In presenting the monument to the veterans of Leflore County, Mrs. T.M. Whetstone, President of the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter, and under its auspices said: "To me has been assigned the pleasant duty of presenting to you, veterans of Leflore County, a monument which has been built as a testimonial of the love and honor which you and the noble women of the Confederacy inspire in the hearts of every true son and daughter of the South."
"There is a period in the world's history known as 'The Age of Chivalry.' It was an age when every soldier was incased in a suit of mail as nearly weapon proof as the most skilled and accomplished artisans of the day could make it. But not so with the Confederate soldier; his simple suit of gray composed his only coat of mail."
"Want and privation were the constant attendants on the armies of the South, yet no army that was ever marshaled accomplished greater deeds of valor than those accomplished by the 'ragged Rebels' of the South. No cause was ever dearer to it's people, no cause more just or more righteous than the cause for which the Confederate soldier contended, nor was a cause more gallantly defended."
"This day is, in a happy sense, a supreme day for all of us, especially so for the good people of Leflore County. We have with us as out guests, representatives from all sections of our state who are here with us to join in giving united expressions of our love for those brave hearts of our own soil and kindred in whose struggle and indurance were written one of the great epochs of the world's history - that of the War between the States - and to the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter, U.D.C., was intrusted by Leflore County a high duty, which we felt also to be a precious privilege. It was ours to carry out the commission of Leflore in erecting her memorial to those of her children who in the home or on the battle field had faithfully done their part in that tremendous conflict, who in there day not only sustained their own high standard of right, loyalty, and honor, but shed on the path yet untrodden of their people the long rays of a light of example which should say to us forever: 'Mississippi expects every man to do his duty.' It is sweet to know that in Mississippi was the earliest establishment of the beautiful custom of observing Memorial Day.[Honored by Mississippi, but the Veteran understands that to Mrs. Williams, of Columbus, Ga., has been given the distinction of inaugurating Memorial Day.-Editor.] It is also a fact undisputed- the question being settled by the General Convention U.D.C.- that the first Confederate Monument was in Mississippi."
"It is the tragedy of human love that often the full appreciation of it comes too late to bring comfort and reward to the hearts that have yielded their best treasure of devotion. Too late, for the story is ended! Not so with us. This day has not been deferred until all whose praise it speaks are beyond the reach of it's music, beyond the sight of it's flowers; for we have with us many of our beloved old heroes who have come to honor us with their presence, and many of the sweet faces which we see before us are the faces of our dear women of the Confederacy. So long as these survive, one of our veterans and one of our revered mothers of the Confederacy, the rythm of our epic beats on, and when we wreathe this memorial we lay the blossoms to the lips of the living, thank God, as well as the graves of the dead."
"The survivors of those stirring and glorious days can rejoice with us, meeting handclasp with smile. Surely if under the sod where others lay, could they know, they too would tremble with an answering thrill as they heard and remembered songs and felt that their comrads were gathered together as in old times, and that the women, their children, and their grandchildren were all gathered in token of love and pride as they commemerate the deeds of the heroes of fifty years ago, and that they were seeing with tear-dimmed vision this monument rise from masses of bloom as fresh and fragrant as is the memory of the past to us."
"This storied stone standing here before us with its sculpture and inscriptions is dear to us, and to each of us it stands for and expresses our very hearts, our highest, our fondest hopes. And now, honored and beloved veterans of the Hugh A. Reynolds Camp, U.C.V., in the name of our patriotic Board of Supervisors and the citizens of Leflore County, we of the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter, U.D.C., present it to you as its custodians with a prayer in our hearts that it will be pleasing and acceptable to you. It will be a treasured and eloquent addition to the growing beauty of Leflore's county seat, and it will be an impressionable sign to all generations of our people of high duty faithfully done and loyally and lovingly remembered."
Facing the courthouse(not shown in picture) is a life size statue of a Confederate woman, who stands with her hands uplifted, watching in the Battle of Charleston Harbor between the Confederates and the United States navy. She has engaged in that battle a husband and a son, whom she has willingly given up to her country. Under the feet on this figure are the words, dedicating her husband and son to her country: "Father, thy will be done."
Lower down on the monument is engraved: "To the Confederate women! None has told the story of whose heart and life were a scrifice, offered as valiantly and unselfishly upon the alter of her Southland as any warrior's life upon the battle field; so to her in part we have placed this monument, that all may know she loved her country, and enfold her memory in eternal glory, cherishing it forever."
On the other side of the monument is a group figure, and under it is inscribed: "Leflore County's tribute to her sons and daughters of the Southern Confederacy, erected under the auspices of the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, October 9, 1913."
On the side toward the river is a figure of a cavalry soldier, with the inscription: "A testimonial of our affection and reverence for the Confederate soldier, the memory of whose brave deeds and heroic life and principles for which he sacrificed so much we bequeath to our children through future generations."
On the side facing Market Street is an artillery soldier, beneath which is in base relief the replica of the pilot wheel of the Star of the West, at which the first shot of the war was fired. On the side of this monument nearest the wheel is inscribed: "Steamer Star of the West". In 1861 the first shot of the War between the States was fired at this vessel in Charleston Harbor. The "Star of the West" was captured by a squad of cavalry at Sabine pass and scuttled in 1863 in the Tallahatchie River at Fort Pemberton, three miles from Greenwood."
On the summit is a figure of a Confederate officer, with spyglasses in hand, watching the battle. His very expression and attitude is one of keenest interest. This is a "speaking" figure of an officer watching the progress of a battle from an elevated point.
Acceptance of monument by L.P. Yerger.
"Grim-visaged war hath
smoothed its wrinkled front."
Now, instead of serried hosts in battle array
There has assembled here in peaceful sway
The young and the old, the fair and the gray,
To honor the Confederate veterans, grizzled and gray,
"Who, bending under the weight of years, for themselves and their comrades gone before are now receiving from the Daughters of a valorous race this tribute of affection, this token of esteem, for those who bravely bared their breasts to the charge of steel, to the form of shot, to the crash of shell, for those who fought and fell and died for principle, for home, and for the cause we loved so well."
"Well do we know the sacrifice of time and comfort and health and energetic thought which was inspired and contributed by members of the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter, U.D.C., in the erection and completion of this beautiful and enduring monument; how the spark which, though dormant for so many long and weary years, was by them like vestal virgins kept alive until at last it was fanned into a flame by popular expression and approval; how these patriotic Daughters worked and watched and prayed for the glorious day when
"By the flow of the Yazoo River
This shaft should rear its head
Upon whose summit stands the warrior
Reviewing the living and the dead."
"Daughters, you have chosen well in selecting for the crowning of this majestic monument the commanding figure of a Confederate officer; for while to "the men behind the gun" all honor is due, yet without the directing head of the officer "confusion worse confounded" must ensue. Again we say, you choose wisely and justly in placing this figure in memory of Leflore County's most distinguished son and soldier, Gen. Benjamin G. Humphreys.
"In saying this I do not detract from the valient service rendered their country by Leflore's other soldiery: the brave Col. Hugh A. Reynolds, who gave his life to his country on the battle field of Chickamauga, in honor of whom this Camp is named; the dauntless William H. Morgan, who organized two companies of volunteers in the territory now known as Leflore County, and went into battle at the head of one of them ("The Sunflower Dispersers") as its captain, and was promoted to the rank of major for gallantry, and represented Leflore County in the Constitutional Convention of 1869, and to whose public spirit and generosity Leflore County is largely indebted for the building through it of the Delta Southern Railway, which was not completed, however, until after his death; the brave and courteous Capt. Willam G. Poindexter, distinguished as an officer upon the staff of Gen. Featherston; Capt. William Berry Prince, whose command with him bravely fought at Fort Pemberton, and with others under Maj. W.H. Morgan, drove the Federal fleet back to the Yazoo Pass; that dashing and gallant knight, Capt. Tully S. Gibson, who during the Reconstruction period was murdered by the hand of a Federal assasin; Lieut. Azro A. Stoddard and Thomas L. Chapman, who, with their comrades, scuttled the steamer Star of the West in the Tallahatchie River, a short distance from where we are now standing, to prevent the Federal fleet from descending the Yazoo River; Capt. Nat Scales; Maj. Thomas Walton, who distinguished himself on the staff of Gen. Longstreet in the Army of Northern Virginia, and after the war in the yellow fever epidemic at Grenada; L.T. Baskett, who was wounded four times in battle, and commanded his company from 1863 to the end of the war, except when disabled by wounds, and who was mayor of Greenwood and elected twice to the office of sheriff of this county and also as county treasurer; George W. Arnold and John D. Chickering, who belonged to the company in the 28th Mississippi Regiment of Volunteer Cavalry of which I was a member, and who held the offices of Circuit and Chancery Court Clerk of this county from the time of the political upheaval, when the carpetbaggers and scallawags were driven from office, till his death; Thomas Wadlington, who was severly wounded in battle, and who was Mayor of Greenwood at the time of his death; D.R.C. Martin, Angus M. Martin, and M.A. Martin; W.A. Gillespie, who came from the North in 1852 and enlisted in the Southern army at the breaking out of the war, who was captured at Fort Donelson, afterwards exchanged and transferred to the Confederate navy at Mobile, where he surrendered when the war was over, and who was Adjutant of this camp till he died; the Cobb brothers, James Carne, Sam East, D.J. Ellington, George C. Kempton, Garnett McLean, R.S. McLemore, William A. Gayden, A.J. Locke, John A. Gleeson, Felix W. Golf, Lieut. William H. Rose, Maj. John K. Allen, and a number of others who came to live with us after the war, among whom were Jeff. H. McLemore, Dr. N.E. Whitehead, Judge R.W. Williamson, John W. Hicks, J.C. Towns, David J. Nichols, W.E.Bew, Jack Rose, S.J. McGlatherly, A. Casper, M.C. Humphrey, W.J. Howell, L.A. Mahoney, A.P. Parks, Frank P. Pleasants, A.G. Smith, James Morley, and a host of others who are now dead whose names are dear to us, besides those Confederate veterans who are now honored citizens living in this county, too well known to you all to require an enumeration."
"If I had the eloquence of a Prentiss, the suavity of a Lamar, the magnetism of a Walthall, I might hope to express in terms the appreciation or our Camp of the honor which you have conferred in selecting us as the custodians of this everlasting token of esteem, erected by the good people of this county in honor of the brave Confederate soldier, as well as the Confederate mother and woman; for they, single -handed and alone, fought the battle at home every day, fed the little lambs and drove from the door the wolf, spun the wheel and wove the cloth, and provided food and comfort for the poor. It is her children who, since this cruel war is over, have grown into manhood and womanhood and are proud of the title of Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy."
"In accepting the honor and trust conferred on this Camp,I do in it's name pledge that this magnificent testimony standing here as a beacon on the shores of time, expressing to this and future generations the love and esteem of the people of Leflore County for the Confederate soldier and the Confederate women, shall be faithfully protected and guarded until each of us shall have answered to the long last roll call and "passed over the river to rest under the shade trees." Then will the sons of Confederate veterans keep vigil while we sleep the sleep that knows no waking."
At the opening session of the reunion Judge S.R. Coleman gave a most hearty welcome to his veteran comrades. Col. Lee McMillan responded. Mr. Hamner in his address to the Sons of Veterans gave a glowing account of the rapid progree of Greenwood- how it sprung from a mosquito-infested mudhole in the country road to the queen city of the Delta. During the session a time was set apart for short talks by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Mrs. McClurg, Mrs. Henderson, and Mrs. Stevens made short talks along U.D.C. lines; Mrs. Lillie Scales Slaughter's address and history of the work of the Daughters of the Confederacy was greatly enjoyed. After her address she was presented with a beautifully wrought gavel from the wood of the chapel built at Beauvoir by the State Division, U.D.C., of Mississippi. The gavel was ornamented by a brass star made from a nail from the wreck of the steamer Star of the West, and it bore the inscription: "Presented by the Varina Jefferson Davis Chapter to the State Division, U.D.C., during the administration of Mrs. Slaughter."
Among the special guests of honor were: Mrs. Daisy McLaurin Stevens, now President General U.D.C.; Mrs. Lillie Scales Slaughter, President of the Mississippi Division, U.D.C.; and Col. W.A. Montgomery, Commandant elect of the State Division of the Veterans. These were the guests of Judge and Mrs. A. McC. Kimbrough. The visiting United Sons of the Confederate Veterans were: George C. Myers, of Jackson, Miss., Clerk of the Supreme Court; Adtj. Gen. Bedford Forrest, Jr., of the U.S.C.V.; and his accompanying guest, Mr. Carl Minton, from Denver, Colo.
At the closing session Col. Pat Henry, the presiding officer, brought forward for action by the whole body a resolution signed by one hundred and sixty names of the veterans at Beauvoir who desired to express their heartfelt appreciation to Mrs. Kimbrough for her unwearying efforts in obtaining for them their beautiful home on the Gulf, and for the many other things she has done for them in the way of looking to their comfort and happiness.