More on Judge Grimsley: Dedication of the 28th NY Monument

To continue with Judge Daniel A. Grimsley’s efforts to memorialize the Cedar Mountain Battlefield, two more news clippings are presented here.  These document his successful efforts to coordinate brotherly reunions between the veteran soldiers of the Blue and the Gray.   In this instance the occasion was the dedication of the 28th New York Monument in the Culpeper National Cemetery, August 9,  1902.



Handsome Memorial to Dead of 28th New York Volunteers—Takes Place August 8th.

CULPEPER, VA., June 9. —Special.)— There will be unveiled at the National Cemetery at this place on August 8th a magnificent monument to the memory of the soldiers of the Twenty-eighth New York Volunteer Infantry, who fell in the battle of Cedar Mountain. The date selected is commemorative of this sanguinary battle, and chronicles the most disastrous engagement of this regiment, for when the smoke of battle had ceased, it was discovered that 59 per cent. of its members had closed their eyes in everlasting sleep upon fame’s eternal camping ground.

Last winter the Legislature of New York appropriated $1,500 towards the erection of this monument, while the survivors of the organization have added a greater amount. With great care and loving labor, the monument has been completed, and is now being placed in position under the watchful eye of Superintended John R. Dickson, of the National Cemetery. Mr. C. W. Boyce, of Buffalo, N. Y., (secretary of the Monument Committee, was here this week making arrangements for the accommodation of those who will attend the unveiling and other details.


Mr. Boyce says there are about 180 survivors of this regiment scattered all over the United States; that reduced rates of railroad transportation have been secured, and that already advices have been secured that guarantees the attendance of 106 of the old guard, many of whom will bring their families. The visitors will come to Culpeper in their own special train. Mr. Boyce thinks about 250 visitors will arrive on this special, while a very large number will come from Washington.

Upon this occasion General Horatio King, the poet-soldier will read an original poem, while Judge Owen Britt Brown, of the Circuit Court of Dayton, Ohio, will be the orator of the occasion. It is expected that Colonel T. E. True, of the War Department, will receive the monument on behalf of the Government.


On the following day, June 9th, these visitors will go out to Cedar Mountain battlefield, where Circuit Judge Daniel A. Grimsley, has made arrangements for a grand re-union. As Judge Grimsley has been chosen by Culpeper county to mark its battle sites, he will co-operate with the New Yorkers in definitely locating the proper lines.

The old veterans of the “Lost Cause” will, on that day mingle harmoniously with the Boys in Blue and fight their battle over again.

“Johnny Reb” and “Yankee Blue” will close the day with a rousing toast to each other’s health and for tenderer, closer feelings of fraternity. Upon this occasion our people will respond with cordiality and will make the day one of cessation from labor and general festivity, and the hospitality of old Virginia will be lavishly extended. There will certainly be several thousand people on this historic battle-ground, and speakers from both of the armies will vie with each other in spreading the glad tidings of a new and deathless friendship and of a reunited country.


Judge Grimsley’s efforts were a resounding success as this report from the Richmond Dispatch shows.





Indeed the Crowd Reached Nearly Seven Thousand—The 28th N. Y. Regiment Visits Scenes of Former Carnage.

CULPEPER, VA., August 9.—(Special.)
The fortieth anniversary of that bloody engagement at Slaughter’s Mountain, known as the battle of Cedar Mountain, was observed upon this historic battle-field to-day. Judge Daniel A. Grimsley, who had been assigned by our county supervisors to the duty of marking the battlefield, had arranged that this anniversary should be observed by a reunion of the survivors who participated in this engagement. His wishes were published and a hearty response was received. Many veterans of the Federal army were in attendance. They came from all parts of the Union, while nearly all the survivors of the 28th New York Regiment were here. The northern visitors made their arrangements to suit the occasion, for on yesterday they dedicated at the National Cemetery here, in the presence of 2,000 of our people, their magnificent granite monument to the memory of their fallen comrades, who sleep in this beautiful spot. Many old Confederate were also here from a distance. Georgia and South Carolina were well represented.


Our people threw wide open their homes, and extended to the men of the Blue, a spontaneous, earnest, cordial, and sincere welcome. And in return these old soldiers and our many visitors are loud in their praises and appreciation of our hospitality. Many of the visitors brought their wives and daughters, who last night had the pleasure of tripping the “light fantastic” to a good old Virginia reel given in Armory Hall. Culpeper’s ornate Masonic Temple was opened and many availed themselves of an opportunity to visit the building. Every business house in the town was attractively decorated and private residences presented a gala appearance with scores of flags and streamers.


Cedar Mountain is about four miles from this place and as the crowds had to be transported in conveyances, they began moving early. At 8 o’clock this morning every available vehicle in this vicinity was in active service. Numerous farm wagons with bottoms covered with straw and seats arranged with boards did a rushing business, but everybody was happy and the great crowd was jolly and light-hearted.

The survivors of the Twenty-eighth New York Regiment were early on the grounds and gathering together, they located the position of their regiment as it made the fatal charge across the wheat field, leaving everyone of its line officers and 60 per cent. of its soldiers upon the gory arena either dead or mortally wounded. The visitors erected a marker to indicate their position.


After the battlefields had been roamed over, the vast assemblage returned to the grove near the Cedar Run church. The crowd had increased by this time to perhaps 7,000. It seemed as if every county in the Piedmont section had emptied its people upon this sacred field, so great, was the crush by the time it was high noon. As the ladies of the neighborhood, assisted by the good women from all parts of the county, had prepared dinner for the multitude, the assembled throngs were formed in two lines, each facing, the Blue on one side and the Grey on the other, so that when they were at the table, they sat vis-a-vis. It is needless to say that edibles were there in greatest abundance and if any one went away unsatisfied, it was his own fault. The citizens of Culpeper supplied a first-class band from Washington city. The musicians rendered many soul-stirring patriotic airs amid the greatest enthusiasm. Friend and foe of the days of your charged the disjecta membra of scores of chickens, but notwithstanding the constantly reinforced hosts, there was always chicken to be had. After dinner there was a feast of wit and a flow of oratory.


Mrs. Stilson, a daughter of the adjutant of the Twenty-eighth New York Regiment, who laid down his life upon this field, a victim of the deadly and unerring fire from Stonewall Jackson’s Brigade, sang “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Dixie,” and “Annie Laurie.” A choir composed of the ladies of the county, also rendered many sweet selections.

Captain C. M. Blackford, of Lynchburg, formerly of Stonewall Jackson’s staff, was the principal orator of the occasion. Many others indulged in appropriate talks. Among them were Colonel Miller, of Pennsylvania cavalry, who also crossed the wheat field in the charge; Captain Lloyd and General Curtis, ex-member of Congress.

Mr. John Bresnahan, of Washington, formerly of the Twenty-seventh Indiana, read a brief description of Bank’s Corps in and around the wheat field.

Secretary C. W. Boyce, in behalf of the visitors, read a set of resolutions, which were carried with a vim, extending the thanks of the visitors to the people of Culpeper and vicinity for their cordial welcome and generous hospitality. Some visitors left to-night, but many are remaining over to visit the other battlefields nearby. The weather has been delightful.

Transcribed by Bradley Forbush, June 17, 2021; for Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Downloaded from Chronicling America, Library of Congress.

For more about the dedication of the 28th New York Monument you can read the local Culpeper newspaper’s coverage here.

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