and

their rebel counterparts had a role in the event. Accordingly, Graves'

speech was a total reflection of the occasion and, as such, served to

reinforce the mood generated that day by the rest of the program.

Graves depicts the nation as once again whole: "the bloody

chasm is bridged by Northern heartiness and Southern warmth and mutual

generosity, and the heart of Florida beats at last in loyal unison with the

heart of Maine." The Southern orator points out a number of examples of

reconciliatory efforts on the part of the North in an attempt to illustrate

why the South was ready for this grand day of reconciliation. One of

these occasions was when a Maine regiment sent a memorial to Congress

petitioning for a pension for the "maimed and disabled veterans of the

dead Confederacy." As for Southern evidence that reconciliation had

occurred, Graves cites the fact that the South was sending "sincere and

heartfelt and universal sympathy" to the bedside of the North's great hero

/Grant/, dying in New York."

In concluding, the orator appeals to the whole nation to "chant

the praises of our dead together" and "honor these men simply as soldiers

who fought like lions, who endured like martyrs, and bore the separate

flags of the cause they loved with an heroic faith, a matchless patience, a

splendid patriotism that will live as long as the name of Jackson and


the name of Grant." By thus juxtaposing the names of Jackson and Grant,

Graves skillfully implies that the nation is one.

In both of these speeches, one presented by an untested young

man, the other delivered by a respected citizen who had earned a name

for himself, Graves appeals to the traditional Southern value of honor of

the past and paints an optimistic, positive verbal picture of the reunited

nation and its future. He also reflects the Southern respect for womanhood

and the love of a martial spirit. He gaines credibility and audience identity

by urging the listeners to respect and remember the past, then moves to

his advocacy of a reunited nation. Based on these basic strategies, he

builds a reconciliation message which was bound to be appealing to his


On May 9, 1879, Alfred Moore Waddell attended a Memorial Day

celebration at New Bern, North Carolina, and delivered "a most scholarly,

beautiful and appropriate address" which "for good taste and ability, has

been rarely equaled and never surpassed by any similar oration in this city. "18

This speechl9 was presented less than a year after Waddell had been

defeated as the incumbent in a race for Congress. Although his defeat

18 Newbernian (New Bern, North Carolina), May 17, 1879.

19 Alfred Moore Waddell, "Memorial Day Address," delivered at
New Bern, North Carolina, May 9, 1879. Text from an undated, unknown
newspaper clipping in Waddell's Papers, Southern Historical Collection,
The University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill.


had been at least partially caused by a mass circulation of an 1865 speech

he had made advocating limited Negro suffrage,20 the foregoing statement

by a local newswriter reflects that Waddell's credibility was indeed still

strong. According to the newspaper report, "upwards of two thousand

persons" attended the ceremonies. 21

The program itself fit well the demands of the occasion. There was

a choir "composed of many of the best voices in the city" as well as a band

for accompaniment. The first number was "a well known requiem" written

by a North Carolinian, Mrs. Mary Bayard Clarke, "The Guard Around the

Tomb." This piece was followed by "an appropriate prayer" by the Reverend

L. C. Vass of the First Presbyterian Church and another hymn, "Cover Them

Over With Flowers."22

After the mood was thus appropriately created, the Honorable Mr.

Waddell delivered his address.23 It is fitting that this speech is the last

to be considered in this survey of the Memorial Day orations, for the speaker

begins the message with a description of all that he sees a Memorial Day

address as being. His introduction discusses so well what this study bears

20 A. R. Newsome, "Alfred Moore Waddell," Dictionary of American
Biography, XIX, edited by Dumas Malone (New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1936), p. 300.

21 Newbernian, May 17, 1879.

22 Ibid.

23 All the quotations used here are from the newspaper text in
Waddell's Papers.

out concerning the occasion, that it is worth repeating in full:

Ladies of the Memorial Association:

It is customary on these occasions for those who perform
the duty assigned to me today, to paint, as best they may,
that picture of the past on which Southern eyes will always
gaze with admiration, and before which, Scuthern hearts
will always throb with mingled pride and sorrow. They try
to portray in vivid colors the heroism, the splendid courage,
the patient toil and suffering, the unselfish patriotism and
the sublime devotion of our countrymen whc died in an
unequal struggle for the preservation of what they believed
to be the sacred inheritance of constitutional liberty
bequeathed to them by their fathers. The tribute is just,
the service is proper, though mortal tongue may vainly
strive to form in fitting words the thoughts which such an
occasion and such a theme inspire. The season too, is
meet, for it is redolent of hope and promise. Not beneath
withered branches swaying in the winter wind, and admidst
dead leaves strewed upon the naked earth shall such services
be held; but in the tender spring-time, when to the music of
soft winds, odorous with the breath of flowers and gladdened
by the songs of birds, transfigured nature makes manifest the
miracle of the resurrection. Amidst such surroundings we meet
today in this silent city to do honor to the memory of our dead.

After thus sketching what the Memorial Day oration and the ceremonies

should be, Waddell announces he will break the mold: "I am here, not as a

mere eulogist, but as one of the survivors of the war, who, instructed by its

lessons and by the experience of the fourteen years that have elapsed since

its close, deems it wiser to speak more of other things than of our love and

veneration for the memory of our dead kinsmen and friends. He then enhances

his credibility by pointing out that he had given Memorial Day speeches in

other North Carolina cities, in the nation's capital, and "in a Northern city

at the request of thousands of those who confronted us in battle during the

war." He thus presents himself as not only a survivor of the war, but also as

one who has participated actively in public service after the battles were over.

Waddell believes that "war has generally been the precursor of

every advance in civilization"; he develops this idea at some length and

it serves as the major premise for all that follows in the address. The

next major point growing out of his basic assumption is that through the

destruction of slavery the South "reaped a threefold advantage." In the

first place, the South was "relieved of what was an incubus upon us,

and . a reproach in the eyes of other nations." Secondly, the section

has "secured the inestimable benefits of free labor," and, finally, the

defeated nation "returned to /its/ position in the Union, with largely

increased political power, there to remain."24

Then, proceeding on his guiding assumption, Waddell makes the

point that had the Confederacy won the war, the victory would "have been

disastrous to us eventually." He then declares that "our dead died not in

vain" -- a sentiment which doubtless the Ladies of the Memorial Association

were expecting to hear. Because of "their heroic valor and patient fortitude,"

compromise was impossible; thereby those "extreme measures /war and

emancipation/, the inevitable reaction of which must produce the ultimate

prosperity of the South, were brought upon the section.

The orator again reminds his listeners of his basicpoint of view,

that "war has generally been the precursor of every advance in civilization."

24 Some historians have argued, however, that the post-war South
accepted a "humbler position in the government of the nation than the
Old South would have been content to accept." They cite as evidence the
fact that from 1865 to 1968 the South furnished only 14 of 133 cabinet
members and only 7 of 31 Supreme Court Justices. Clark and Kirwan, South
Since Appomattox, p. 52.

The energies released by war "are subsequently directed to the acts of

peace, which thus receive a new impulse and are promoted accordingly."

Therefore, the South's recuperative powers are great and will help the

defeated states meet the responsibilities of the present. He reinforces

a feeling of oneness with the victor by asserting that there are currently

few in the South who would "advocate the separate independence for

which we fought. Again exemplifying the spirit of vindication so often

present in these addresses, Waddell points out that the South's principles

have not changed but simply that "circumstances are entirely different. "

Waddell's second major premise is that civil liberty must be

preserved at all costs and in a government where "law is supreme over

all." Here the orator moves into the reconciliation theme by expressing

his view that these civil liberties are the common interest of every American

citizen. In order to preserve them, the citizens must struggle against

"party and sectional animosity, based upon inherited prejudice and stimulated

by personal ambition." He continues to develop this theme and encourages

all to realize the value in the "union of co-equal states under the consti-

tution" and the laws made under its jurisdiction. He states his hope that

the union will live and "be perpetual." This sentiment is echoed, he says,

from the "earth which holds these ashes," from "where soldiers sleep," and

from "the graves of our forefathers."

Waddell concludes by invoking the last words of Stonewall Jackson --

"Let us cross over the river" -- and by praying for the future peace of "our


Memorial Day being what it was -- an occasion to recall the sacri-

fices of life offered up in war with a bitter enemy -- it is surprising that

there was any reconciliatory rhetoric at all. But as we have seen in these

three examples, some Southerners saw this situation as an opportunity to

express their feelings of sectional peace. For the other 364 days of the

year, we can imagine that many, due to the bitterness and animosity still

present in their localities, were compelled to mute their desire for harmony.

But in the quiet cemetery on a day dedicated to honoring the dead, sentiments

bespeaking intersectional peace were not out of place; those whose hearts

were touched by the occasion and surroundings would be susceptible to

oratorical pleas that the sectional hostility which caused the war and which

was further generated by the struggle itself could be at last laid to rest.

The Memorial Day observances provided a natural platform for the speakers

to express their ideas concerning respect for Southern traditions and honor

for Confederate heroes. Once they had convinced their audience that they

were true to the South, they could make their appeals for intersectional

peace and harmony.

Doubtless the sanctity of womanhood in the South contributed greatly

to the success of Memorial Day and the orations delivered for the occasion.

The women, by and large, founded, organized, and sustained the occasion

through their local Memorial Associations. The men doubtless felt that their

support of the services would reflect their honor and respect for the women

of the South. And, of course, their support of the ceremonies would be one

way in which they could compensate for having lost the war. Their humiliation

over their defeat on the battlefields was indeed strong,25 especially after the

glorious send-offs they had received from the hometown women in 1861. The

Confederate soldier felt he owed the Southern woman a great debt; Memorial

Day gave him an opportunity to repay it in part. As one newspaper writer

expressed it, the Memorial services were to be respected because of the

woman's place in it:

In the gentle light of Spring, with the deep blue
heavens above, fair women gather around the
graves on the anniversary of the death of the
Confederacy and cover them with choicest
flowers . . Monuments of stone or bronze are
naught compared to the beautiful ceremony of decor-
ating the mounds over the remains of the heroes who
were buried in the gray . . Then let us gather in
our quiet cemetery tomorrow, and aid the devoted
women of our city and country in paying respect to
the dead of the Lost Cause. 26

Clement Eaton and other Southern historians have demonstrated that

in the immediate post-war years it was the women who felt the most bitterly

toward the despised Yankee.27 In many cases, the soldier was ready to

25 Richard M. Weaver, The Southern Tradition at Bay, A History of
Postbellum Thought, edited by George Core and M. E. Bradford (New York:
Arlington House, 1968), p. 117-8.

26 "Memorial Day," Daily Chronicle and Sentinel (Augusta, Georgia),
April 25, 1875. Women in the South have continued to be in the vanguard of
efforts to praise, recapture, and relive the past. A contemporary example is
the mid-twentieth century historical preservation movement which has perhaps
reached its apex in Savannah, Georgia. As a 1971 article points out, "Women,
in fact, have been a driving force behind Savannah's renaissance. As a young
male restorationist notes: 'They aren't twittering old ladies in tennis shoes.
They use their brains, they work and they've got clout.'" "Saving Savannah,"
Life, May 7, 1971, p. 58.

27 Clement Eaton, The Waning of the Old South Civilization, 1860-
1880's, Mercer University Lamar Memorial Lectures, No. 10 (Athens: Uni-
versity of Georgia Press, 1968), p. 117.

forgive and forget, but the women were hardly so forgiving. This fact tells

us much about demands levied upon the reconciliatory orator, especially

when the occasion at which he spoke was sponsored by local women and

he had been invited by them to participate.

Graves and Waidell were both effective in their attempts to meet

the demands of the situation. By rooting their remarks on reconciliation in

a rhetoric of "vindication" (i.e., the South and her "principles" were right),

these two speakers were able to make their audience more receptive to their

ideas of reconciliation and reunion. By referring to the glories of war to a

people who were traditionally martial in spirit, they could strengthen their

line of argument that intersectional peace was right and good. Through both

these considerations, the speakers were starting with premises already held

by their auditors and moving from them into ideas which were perhaps not

quite so readily acceptable.

In addition, both speakers imbued much of their messages with

sentiments likely to be compelling for the women in their audiences who

- had planned the ceremonies. For instance, Graves on several occasions

praised the women for their role in helping honor the Southern dead. Both

Graves and Waddell recognized that the South had a great resource in her

women, and in general both heaped praise on Southern womanhood and the

chivalric code. Waddell, for example, identified with the sentiments of the

women in his audience by praising them, by asserting that God had ordained

the South's defeat, and by praising the dead and affirming that what they

died for was good.


A form of ceremonial address closely related to the Memorial Day

speech which praised the entire body of dead soldiers was the eulogy given

in honor of a single departed citizen. The eulogy has been a part of

Western rhetorical history and theory for twenty-five centuries, but perhaps

nowhere did it exist as a more refined, artistic type of utterance than it did

in the Southern states during the late nineteenth century. The eulogistic

occasion called for an address which exalted the departed as a man of

honor and principle. Facing no small task in discovering ample reason to

pay homage to some of those who had died, the orator of the day considered

carefully how he could discuss the deceased in the best possible light. The

dead who were commemorated had usually participated in the war effort, and

there would have been little or no way to avoid discussing their military

exploits and contributions. Yet, in speaking of their wartime experiences,

the eulogist would have violated the audience's expectations and taboos to

rekindle sectional animosity. The listeners wished to hear of the heroic

aspects of warfare -- their romantic, daring knight with his dashing cavalier

attitudes about war. They did not wish to recall the intersectional hatred

and bitterness that caused the conflict. Therefore, the eulogy afforded an

ideal opportunity to focus on the message of reconciliation.

One of the first post-war deaths of a national figure, which served to

reinforce the reconciliation spirit, was that of President James A. Garfield in

September, 1881. After many weeks of suffering the agony inflicted by the

assassin's bullet, Garfield died in New Jersey. His struggle to avoid death

had been accompanied and followed by the deep concern of the nations of

the world; when he lost the battle, the world grieved. In the South, many

memorial services were held, two of which featured eulogistic sermons

worthy of consideration.

The first eulogy to be examined here was delivered by the Right

Reverend William Bell White Howe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of

South Carolina, at Grace Church, Charleston, on September 26, 1881.28

The Sunday service represented a combined effort of all the Episcopal

Churches of Charleston; the attendance was described as "very large."29

Bishop Howe begins the oration by pointing out that although the

President of the United States and the Governor of South Carolina had pro-

claimed a day of mourning for the late President, the South Carolinians

were fulfilling "no reluctant but a ready obedience." He then devotes some

time to a discussion of how amazing had been the sympathy demonstrated

around the world for Garfield's months of suffering. It is not the world-wide

attention shown Garfield that is so wonderful to Howe, but the "sympathy for

him in these Southern States, especially the sympathy of this state."

He then tries to determine why it is that the South felt a "very deep

and profound" sympathy over the assassination. He points out that it was not

only Garfield's long and brave effort to live nor yet our respect for his early

28 Right Reverend W. B. W. Howe, Address on the Death of Presi-
dent Garfield (Charleston, South Carolina: The News and Courier Book
Presses, 1881). All the quotations from this speech are from this published
copy found at the University of South Carolina Library.

29 "Garfield's Death," The News and Courier (Charleston, South
Carolina), September 27, 1881.

struggle for education and his climb to the Presidency, but rather, it is

the simple fact that "he was the President of the United States." This

fact alone causes the Southerner to recognize once again that he is a

member of a "body of which /the President/ is the he.d." The long months

of agony suffered by Garfield caused the South to realize, according to the

speaker, that "the United States is one Nation, that we of the South are a

part of that Nation, and that in the death of President Garfield our head was

destroyed, and that we the body were smitten in him."

Reverend Howe then turns from this discussion of why the South was

in sympathy with Garfield -- because he was the American President -- to a

rather lengthy, and,in this critic's judgment, an unnecessary and tasteless

idea in the context of the eulogy for Garfield. He contends that the South

was right in the late Civil War and that "the North was wrong in her inter-

pretation of the fundamental principles of the Constitution. He feels that

the South accepts the defeat and that indeed, the war opened "a new chapter

in American history /in which/ . the future of his growing country may

have its meridian come to birth in great part out of the pangs and travail of

the late war. He makes the statement that the South accepts defeat, but

holds fast to her "former convictions. He cites as evidence the fact that

the South regards those issues which divided the nation as now settled and

its "profound sympathy for our late President based . on the recognition

of the unity of the country, and of him as its legitimate head." If the South

truly did accept the decision of the war, then it could no longer hold fast to

its former convictions which the war had supposedly settled. At any rate,

Bishop Howe's assertion that the South saw the nation to be unified over

the sadness of Garfield's death doubtless served to reinforce that belief,

nascent though it might have been.

The eulogist concludes the assassination shows that "we need .

more reverence for our laws and those in authority." He reflects his

American nativistic fear of foreign-inspired anarchy when he says that

"these lawless disorders in the Old World," such as the murder of the

Russian Emperor, will "find their way to this side of the Atlantic."

Apparently Howe felt some concern that he had not spoken as his

audience had expected him to speak, for he observes, "If I have spoken

today in a way not cdutomary to our pulpit, the occasion which bring us

together will answer as my excuse." Obviously the Bishop believed his

congregation did not like to hear politics from the pulpit: "Because a man

is a clergyman, he is none the less a citizen, but interested equally with

the layman in all that appertains to the welfare and the prosperity of the

country in which he lives." He then cites the Biblical examples of Christ

and St. Paul, who were interested in the political dimension of life..

Near the end of the sermon, Howe repeats his earlier statement that

Southerners were "conscientious in our struggles and in our convictions."

This time he says that "God decided against us." If the South is to be just

to its "living children and in humble submission to the will of God," it must

move into the future, and solve such issues as the Southern race problem and

also the national civil service problem, which had caused the death of


What was Bishop Howe's main purpose in speaking that day to

the assembled Episcopalians of Charleston? Was he merely trying to

pay tribute to the slain President? Or was he concerned with an idea

more fundamental and important? As one observation, Howe is quite

forceful in his statements concerning the role of the President -- the

leader of all the nation. .Very early in his sermon he is careful to assert

that the sympathy shown in the South for Garfield is deep and widespread.

He is equally concerned to express his belief that the President is

ordained by God: that his authority to rule comes from God. These and

other statements regarding the grief and sympathy of the entire nation,

the concern of the American citizen, his repeated use of the phrase "the

Nation, and his description of the "mass of voters," all lead one to

believe that the Bishop's major goal was to express his belief in inter-

sectional reconciliation. He obviously wanted to believe, and hoped his

auditors would believe, that the animosity of past years had died during

the months that Garfield suffered. It does not appear, however, that

Howe was truly convinced himself; perhaps, as he reinforces the belief

in the efficacy of reconciliation several times in the minds of his listeners,

he was similarly reinforcing it in his own mind. He is deeply concerned

about strengthening his listener's feeling for intersectional peace; this

student believes that through the clarity of his message and the positive

repetition of the reconciliation theme, Bishop Howe effectively achieved

this major goal.

Howe is obviously very much concerned about conforming to the

expectations or demands of his specific rhetorical situation. In addition,

he is trying to make his parishioners see that he does have the right to

speak to them about political matters. Yet he is not too sure how they will

respond to this "meddling" in politics. Therefore, he shows that other

great names in the Church had also been so concerned. Thus, a second

purpose -- and one that is important at least to Howe -- is to perform in

the manner congruous with the set expectation of his audience within

their situation. The Bishop shows an admirable awareness of the nature

of his audience, but it can be argued that at points he is overly negative

in his approach. Possibly he is unsure of his leadership of his people

at this particular point in time. There is good reason for Howe to be

concerned that he live up to his auditors' expectations. For the preceding

decade, the Bishop had been deeply involved in a major battle within his

diocese regarding the role of the Negro in the Episcopal Church. Howe,

who was liberal in the matter, was charged by some "with the desire to

ignore racial lines in the church and break down social barriers. "30

Doubtless he was constantly taking care to stay out of troubled waters as

much as possible since this issue was causing so much disharmony within

his state; this speech is a fine example of his concern. He is obviously

aware of the need to consider the expectations and concerns of his auditors,

and such awareness is essential if speech communication is to be effective.

30 Albert Sidney Thomas, A Historical Account of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in South Carolina, 1820-1957 (Columbia: R.L. Bryan,
1957), p. 84. For a full explanation of this struggle, see Thomas,
pp. 88-100.

On October 5, 1881, Atticus G. Haygood delivered a memorial

sermon on Garfield to the newly enrolled students at Emory College, near

Atlanta.31 Obviously, Haygood, the president of Emory, saw the occasion

as one in which he could teach the new students some moral lessons drawn

from the life and death of Garfield; in fact, part of the subtitle reads, "an

incentive to the young men of the Nation. This speech constitutes a good

example of a lecturing style in which most of the supporting materials are

presented in the terms of the speaker's authority and credibility and out of

his personal knowledge and conviction.

Haygood praises the fact that the whole world was aware of Gar-

field's condition each morning "before breakfast" due to the "progress of

the art and inventions of our time." In comparison, he points out that

"when President Harrison died, it was six weeks before the fact was known

in every county east of the Mississippi River. All the world not only

knew of Garfield's suffering, but sympathized with him and his family.

The preacher asserts that he believes every Christian man, woman, and

child were praying to the "good God to spare his life." The impressive

facts of Garfield's funeral "illustrate in reality what we teach in theory --

the brotherhood of the human race."

Although the nation, indeed the world, was praying for the wounded

man, Haygood believes that these prayers were lacking in confession of our

31 Atticus G. Haygood, "Garfield's Memory," Text found in Haygood's
Papers, Emory University Library, Atlanta, Georgia. All quotations are from
this copy. Italics supplied.

common guilt in the killing of Garfield. He expresse;3 his belief that the

assassination "was but the final expression of the rancorous hates, that

have disgraced and dishonored our politics for at least three decades of

bitter years." Later, he remarks, "there is perhaps nothing in the history

of any people that contains so much unmitigated hate and prejudice as the

literature of American politics for a generation past."

Haygood then denounces the excesses of the American political

party battles and the spoils system -- which, to some degree, had led to

the death of Garfield. The President's murder was not only the "final

expression of rancorous hates" between the North and South, but also the

"final expression of the bitterness and prejudice of our politics and of the

greed for office that amounts almost to a national mania." It is at this

point that Haygood turns to his most explicitly moralistic, lecturing style,

"Let us remember, /he says/ it is as murderous to stab a reputation as a

body; it is as devilish to destroy a man's fame by slander as it is to take

his life by shot, or steel, or poison."

The college president then abruptly moves into a discussion of

whether the prayers of the nation were answered. He believes they were,

since Garfield's family was given "great grace" and was "sustained beyond

the power of human fortitude or sympathy." In addition, the prolonging of

the President's life gave time for his successor to become better equipped

for the Presidency and the nation better prepared for a change in administra-

tion. But the chief reason Haygood believes the prayers were answered was

that this long period of suffering brought the nation together as it "had not

been brought together in fifty years." He remarks, "There is more genuine

brotherhood and true national sentiment in the masses of the American people

today than there has been in the last half century." Indeed, Haygood asserts

that Garfield on his death bed had done "more to heal the bleeding wounds

of his country than all others have done since the horrid war began." From

Haygood's point of view, "It was worth dying for to have done such a work."

Turning from this reconciliation theme, Haygood goes to "other

aspects of this man's career." In the first place, he points out, in the

grandest Horatio Alger tradition, Garfield's climb from a "widow's son in

poverty" to the White House is possible only in the United States. His

college career is viewed as an example to be followed by all those students

who wish to raise themselves out of poverty. And, finally the nation

sympathized, not just because Garfield was President, although that

contributed a partial explanation, but also because his personal character

was to be admired and because he was a Christian.

To Haygood, Garfield was "in himself a large expression of the true

American idea of this government." That idea involves several principles

and the speaker mentions three "of the corner-stones": "the perpetual union

of these States," "an unsectional administration of the government," and "a

fair chance and equal justice for all men of every race."

The preacher concludes by pointing out "some duties and principles of

supreme importance" which Garfield's life and death exemplified and which all

add to Haygood's call for national peace. First, "Let us have done with

abuse, and lying, and fraud, and violence, in our politics." Secondly, "We

. should cultivate a true.spirit of national brotherhood." Again he

observes, "to hand down to our children bitterness of a quarrel . is

treason to the country. And, finally, "We owe a dui:y to President

Arthur. His position is difficult, his burden heavy . . We owe him

respect, patience, a fair trial, honest support, and our fervent prayers,

that he may have divine grace and help for the duties of his great office."

Haygood goes on to say: "We cannot afford to return to the old bitter and

savage way; we cannot forget either our own interest in a good government

or the world's stake in this best and greatest of all Republics that ever

flourished or fell. "

At the time Haygood delivered this sermon, he was approaching the

peak of his fame and prestige. His widely hailed "New South" sermon had

been presented the Fall before; his triumphant Northern speaking tour of the

past Winter was over; a Northern banker had donated a large sum to Emory

College because of Haygood's leadership; he was within six months of being

elected Bishop of the Methodist Church (an honor he declined until 1890); and

-- a year later -- he would be appointed General Agent for the John Slater Fund,

which was established by the Northern textile manufacturer for the benefit

of Southern Negro education. He had been the highly successful president

of Emory College since 1875 and had strengthened immensely its sagging

fortunes. As his leading biographer states, "From the summer of 1880 on,

Dr. Haygood's exuberant self-confidence marked him as an extraordinary

man . .. Major credit for this transformation was obviously attributed to

successful management of Emory College during the difficult years before

1879.32 Not only had he rescued Emory from financial and enrollment

trouble,33 he had brought a "new seriousness"34 to the Oxford campus.

The students held Dr. Haygood in high regard and they especially liked

to hear him preach.35

This particular speech is obviously designed to instruct and inspire

Haygood's young charges. The pervasive tone of the college president's

address is quite dogmatic, however, and relies heavily on his own personal

credibility to support much of what he says. At other times, his rhetorical

support lies within the auditors themselves as he reinforces ideas which they

doubtless already have. Again, he uses Biblical proof for some of his asser-

tions. But he does not go deeply into elaborate proofs in the development of

his main ideas. Obviously he is confident that his listeners picture him as

a man who can be trusted and believed. This assumption would seem reason-

able, for, as Mann points out in his biography of Haygood, "to all Georgia

Methodists, the pulpit at Oxford . was thought to be, verily, a holy

place.36 Combine this feeling of mystique and awe with Haygood's high

ethos in the eyes of the students and faculty at Emory, and Haygood could

well be expected to lecture in a rather authoritarian manner, and be excused

for it -- indeed, to be highly successful.

32 Harold W. Mann, Atticus Greene Haygood (Athens: University of
Georgia Press, 1965), p. 110.

33 Ibid., pp. 94-5.

34 Ibid., pp. 100-101.

35 Ibid., p. 102.

36 Ibid., p. 19.

Both Howe and Haygood show that Garfield personified the

American ideal: a poor boy raising himself to the White House. As Haygood

puts it, his career "was not and is not possible in any country in the world

but ours . . A country is worth loving and dying for in which such a

career as Garfield's is possible." Howe points out "how he struggled with

poverty and hardships in behalf of mental culture, and how he overcame and

at length rose to the highest office of the State, and then, just as he reached

the summit to which there is no beyond for the American citizen /was killed/. "

Both speakers thus show that this American dream is worth support and

pursuit by their Southern auditors. Garfield, a Northerner, is held up as a

model to follow in the Horatio Alger tradition -- a rhetorical strategy which

doubtless enhanced these speakers' reconciliation effort.

These two ministers also claimed that Garfield's suffering brought

the nation together as one, and that the South lost her President since Gar-

field was, in Haygood's words, "the President of the whole nation." Both

men believed that Garfield would have been just to the South and that --

again to use Haygood's words -- "his administration would tend to restore

the lost brotherhood of our people." In sum, both Howe and Haygood skill-

fully used this national period of mourning as an occasion to call for

national harmony.

On August 7, 1885, the victorious Union General, Ulysses Simpson

Grant, died and many in the South mourned his death. Across the Southland --

in Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, Knoxville, and in many other Southern

cities and towns -- businesses closed, flags were at mourning height, and bells

tolled. In many of the cities, the Negro churches and Negro militia

organizations held special services and parades. In the capital of the

Confederacy, the Richmond Howitzers fired cannon on the half hour from

sunrise to sunset and the Phil Karney Post of the Grand Army of the

Republic sponsored an honorary burial service for the deceased President.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, all the city offices, banks and a few business

houses were closed in respect and at Pensacola, Florida, bells tolled

from noon until 2:00 p.m. on the eighth of August.37

One of the most impressive services was held at the Methodist

Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Saturday, August 8. The service

was dominated by the reconciliation theme, with each member of the local

G. A. R. being accompanied side-by-side in the procession by an ex-
Confederate soldier. The crowd was quite large, with every seat and

all standing room in the church filled, and with "hundreds" standing out-

side the doors.39 Four speakers were included in the ceremonies: two

former Federals, Reverend T. C. Warner and Major C. D. McGuffey, and

two reconstructed Confederates, David M. Key and Reverend J.M. Bachman.40

Reverend Warner delivered a "deeply solemn and impressive" speech during

37 This account of Southern services for General Grant is from The
Daily Register (Columbia, South Carolina), August 9, 1885, p. 1.

38 Ibid.

39 "Services for Grant," Sunday Times (Chattanooga, Tennessee),
August 9, 1885, p. 1.

40 Daily Register.

which tears fell freely from all eyes." He pleaded to God for the "new

made grave /to/ mark a period to all bickering, /and/ sectional prejudices."

Again, he hoped that God would "keep us all an indivisible and a united

people for all time to come."41

This former Yankee Chaplain was followed by David M. Key of

Tennessee, the Postmaster General in President Hayes' administration,

who delivered a brief address which "was listened to with marked attention

throughout"42 and which the second Union speaker, Major McGuffey,

appraised as "eloquent. "43

Judge Key begins the address in a highly personal way by referring

to the honor bestowed upon him by the committee which chose him to repre-

sent the Confederates. He then expresses his awareness of the "delicacy

and embarrassment of the position . and the great danger of saying

something inappropriate to the purposes . or . of giving utterance

to some idea of sentiment contrary to the opinions and feelings of the body

of our people whose representative I am deputed to be."44 He goes on to

say that he is "anxious not to wound or offend."

Key says that although this particular service cannot escape the

"sight and presence" of "our late struggle," he trusts "the time has come

41 Sunday Times.

42 Ibid.

43 Ibid.

44 David M. Key, "Memorial to General Grant," in ibid. All the
quotations from this speech have been taken from this source.

when we can offer . our prejudices and animosities as an unclean

sacrifice . upon the altars of patriotism and religion." The Tennessean

then uses the oft-expressed story of Grant's letter to General Buckner

which observed that the differences between the sections would have been

solved, had the soldiers who had fought the war been left alone to solve

them in their own way. Key believes that those who would prevent recon-

ciliation are those whc "did not seek or find opportunities for heroic

achievement on one side or the other." If one were to look for a person

"who wallows and revels in the bitterness and hates of the past," it would

be seen, once he is found, that his name "was upon no muster roll, or if it

was, the roll tells of no deeds of valor he performed or wounds he endured."

But those who fought for "great principles" on either side were "prepared to

stand by the decision" of arms.

The speaker moves next into his basic theme, that "The South did

not place a proper estimate upon the character, abilities and services of

General Grant . /but now/ they see the man and appreciate and honor

him." He uses two brief analogies -- one of a boy being chastized by his

mother and the other of a man losing a fight. From the analogies he

concludes: it will take time for both the boy and the man to get over their

resentment toward those persons who defeated them.

The former Confederate is careful to point out two examples of

Grant's magnaminity: his not claiming the horses of Southern soldiers after

Appomattox, and his interposition to prevent the arrest of General Robert E.

Lee. Then Key goes on to the ultimate expression of reconciliation:

He /Grant/ believed in the justice of the cause he
had espoused . and for myself, though I zealously
and honestly opposed him and his cause until the end
of the struggle, I am free to say here and now, as I
have said heretofore that it was best for us, for the
South, that General Grant and his cause triumphed, and
there are many, very many thousands of as gallant men
as periled their lives to the Southern cause who are of
the same opinion.

Key then tempers this statement somewhat, pointing out that Grant

could not have fought for any other force than the Union Army, having been

a citizen and a native of free states; according to the "Southern theory of

the powers of the general and State governments," he "would have been a

traitor to both had he joined the South." He then goes on to contend that

Grant should be honored by the South because of "his success over a

powerful and gallant foe." The future will praise Grant even more, contends

Key, "when the smoke of the strife in which he engaged shall have lifted and

the passions and prejudices of our times have been forgotten."

Key concludes by praising Grant: "The brightest star has fallen

from our nation's firmament, but the story of its lustre and beauty shall

live as long as history and song shall last."

At some point in the speech -- apparently after his formal presentation

had closed -- Key told two stories from his own personal experience with

Grant which reflect the dead General's kind feelings toward Southerners, his

compassion for others, and his modesty. Although it is impossible to tell

from the newspaper report at what point in the speech the speaker told these

stories, it is obvious that they effectively supplemented his very personal

introduction and related well with the tone of reconciliation and sectional

harmony which Key was careful to create and sustain in his message.

This speech is a skillful adaptation to the difficult situation. Key

is in an awkward position as he acknowledges early in the address and, as

he says, he is "anxious not to wound or offend." His words reflect that

there are some "unreconstructed" rebels in the audience who have no love

or respect for Grant; after all, as he put it, Grant "had triumphed over the

principles they held sacred." What could he say that would temper their

feelings against Grant, pay the dead General honor and respect, and yet

not build a barrier between himself and his rebel auditors?

His prestige as the Southerner who was an integral part of the bargain

of 1877 -- Hayes agreed to appoint him as a cabinet member -- gave him a

certain aura of respect. As we have seen, his speech is diplomatic and

courteous, as warranted by the situation. By pointing out in the first

moments of the address that he does not wish to "wound or offend," Key lets

his audience know that he does not intend to stir up animosities, but rather

will speak for intersectional peace. He, like many other post-war speakers

who wished to advocate reunion, placed the blame for reconstruction and

disharmony on politicians and not on the general citizen on both sides who

had "risked his honor and his life." He asks Northerners in his audience

to accept the fact of human nature that the South only recently is coming to

"place a proper estimate" on the life of Grant, and thereby excuses the South

for not honoring Grant as it should have. By showing specific examples of

how magnanimous Grant was, Key leads the Southerners in his audience to

see virtue in a Northern hero. He says that in all of Grant's military and

civil dealings with the South he was "kindly and generous to his Southern

opponents when he had the opportunity." Therefore, the South could have

no reason to dislike him or to fail to honor him. If the South could respect

Grant, progress toward reconciliation could be made. Key devotes most of

his speech to this strategy: showing the South how fine a man Grant really

was. In support of this approach, Key uses some personal experiences he

had with Grant, thus giving a deeper sense of credibility to his remarks.

His speech surely helped to bridge the chasm between the Northerners and

Southerners present in his audience by instilling respect for the late Presi-

dent and victorious Union commander.

In the closing year of the 1880s Jefferson Davis, the only

President of the Confederate States of Anierica.died at his home on the

Mississippi Gulf Coast. Although Davis had been maligned by Northerner

and Southerner alike, his death brought waves of sorrow across Dixie. It

appeared almost that his fellow Southerners wished to do penitence for the

harsh feelings they had felt toward their President who had failed. The

North's treatment of Davis after the war, while admittedly not harsh, had

strengthened in some Southerners their hatred for the North45 and added to

the need for reconciliation. Southern sympathy abounded for Davis, and at

the same time the death of the CSA President opened the floodgates for a

new surge of the reconciliation spirit, as reflected and encouraged in two

selected speeches.

45 Eaton, Waning of Old South, p. 119.

The first was given in Richmond, Virginia, by Reverend Moses

Drury Hoge on December 11, 1889,46 and the other was presented two

days later in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Judge U.M. Rose.47 The first

was delivered to an audience in the Second Presbyterian Church of Rich-

mond and the second in a more secular setting, the Hall of the Arkansas

House of Representatives. These speeches were not selected because

of any significant degree of representativeness; they are being discussed

here simply because they are the only texts of eulogies for Davis that were

found. They will reflect, however, what was said in two separate states

with presumably different type auditors: the one, the heartland of the

Confederacy; the other, a "border state."

In the former capital of the Confederacy, sorrow ran deeply. The

Second Presbyterian Church, a congregation "of great influence in the

Presbyterian Church of the United States, 48 was "crowded from floor to

dome, and hundreds of people stood in the aisles and around the doors,

such was their eagerness to hear the address"49 at this memorial service.

46 Reverend Moses D. Hoge, "Address on Jefferson Davis," delivered
in Richmond, Virginia, December 11, 1889. Text of speech printed in The
Central Presbyterian-Supplement N.D., N.P. Copy in Alderman Library,
University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

47 U.M. Rose, "Memorial Address on the Life, Character and Public
Services of Jefferson Davis," delivered in Little Rock, Arkansas, December 13,
1889. Text in U.M. Rose, Addresses of U.M. Rose, With a Brief Memoir by
George B. Rose. Ed. by George B. Rose (Chicago: George I. Jones, 1914).

48 Joseph D. Eggleston, "Moses Drury Hoge," Dictionary of
American Biography, IX, Ed. by Dumas Malone (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1932), p. 121.

49 The Central Presbyterian-Supplement.

Hoge had come to this church as its first pastor in 1E45, two years after

he had finished his academic program at Virginia's Union Theological

Seminary, and had remained with the church until his death in 1899. His

great ethos lent additional power to this service for Davis, and,due to the

location, the prestige of the church, and the close relationship of the

pastor to Davis himself during the war years, this simple ceremony in

Richmond was doubtless second in importance only to the actual funeral

itself in New Orleans. Hoge was at the peak of his fame in 1889, having

made one of the principal addresses at the London Alliance of Reformed

Churches in 1889 and was one of the leading speakers at the Boston meeting

of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States in 1889. The following year

he was "proclaimed the first citizen of Richmond by the people of Richmond,

regardless of race or creed."50

Reverend Hoge begins his address by an astute introduction which

relates him in a very personal way to President Davis. He says that he

heard Davis' first speech to the people of Richmond, heard his inaugural

address, had ridden horseback with him "along the lines of fortification

which guarded the city, "had experiences of his courtesy in his house and

in his office, and was with Davis after the evacuation of Richmond. All

these experiences "enabled me to learn the personal traits which characterized

him as a man, as well as the official and public acts which marked his admin-

istration. "

50 Eggleston, "Hoge,", pp. 121-22.

After thus relating himself closely to Davis, Hoge moves into the

major reconciliatory discussion in the oration, describing how it is the

duty of the minister

to soften asperities, to reconcile antagonistic elements,
to plead for mutual forbearance, to urge such devotion
to the common weal as to bring all the people, North,
South, East and West, into harmonious relations with
each other, so as to combine all the resources of the
entire country into unity of effort for the welfare of the

He then says that "there are no geographical boundaries to the

qualities which constitute noble manhood," so there should be many in

states outside the South "who will be in sympathy with the eulogies which

will be pronounced to-day."

This address could well have been titled, "Statesman for Our Time,"

for this topic is what the minister spends much of his time discussing: "The

qualities and attributes which constitute the patriot statesman." In the

first place, the eulogist observes, we need men "who are profound students

of History, philosophy, and ethics /emphasis his/." He uses as examples

the founding fathers, and he brings them before the audience through rhetorical

questions which require the listener to think with the speaker in order to

reach the conclusion. For example, Hoge says, "Who wrote the Declaration

of Independence and the Constitution . . ? Who built up our system of

Jurisprudence?" For centuries, the rhetorical question has been thought of

as a useful tactical tool for the speaker, and Reverend Hoge employs them

most effectively in this address. Secondly, he contends, the country now

needs men who can "lead public opinion . instead of waiting to ascertain

the popular drift. And in the third place, the statesmen of the day should

be men of unquestioned integrity.

In this rather lengthy discussion of the qualities and attributes

needed in our legislative leaders, Hoge is making a subtle, but forceful

criticism of the composition of the current Congress, with its domination

of business-oriented men. He attempts to demonstrate that the nation

needs leaders with more than merely this business-industrial background,

and implies that Congress is less effective because its members are too

exclusively oriented to the world of finance and industry. He handles his

criticism so skillfully, however, that the leading railroad magnate or

Congressman could hardly take exception. For example, as Hoge develops

this portion of his speech, he admits that commercial background is useful

and necessary for some of our legislators; others need training in history,

philosophy and ethics either along with or in lieu of their business training.

He then implies that our representatives should be similar to men like

Burke, Fox, Chatham, and Peel, or men with the attributes of Jefferson,

Madison, or Washington. Holding up these ideals could serve to inspire

our delegates, while at the same time subtly reminding them that they did

not fit this mold. Still holding up an ideal to the business-oriented Congress

and political leadership, Hoge says the statesman must have the "courage

and the ability to lead public opinion in ways that are right, instead of

waiting to ascertain the popular drift, no matter how base, that he may

servilely follow it." Again presenting the ideal political leader as a man of

integrity with "untarnished honor, incorruptible honesty, and the courage

to do right at any hazard, Hoge establishes an inspiring goal with which

few Congressmen could disagree.

The preacher closes by a summary statement that if we "duly heed"

these lessons, "this solemnity . will be a preparation for the time when

we shall follow our departed chief. He then pronounces a benediction

statement and the services close with the singing of a hymn and a benedic-

tion by one of the other ministers present.

This speech by Reverend Hoge is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century

public address. Its organization is tightly knit; smooth transitions make it

easy to follow and his clear word choice promotes "instant intelligibility."

His method of forcing his audience to think actively along with the speaker

not only makes the address more communicative, but also reflects the

preacher's respect for the intelligence of his listeners. This address is,

in addition, one of the less sentimental of all the eulogies surveyed for

this paper and was one of those speeches oriented less to flights of

stylistic fancy. Thus Hoge demonstrates his basic respect for the sensi-

bilities of his listeners. In this appraisal of Davis, Hoge is quite realistic,

choosing those aspects of Davis' life about which he can talk with honesty

and sincerity -- a tone which is often missing from late nineteenth-century

southern eulogies. In focusing on Davis' exemplary character, Hoge is

able to draw moral lessons aimed at bettering the lives of the listeners

while at the same time paying homage to Davis.

The Presbyterian minister begins his speech with one of the better

introductions of all those dealt with in the present study. He skillfully

relates himself to Davis and enhances his credibility in the minds of his

listeners, but without appearing too egotistical as relates to his relation-

ship with the deceased Confederate President. With his own outstanding

war record in the minds of his auditors,51 his brief recounting of his role

in the hostilities in concert with Davis would truly have made his own

prestige grow, thus solidly enhancing his ethos.

In addition, Hoge reveals his sensitivity to the memorial situation

by counselling against an acrimonious attitude and saying that he expects

the "outlying congregations to feel and act in sympathy with what is now

passing in the sad but queenly city which guards the gates of the Mississippi."

He must take care not to praise the departed Confederate Chieftain too

lavishly, in order not to offend the feelings of those who had little respect

for Davis' conduct of the war (that is, those Southerners who had opposed

Davis and doubtless came to the memorial service out of a sense of duty,

not respect). At the same time, however, Hoge must paint a glowing picture

of Davis' life in order to satisfy those who loved and respected Davis and

all he stood for. Perhaps of all the speeches examined for this dissertation,

this one best illustrates the passage in Pericles' celebrated Funeral Oration

1 Ibid., p. 121. Hoge's war record included serving as Chaplain
at Richmond where he preached to the Confederate soldiers at least twice a
week. In addition, and more spectacularly, he ran the Union blockade from
Charleston to go to England for Bibles and other religious books for the
Southern soldier. His mission was successful for he brought back 10,000
Bibles, 50,000 Testaments, and 250,000 printed portions of the Scriptures.

in which the Athenian laments:

And I could have wished that the reputation of many
brave men were not to be imperilled in the mouth of
a single individual, to stand or fall according as he
spoke well or ill. For it is hard to speak properly
upon a subject where it is even difficult to convince
your hearers that you are speaking the truth. On the
one hand, the friend who is familiar with every fact
of the story may think that some point has not been
set forth with that fullness which he wishes and knows
it to deserve; on the other, he who is a stranger to the
matter may be led by envy to suspect exaggeration if
he hears anything above his own nature. For men can
endure to hear others praised only so long as they can
severally persuade themselves of their own ability to
equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed,
envy comes in and with it incredibility.52

The eulogy is indeed a difficult speech assignment, but Hoge

fulfilled it well.

One writer says that Hoge "madp careful and thorough special nrppa-

ration for every discourse";53 it is not difficult to imagine that he took

special caution in his choice of examples and his wording of ideas for this

important message. Its impact and acclaim was such that the address was

printed as a special supplement to The Central Presbyterian church newspaper.

Only at one time early in the eulogy does Hoge directly appeal to

the spirit of reunion. In this extended passage, the eulogist reminds the

52 Pericles. "Funeral Oration." Thucydides: The History of the
Peloponnesian War, translated by Richard Crawley. The Great Books of
the Western World, VI (Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1956),
p. 396.

53 Walter W. Moore, "Moses Drury Hoge," Library of Southern
Literature, VI, edited by Edwin A. Alderman (Atlanta, Georgia: Martin
and Hoyt, 1910), p. 2438.

congregation that "political harrangues and discussions calculated to

excite sectional animosities are utterly inappropriate to the hour. Hoge

also hopes that

there will be many in the Northern and Western states
who will be in sympathy with the eulogies which will
be pronounced today by the speakers who hold up to
view those characteristics of their dead chieftain which
have always commanded the admiration of right-minded
and right-hearted men in all lands and in all centuries.

He then asserts that soon "the question will not relate so much to

the color of the uniform, blue or gray, as to the character of the men who

wore it. "

Although the statements just quoted represent the extent of his

overtly reconciliatory rhetoric, Hoge still creates an implied theme of

national unity throughout the address. Two examples can be given. As a

first consideration, Hoge describes the total character of the ideal states-

man, and suggests that this ideal leader is to be best recognized by his

service to an entire nation -- not to a narrow interest group or to a local

region. Secondly, the minister mentions Davis' life in service to the nation

as West Point cadet, Mexican War Hero, and United States Senator.

In both his direct and indirect appeals to national reunion, Hoge is

effective. On the one hand, he appeals directly to the highly respected

American values of fairness and justice. Facing the question of sectionalism

squarely, he simply expects the nation to act as though it were reconciled,

forcefully telling his audience -- and the North -- that it should be. In the

second place, Hoge's rhetorical appeals to national unity, showing as they

do Davis' service to the nation, refer to an attitude or opinion that would be

hard, if not impossible, for his auditor to reject.

At the same time, in the "western" state of Arkansas, Judge U.M.

Rose delivered that state's official memorial oration for President Davis.54

Judge Rose begins his address by discussing the inevitability of death and

the difficulty of making valid judgments about a man's. life so soon after

his death. He declares, "We live too near the thrilling events, the

tremendous concussions, the strife, the passion, the crash and the conflict

of the period in which /Davis/ played a principal part. After continuing in

this vein briefly, Rose then says that regardless of what history will write

about Davis' actions and his mistakes "he has been made the scapegoat

for many sins that should be laid at the doors of others."

After this rather lengthy and rambling introduction, the Judge moves

into a long rationalization and justification for the South's entering into

secession and civil conflict. He lays the blame for slavery in the South on

the Spaniards who first advised that Negroes could be imported and on the

"good Puritan brethern of New England /who/, with many a prayer and never

a misgiving, fitted out their ships for the African coast." He does not believe

that slavery was "the direct cause of the war," but he points out that it "had

made a very visible line of distinction between Northern and Southern parts

of our country. Rose says that the national leaders from the Founding Fathers

until the Civil War saw the unharmoniouss development of the North and the

South," and some -- like Calhoun and Clay -- tried to find answers. Yet

underlying it all was the "deeply seated ground for apprehension .. in the

54 Rose, "Address on Davis." All quotations are from the text
cited in Rose, Addresses.

fact that no definite remedy had been provided . if any State . .

should attempt, in their sovereign capacity, to withdraw from the Federal

Union." He then points out that the Constitution is subject to "a great

variety of interpretations," but that coercion of a state is directly counter

to the Declaration of Independence. Rose then goes to Southerners --

Jefferson and Jackson -- as well as Northern sources -- Webster and

Hamilton -- to substantiate this interpretation. None of these leaders of

public opinion felt, according to Rose, that a state could be coerced into

remaining within the Union. Concluding this line of thought, Judge Rose

points out that the "first threat of secession came from New England during

the War of 1812, and not from any part of the South."

Rose justifies his remarks in this vein, which are surely inappropri-

ate to the occasion, observing that if anyone is to judge properly the career

of Davis, these are the facts required to understand fully the situation. He

says that now "the Union is a perpetual one," but that when Davis was

President of the Confederacy, this was not a fact, and was made a part of

the fundamental law only "by the final determination of a resort to arms from

which there is no appeal. This extended justification for secession does

not seem to fit the memorial occasion, since it was a man, not a fact of

history, that was being commemorated.

Still not dealing directly with Davis, the eulogist registers an

expression of pride that the Civil War was fought. Rose sees the war as

having been necessary to settle the issues between North and South. Finally

he shifts to reconciliation, praising the North for the lenityy and moderation

exhibited by the conquerors in the hour of triumph, which he thinks "is

unexampled in history. His praise of the North is honest and forthright,

and obviously a well-thought-out statement; in part, he says, "This /the

lenity of the North/ is a fact that should be borne in mind; for if we would

have justice done to ourselves, we must do justice to others." He continues

this reconciliatory strain by praising the warriors on both sides for their

lofty minds, pure hearts, and undaunted courage.

Approximately one-half of his memorial had dealt with the difficulty

of determining the verdict of history, a vindication and justification of the

South, praise of those who fought and especially of Northern magniminity,

and praise of the war itself. Rose then turns in the last half of the address

to a eulogy of Davis. The speaker first presents a brief summary in glowing

terms of Davis' political and military career. He then discusses how Davis

had fared after the defeat of the South and how well Davis had endured all

the attacks and the reverses of his ill fortune. Rose praises President

Lincoln and Horace Greeley as examples of Northern leaders who had great

"magnaminity of feeling" toward Davis and his fallen comrades.

Rose defends Davis against the slurs aimed at him; for example, the

charge that he appropriated the funds of the Confederacy for his own use.

Yet he speaks only in generalities and does not mention any specific charges.

He then defends Davis' personality saying, in effect, that for those who knew

him well, Davis was kind of heart, genial of disposition, and cheerful of

demeanor. He points out that after the Civil War, some of his former

Northern comrades in the Black Hawk War visited him in the South, thus

expressing their love and devotion to Davis regardless of what time and

the war had produced. This example of how the spirit of reunion had been

illustrated in a specific case certainly helped to vivify and make real

Rose's expression of the spirit of reconciliation.

Judge Rose closes the address with a romantic description of Davis'

last year:

How full of memories must his mind have been, as he
trod the shores of that southern gulf that broke in har-
monious sounds by his secluded home! Perhaps to him,
as to many others, that complaining sea, extending far
beyond the reach of human vision, containing in its
sombre depths so many mysteries forever un-explained,
presented the emblem of that wise eternity upon whose
echoless shore are hushed all the sounds of human
strife. Or perhaps when the tempest spread its black
wings over the angry waves, it recalled the stormy
scenes in which his life had been so largely spent; and
it may be that in the succeeding calm that brooded on
the quiet waters he perceived the type of that peace
that awaits the tired mariner when the uncertain voyage
of life is over.

And finally, Rose observes, "The chieftain, whose strange career

is so deeply impressed on the page of history, having received God's great

amnesty, has entered upon that last repose which shall never more be

disturbed by the voice of praise or blame."

The Arkansan's address on Davis was not as reconciliatory as one

might have expected in a state which had felt a strong Union sentiment before

and during the war. There was, however, a slight emphasis on reunion by

Rose, as some of these quoted remarks demonstrate. Yet Rose was at last

able to express an appeal for national harmony, as indicated in the following

passage from a Memorial Day address:

The once hostile soldiers whose tombs fair hands will
deck with impartial flowers today, rest here upon their
arms by the great and silent river of death, with no
vestige of human passion or pride to divide them in
their unbroken slumber. 55

In this eulogy, Rose effectively pictured the reconciliation sentiment

as it developed in Davis' own life.

If in the early period of his retirement he sometimes
grieved his friends by public expressions that recalled
too vividly the bitterness of the past, the feelings of
which these were the evidence find no trace in the book
in which he recorded his mature judgment of the decisive
events in which he played such a prominent part.
Reconciled with the irrevocable past, he was able
to perceive that our great Civil War had worked out
many beneficial results, and that the future might
open up to the United American people such an immense
field of usefulness and prosperity as would dim even
the brightness of their own past.

This process of mellowing apparently happened to many in the post-war

South, and,doubtless, Rose's description of how it affected Davis' life

helped his auditors believe it could happen to them. Or if it had already

happened, his words could serve to reinforce this reconciliatory attitude.

Still other eulogies found a secure place in the literature of the

post-war South. One by John W. Daniel of Virginia on the dead Confederate

President was a classic and highly reconciliatory.56 In this two-hour oration,

Daniel expressed many thoughts on reconciliation. For one, the North and

55 Rose, "Confederate Dead," N.D., N.P., Anthologized in Rose,

56 John W. Daniel, Oration on the Life, Services and Character of
Jefferson Davis. Delivered in Richmond, Virginia, January 15, 1890.
(Richmond: J.H. O'Bannon, 1890).

the South are, in truth, "nearly, if not quite, identical," in that both

support "racial integrity, they "thirst for power and broad empire," and,

among other things, they have a "love of confederated union." In addition,

by a skillful juxtaposing of Washington with Hamilton, Jefferson with

Adams, and Madison with Franklin, the orator shows that both sections

have contributed great leaders for the good of the whole nation. Senator

Daniel also stresses the South's role in the Revolutionary War in an attempt

to demonstrate the affirmative answer to the rhetorical question, "Did the

South love the Union?" A difficult task for a post-war Southerner was to

praise Lincoln and call his assassination "a most infamous and unhappy

deed." Yet Daniel attempts to do this in his eulogy on Lincoln's former

enemy. The "Lame Lion of Lynchburg" includes in his remarks on Davis

the following reconciliatory passage which could serve as the model of all

similar statements surveyed in this study:

As we are not of the North, but of the South, and are
now alike all Americans both of and for the Union,
bound up in its destinies, contributing to its support,
and seeking its welfare, I feel that as he was the hero
in war who fought the bravest, so he is the hero now
who puts the past in the truest light, does justice to
all and knows no foe but him who revives the hates of
a bygone generation.
If we lost by war a southern union of thirteen States,
we have yet a common part in a continental union of
forty-two, to which our fathers gave their blood, and
upon which they shed their blessings, and a people who
could survive four years of such experience as we had
in 1861-65 can work out their own salvation on any
spot on earth that God intended for man's habitation.
We are, in fact, in our father's home, and it should be,
as it is, our highest aim to develop its magnificent
possibilities and make it the happiest dwelling place
of the children of men.

Only one month earlier, in Atlanta, John Temple Graves delivered

a eulogy on Henry Grady,57 which contains a passage that has lived to the

present day. In fact, it is engraved upon the Grady statue in Atlanta as a

summation tribute to the Georgia journalist and orator. Graves' "gem of

oratory" was "received with the wildest outburst of enthusiasm by an

audience which packed the opera house from pit to gallery, and at its close

the speaker received an ovation which lasted for several minutes."58 This

response seems rather inappropriate for a memorial service, but apparently

this particular oration prompted this reaction. The sentence that has lived

on in stone is at the end of a passage describing Grady's role in the post-war

reconciliation process. It begins, "It is marvelous past all telling how he

caught the heart of the country in the fervid glow of his own!, and ends,
"When he died, he was literally loving a nation into peace."9


As has been pointed out in this survey of the Memorial Day address

and the eulogy for departed Americans, this type of speech situation served

on these occasions to reinforce Southern feelings about national reconciliation.

An editorial writer in the Daily Phoenix of Columbia, South Carolina, stated

in 1875 that,

57 John Temple Graves, "Eulogy of Henry W. Grady." Delivered in
Atlanta, Georgia, December 28, 1890. In Knight, A Standard History of
Georgia and Georgians, III. pp. 1608-11.

58 Ibid., p. 1608.

59 Ibid., p. 1609.

The addresses delivered on the occasion of the late
decoration days in the North and portions of the South,
exhibited a most fraternal and conciliatory spirit --
one worthy to characterize like commemorations here-
after. 60

The Southern memorialist speaker -- at least in these 'speeches examined

here -- attempted to promote intersectional peace. What were his basic


In the first place, he spoke of respect for war. Waddell was the

most blatantly enamored by war, but all the speakers left the impression

that they saw war as a natural, normal part of the life of man. Second,

they all implied that much could be learned from the lives of other men --

that all citizens should study the lives of national heroes and attempt to

emulate their virtues and to profit from their mistakes. The student of

heroes could see reflected courage, fortitude, integrity, and the leading

Southern value -- honor -- in the lives of those being eulogized.

A third theme operative in these speeches was the unanimous

positive, optimistic view of the future. All these orators featured forecasts

that the coming decades would be years of peace and prosperity with the

South once again taking a leading part in shaping the destiny of a great


Closely related, of course, was the fourth basic premise: reconcilia-

tion is in the best interest of the South. According to the speakers, the

South has and will continue to assist the rest of the nation as America fulfills

her destiny. The people of the North respected us for going to war to fight

60 The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, S.C.), June 5, 1875.

for our principles; they, too, fought for what they believed was right.

If it were up to the soldiers, and not the politicians, reconciliation would

have occurred in the Spring of 1865. But in spite of political machinations,

the Nation is becoming one again.

Curiously juxtaposed with this strong reconciliation spirit, was the

aura of vindication which permeated these addresses. To a man, these

speakers asserted clearly and strongly that the South was right in her beliefs

and that her battles for "constitutional liberty" were all in the best interests

of her people and the entire nation. In fact, they asserted that history was

already showing the correctness of the Southern position; they never made

clear, however, how this process was happening. The speakers urged their

listeners to hold fast to their true principles and to always believe that the

dead who fell in "The War" did not die in vain.

These speeches honoring the dead -- whether a single figure like

Garfield or Grant or the mass of Southern war dead -- all served to unify

the diverse feelings within a local community and to focus attention upon

a common goal: national harmony. W. Lloyd Warner writes that "the

ceremonial calendar of American society" is designed through Memorial Day,

the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and other days, to "allow Americans to

express common sentiments about themselves and share their feelings with

others on set days pre-established by the society for this very purpose. "

He accurately describes the purpose of Memorial Day and by implication,

the Memorial Address, when he writes that this ceremonial calendar "functions

to draw all people together to emphasize their similarities and common

heritage; to minimize their differences; and to contribute to their thinking,

feeling, and acting alike"(italics mine). 61

Since these ceremonial days are designed, partly at least, for

unification of a community, the speaker selected for that occasion would

be most concerned to chose his topic and purpose for speaking with the aim

of unity foremost in his mind. He would not be expected to be radically

controversial, but, rather to speak about themes and topics to reinforce

the beliefs the audience already had. His purpose would be to intensify

belief; he probably would not try to create a new and possibly controversial

cluster of opinions.

In these speeches surveyed in this chapter, the speakers were

attempting to intensify belief in the need for and value of national harmony.

By relating the facts that the South had made significant contributions to

the nation and that it would continue to do so, the speakers were able to

encourage their auditors to feel that reunion was desirable. In addition,

the speakers asserted over and over that the nation was one again -- that

- sectionalism was dead. By the power of repetition, this belief was intensi-

fied, but the speakers failed to really make this assertion come alive by

clear and vivid examples of where this act of reunion had occurred. Only

61W. Lloyd Warner, American Life, Dream and Reality (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1953), p. 2. The importance of Memorial Day,
historically and in the mid-twentieth century, is described by Conrad Cherry
in "Two American Sacred Ceremonies: Their Implications for the Study of
Religion in America," American Quarterly,XXI (Winter, 1969), 739-754.
Cherry sums up the ceremony as "an American sacred ceremony, a religious
ritual, a modern cult of the dead." 741.

in a few cases did a speaker give a specific example of an act of recon-

ciliation. This lack of intense vivification through example was a major

rhetorical weakness; the speakers too often spoke in vague and generalized

terms to be as effective as possible in their attempts to reinforce belief.

In terms of the basic premises expressed, these speakers all met well the

demands of their situations, for all of the basic themes mentioned earlier

were already held by the audiences they faced. In terms, however, of

support for those premises, these speakers, with a few exceptions, fell

short of what their hearers needed for as full intensification as was possible.

John Temple Graves well stated the major reconciliatory thrust of

these speeches: "So while we love our dead and revere our trampled

principles, we must not forget that we have yet a life to live, a part to play

in our nation's history."62 The six speakers surveyed in this chapter did

what they could to make the defeated South reconcile herself to the North.

The next chapter will deal with those memorial speakers who addressed

ceremonies devoted to dedicating monuments to the Confederate dead.

62 Graves, "Memorial Address," West Point, Georgia, April 26,


Closely related to the eulogy and the Memorial Day addresses are

the orations delivered at the innumerable monument dedications that the

South loved so well in the decades after the war. Literally every community

below Mason and Dixon's line supported a fund-raising drive (usually

sponsored by a Ladies Memorial Association) for statues of varying size

and configuration. If the local town or county could not boast of a real

hero, they dedicated the monument to the "Confederacy, or the "Boys in

Gray, or the "Private Soldier." Each dedication ceremony involved the

same essential ingredients: a parade through the city streets to the site,

several brief welcoming addresses by local notables, some musical selec-

tions "appropriate to the occasion, a poem or two read by the local town

laureate, and the ever-present oration; finally the cover was lifted from the

monument and the memorial stood as a granite symbol of the Lost Cause. A

casual drive through any Southern state today from Virginia to Texas will

show these monuments still exhibited in places of honor and surrounded by

well-kept greens.

For the purposes of this study, we shall examine six speeches made

in Virginia and Georgia from 1875 to 1889. The first five were given in

honor of individual heroes and at the dedication of monuments to these

specific Southern leaders: Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, Robert E. Lee,

and Benjamin H. Hill. The last two were presented at" monuments honoring

the Confederate dead, in general.

In 1875 the last vestiges of Republican rule were ending in the

South. Former Confederate leaders who had been kep': out of leadership

positions by the Fourteenth Amendment had been covered by a general

amnesty bill passed by Congress in 1872, and they had begun to assume

their pre-war posts in their respective states. Whites began more overtly

to control the Negro through various "red-shirt" and other white-supremacy

groups and by 1875 the Negro was fast becoming an economic ward of his

former master. The conservatives had assumed control of all the Southern

statehouses except Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina; these were to

fall to conservative Southerners in the months following Rutherford Hayes'

election to the Presidency and the "Compromise of 1877."

In national politics, the Democratic Party had captured the House of

Representatives in 1875 and the scandals of the Grant regime forecast a

possible Democratic win in 1876. Northerners were beginning to forget the

Negro and were starting to believe that the South should control her own

state governments. Civil service reform was drawing the attention of northern

reformers. Since Southerners were becoming staunch supporters of industrial-

ization and commerce, Northern businessmen began to look to the South as a

target for their investments. Northern writers and editors urged their readers

to forget the bloody past and to link hands over the sectional chasm.

1 Rembert W. Patrick, The Reconstruction of the Nation (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 249-50.

Although most of the Southern states had been "redeemed" by the

mid-1870 s, the Southern economy, transportation, agriculture, education,

and social system were still in a shambles. As late as 1880, "visitors

reported the South crushed, wretched, and still licking its wounds. "

Reconciliation was not easily encouraged in a land which saw itself as

having been ravaged by its conquerors.

The first of these orations to be considered is a bit atypical of the

group, due to the fact that it is an introductory address and not the main

"oration of the day, but it has such strong overtones of reconciliation

spirit that it should be described. In October, 1875, the Commonwealth of

Virginia unveiled a statue to its hero of Manassas and Malvern Hill: Thomas J.

"Stonewall" Jackson. Governor John Kemper inaugurated the Richmond

celebration with a short speech of welcome and introduction.3 In this

address, we find the usual combination of Southern arrogance and pride

mingled with an apparently genuine call for intersectional reconciliation.

Kemper hopes that the life of Jackson "speaks to our fellow-citizens of the

North, and, reviving no animosities of the bloody past, commands their

respect for the valor, manhood, integrity and honor of the people of whom

this Christian warrior was a representative type." He then asserts that

Jackson's old comrades will not "prove recreant to the parole and contract

2 Ibid., p. 243.

3 John Kemper, "Address at the Unveiling of Jackson's Statue,"
Richmond, Virginia, October 26, 1875. Text in the Columbia, South
Carolina Register, October 31, 1875.

of honor which binds them . to the constitution and the union of the

States." At this point, the Governor says, "Let the spirit and design with

which we erect this memorial today admonish our whole country that the

actual reconciliation of the States must come, and, so far as honorably in

us lies, shall come." He does, however, qualify this reconciliatory

attitude by remarking that the "equal hour and equal liberties of each

section shall be acknowledged, vindicated and maintained by both." In

other words, the South will be reconciled on her terms. Kemper concludes

the address with a plea that the statue of Jackson

endure as a symbol of the respect which both the
sections will accord to the illustrious dead of each,
signifying that while differing as to the past, each
will assert its manhood, its rectitude and honor, and
both will equally and jointly strive to consolidate
the liberty and the peace, the strength and the glory
of a common and indissoluble country.

Most of this brief welcoming address was focused on the theme of national

harmony as these selected passages indicate.

Kemper's welcoming address was not aimed at the Northerner in his

audience, apparently, so much as it was designed for the former Confederate.

His tone is one of insistence; there is little of a compromising nature in this

address. For example, he insists that the North accept Jackson's life as a

model for all to follow; no reasons are given why they should. Again, the

Governor insists that both sections must be treated as equals in the nation's

councils. For the Southerners in the 1875 audience, this "no-compromise"

attitude was probably commendable. Kemper does not try to persuade them

to accept the verdict of the sword and be reconciled, he simply asserts

that the South was willing to be reunited if it could be done on her terms.

He bases his contentions not on extensive persuasive appeals, but,

rather, on the force of his ethos and authority. Governor Kemper does,

however, set a tone of reconciliation for the occasion by mentioning the

urgent need for reunion and by asserting to his audience that the South

was ready for it. He uses the life of Jackson as a reminder that the South

will honor its defeat and parole. Jackson's "knightly and incorruptible

fidelity to each engagement of duty, should be a model for the Southerner.

The main orator of the day, Moses Hoge, approached the reconciliation

theme in a more subtle and persuasive manner, but still Hoge was aided by

Kemper's having introduced the theme of reconciliation.

These brief introductory remarks set the stage most appropriately

for the ceremonies which followed and for the major address of the day

presented by Richmond's great Presbyterian pastor, Moses Drury Hoge. One

biographical sketch of Hoge expresses the belief that this speech at

Jackson's statue was "perhaps the noblest oration of his later life."4

According to the Charleston, South Carolina, newspaper accounts of the

ceremonies, the event was the "most imposing pageant ever seen"5 in

Richmond. A recent history of Virginia in the post-war years included this

description of the ceremonies:

4 Edwin A. Alderman and Joel Chandler Harris, eds., Library of
Southern Literature, VI (Atlanta: Martin and Hoyt Co., 1910), p. 2439.

5 "Jackson's Statue," The News and Courier (Charleston, South
Carolina), October 27, 1875.

With 40,000 people watching the Jackson procession
which was two to three miles long, even the Negroes
wanted to be included. Moses D. Hogue /sic/, the
rector of St. Paul's was the feature orator in Capital
Square, and Jones describes the group on the speaker's
stand as a 'who's who' of Virginia Confederate and
political leadership. Fireworks at night were followed
by a reception for Mrs. Jackson in the governor's

Dr. Hoge's popularity was demonstrated by the fact that he was "greeted

with much enthusiasm by the immense assemblage."7 Apparently he did

not disappoint his auditors, as the "oration was frequently interrupted

with enthusiastic applause."

The Richmond religious leader had been unanimously elected

moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1875. His fame and

prestige had spread accordingly beyond the bounds of his native Virginia;

this feature of his ethos was appropriate for these ceremonies, as was

his devotion to the Confederate cause and his blockade-running trip to

England during the Civil War to obtain Bibles for Confederate soldiers.

The audience contained many visitors from across the nation as well as

several Englishmen -- indeed, the statue was a gift from the Mother

Country and had been created by an English sculptor.

6 Alien W. Moger, Virginia: Bourbonism to Byrd, 1870-1925
(Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1968), p. 26.

7 "Jackson's Statue," News and Courier.

8 Ibid.

9 Joseph D. Eggleston, "Moses Drury Hoge," Dictionary of American
Biography, IX, Ed. by Dumas Malone (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1932), p. 121.

Often the eulogistic biographical sketches found in the various

works on Southern leaders are not particularly useful for the student of

Southern culture. In the case of Hoge, however, one biographer gives an

interesting clue about his rhetorical strategy, as he remarks, "Dr. Hoge,

then, was not only an crator but a teacher . .. He never for a moment

relinquished or lowered his conception of the teaching function of the

ministry."10 That this minister felt himself essentially a teacher is quite

apparent in this address at Jackson's monument. It is obvious that his

major purpose is to answer the question, "Why was General Jackson so

cherished and honored by citizens of this and other nations?" In answering

this query, Hoge intends to demonstrate that Jackson's life is a model

worthy of imitation. By describing Jackson's virtues as a paradigm for the

Christian, Southern gentleman, Hoge can easily fulfill his concept of the

ministry's teaching function. And in relation to this study, as we shall

see, Hoge used Jackson's life as illustrative material as he tries to enhance

a reconciliatory mood in the minds of his listeners. 11

In this speech, Hoge employs five reconciliatory themes: 1) We

are patterning ourselves after the ancient Greeks who met together with their

enemies during their festivals and promoted harmony; 2) Jackson's life serves

as a model for us as we begin to become reconciled with the North; 3) The

10 Alderman and Harris, Library of Southern Literature, p. 2438.

11 Rev. Moses D. Hoge, "Oration of the Inauguration of the
Jackson Statue," Presented at Richmond, Virginia, October 26, 1875.
Copy located at Duke University Library.

South respects the outcome of the sword; 4) National pride is and should

be present in the South; and 5) The South's self-interest demands that the

nation become reunited.

The first of these reconciliation themes is introduced early in the

address when Hoge says:

More impressive is this assemblage of citizens and
representatives from all parts of our own and of
foreign lands, than ever gathered on the banks of the
ancient Alpheus at one of the solemnities which united
the men of all of the Grecian States and attracted
strangers from the most distant countries. There was
indeed one pleasing feature in the old Hellenic festi-
vals. The entire territory around Olympia was conse-
crated to peace during their celebration, and there
even enemies might meet as friends and brothers, and
in harmony rejoice in their ancestral glories and
national renown.

This comparison to the ideal of the ancient Greek state was doubtless quite

meaningful to the Southern audience assembled in Richmond. The pre-war

Southern culture had been based in part on the ideal of the Greek democracy,12

and if an orator pointed out that the Greeks could refrain from hatred of their

enemies, then the Southerners should be able to do likewise.

The fact that there were Northerners present in the audience provided

support for this theme and gave rhetorical meaning to the comparison. When

Hoge refers in this analogy to the ancient Greeks meeting to "rejoice in their

ancestral glories and national renown," he prepares his listeners for the

12 See Anthony Hillbruner, "Inequality, The Great Chain of Being,and
Ante-Bellum Southern Oratory, "The Southern Speech Journal, XXV (Spring,
1960), pp. 172-89.

reunion message he returns to later in the speech: the important role

played by the South in the nation's history and the Southerners' pride

in that contribution.

The second major reunion motif used by the Presbyterian minister

was closely related to the subject of his oration and the person in whose

honor the ceremony was being held: "Stonewall" Jackson. At several

points in the address, Hoge uses Jackson as a model or focal point for

his reconciliation message. His most obvious and explicit reference to

this theme comes early in the speech:

We assert no monopoly in the glory of that leader. It
was his happy lot to command, even while he lived,
the respect and admiration of right-minded and right-
hearted men in every part of this land, and in all
lands. It is now his rare distinction to receive the
homage of those who most differed with him on the
questions which lately rent this republic in twain
from ocean to ocean. From the North, and from the
South, from the East, and from the West, men have
gathered on these grounds today, widely divergent in
their views on social, political, and religious topics,
and yet they find in the attraction which concentrates
their regard upon one name, a place where their hearts
unexpectedly touch each other and beat in strange

A few minutes later, Hoge briefly asserts, with no proof or explana-

tion, that Jackson, "would have cheerfully laid down his life to avert the

disruption" of the Union and the war which followed. Since the listener

heard no supporting testimony, either from Jackson himself, or any of his

cohorts, he would have to accept this assertion on Hoge's authority. If

Jackson himself loved the Union, the auditor would perhaps see that the

Union was, after all, not such an enemy.

Then late in the speech, the orator of the day returns to this theme

when he praises the Governor of Virginia and implies again that Jackson is

revered and honored by people outside his own Southland -- even in the


Your Excellency did well to make the path broad
which leads through these capitol grounds to this
statue, for it will be trodden by the feet of all
who visit this city, whether they come from the
banks of the Hudson, the Mississippi, or the
Sacramento; whether from the Tiber, the Rhine, or
the Danube.

If a Confederate General could be this well-respected and admired by those

who did not sympathize with his section -- indeed, those who had fought

against him -- then this fact would be a powerful example of magnanimity

on the part of the victors in the civil struggle. Should not the Southerner

return that good will? That was the implication of Hoge's message. In

addition, given the widespread, eulogistic esteem with which Southerners

held Jackson, indeed, most Confederate Generals, Hoge's use of Jackson

as a symbol of reconciliation would be an effective rhetorical tactic.

A third important approach Hoge uses in his efforts to promote

intersectional understanding and rapport centers around his contention that

the South accepts the verdict rendered by the sword. At the first point in

the speech where he discusses this theme, the speaker focuses on the

attitude of the Confederate soldier after the war. The veterans:

laid down their arms at its close and mingled again
with their fellow-citizens, distinguished from the
rest only by their superior reverence for law, their
patient industry, their avoidance of all that might
cause needless irritation and provoke new humilia-
tions, and their readiness to regard as friends in

peace, those whom they had so recently resisted
as enemies in war.

Doubtless, most in his audience had worn the gray, and thus, Hoge was

speaking directly to them and appealing explicitly to their pride and honor --

two values held in great esteem by Southerners.

He then moves from the specific Confederate soldier to the general

Southern public as he asserts that the "people" of the South followed the

lead of their soldiers:

Defeat came, and they accepted it, with its conse-
quences, just as they would have accepted victory
with its fruits. They have sworn to maintain the
government as it is now constituted. They will not
attempt again to assert their views of state
sovereignty by an appeal to the sword.

Hoge, in the next breath, turns back to the warrior, as he says:

None feel this obligation to be more binding than the
soldiers of the late Confederate armies. A soldier's
parole is a sacred thing, and the men who are willing
to die for a principle in time of war, are the men of all
others most likely to maintain their personal honor in
time of peace.

In other words, the South will not again challenge the North on the field of


As is so typical in these messages aimed at national unity, Hoge

appeals to national pride. In this fourth conciliatory theme, the minister

refers first to the American revolution in a manner calculated to stir

national patriotism in the hearts of his listeners:

Such a crisis was the Revolution of 1776, when thirteen
thinly-settled and widely-separated colonies dared to
offer the gage of battle to the greatest military and naval
power on the globe.

The story of that struggle is the most familiar in
American annals. After innumerable reverses, and
incredible sufferings and sacrifices, our fathers
came forth from the ordeal victorious.

This appeal to Southern pride in the exploits of the Revolutionary War

heroes served the purpose of creating a feeling of national pride in the

minds of those Virginians who recalled the deeds of their own Patrick

Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. In fact, Hoge makes

explicit the connection between these national heroes and the new statue

of Jackson which will join the group of monuments in Richmond honoring

the South's Revolutionary War heroes. This portion of his message

comparing the Southern states and the Civil War with the English colonies

and the Revolutionary War, and the Revolutionary heroes with the Southern

Confederacy's heroes, is a masterful rhetorical stroke and' surely appealed

to the varied audience which witnessed the dedication.

A few moments later, the Virginian asserts very quickly, and with

no elaboration, the role played by his native state in helping to create the

very Union she was later forced to fight. He declares, again with no

evidence to support his contention, that Virginia had hoped to preserve

the Union "which she had assisted in forming, and to whose glory she had

made such contributions." He makes it appear that Virginia had withdrawn

from the Union only as a last resort. He assumes that because of the

State's significant role in the early national history of the country, the love

of Union was still present in the hearts and minds of her citizens.

The final mediatory motif which Hoge uses is sectional self-


I speak not for myself, but for the South, when I
say it is our interest, our duty and determination
to maintain the Union, and to make every possible
contribution to its prosperity and glory, if all the
states which compose it will unite in making it such
a Union as our fathers framed, and in enthroning
above it not a Caesar, but the Constitution in its
old supremacy.

He goes on quickly to assert:

If ever these states are welded together in one great
fraternal, enduring Union, with one heart pulsating
through the entire frame as the tides throb through
the bosom of the sea, it will be when they all stand
on the same level, with such a jealous regard for
each other's rights that when the interest or honor of
one is assailed, all the rest feeling the wound, even
as the body feels the pain inflicted on one of its
members, will kindle with just resentment at the out-
rage, because an injury done to a part is not only a
wrong but an indignity offered to the whole.

Once more turning to the usually eulogistic and therefore not very

helpful Southern biographical sketches, one can find interesting verbal

pictures of Hoge in the pulpit or on the podium. Since the words used to

describe his voice and appearance are heavily connotative, not much can

be gained other than realizing what some of his contemporaries thought

about him. To the student of public speaking in the 1970's, these descrip-

tions have little meaning. For instance, this sentence is typical:

It was a voice in a million -- flexible, magnetic,
thrilling, clear as a clarion; by turns tranquil and
soothing, strenuous and stirring, as the speaker
willed; now mellow as a cathedral bell heard in
the twilight, now ringing like a trumpet, or rolling
through the building like melodious thunder, with

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs