Friday, June 06, 2008

The Unveiling of the Confederate Cemetery Monument at Johnson’s Island

On June 8, 1910 over one thousand people witnessed the unveiling of the Confederate Cemetery Monument at Johnson’s Island. Several prominent former officers of the Confederacy attended the ceremonies. The dedicatory address was delivered by General George W. Gordon of Memphis, commander of the Army of Tennessee United Confederate Veterans.

The monument was created by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Jewish sculptor who had attended the Virginia Military Institute and fought for the Confederacy. The Robert Patton Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy had commissioned the monument, which was funded by donations from members of the Masons across the nation as well as by members of military organizations. Fund raising efforts were led by Mrs. Mary Patton Hudson, whose brother Oliver A. Patton had been a prisoner at Johnson’s Island during the Civil War.

According to a report in the June 9, 1910 issue of the Newark Advocate, “The veterans of both armies without exception were moved to tears and some fairly shook with emotion when the strings drawn by Mrs. Mary Patton Hudson, of Cincinnati, the big American flag that screened it from the public gaze was lowered and the statue designed and executed by Sir Moses Ezekiel was revealed.”

After the unveiling ceremony, several former Confederate officers were escorted to dinner at the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home where they inspected the grounds and were entertained at dinner. John T. Mack of Sandusky was the marshal of the parade, in which soldiers from both the Union and Confederate armies participated.

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