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Numini et Patriae Asto: 1905

Numini et Patriae Asto: 1905

Richmond, Virginia, circa 1905. "Ladies Hollywood Memorial Association -- Monument to Confederate dead, Hollywood Cemetery." 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Honoring the Fallen

Digging History quotes the commemorative text on the Pyramid Monument:

Here lie Confederate soldiers, 18,000 of them, not in companies only, but in battalions, in regiments and in brigades. Here are the bloody fruits of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Mechanicsville, Gaines’ Mill, Cold Harbor, Savage’s Station, Frazier’s Farm, Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Fort Harrison, Yellow Tavern, Drewy’s Bluff and many other fields, where Confederate valor illumined the pages of history.


Ironically, when this Confederate memorial was erected, the unfinished Washington Monument in the Union capital lacked its pyramidal top. That didn't appear until the 1880s.

Pyramids and obelisks are common in 19th century cemeteries. They reflect the Egyptian revival inspired by Napoleon's campaign.

Look, Ma! No mortar!

Apparently, a convict climbed 90 feet to the top to place the capstone on Nov. 8, 1869.

Dimmock Pyramid

Created by Charles Henry Dimmock in 1869. I visited Hollywood Cemetery last March and was captivated by this feat of engineering. It was a bitterly cold day with a bright blue cloudless sky, and the shadows of bare tree branches on the pyramid were so mysterious. I took at least a dozen pictures, from all angles. There is no overgrowth covering the pyramid today, but the rumors that ghosts whisper and moan at its base (particularly in the "rear" section, not visible in this photo) persist. Gorgeous cemetery, on the banks of the James River a few miles from downtown Richmond, and most impressive monument.

Incidentally, three American presidents -- James Monroe, John Tyler, and Jefferson Davis -- are buried at Hollywood. Monroe's giant wrought iron "birdcage" tomb is something to see too, if you ever get to go.

How is this still standing?

The uneven stonework made me wonder whether or not it may have collapsed by now. Nope, it's still there. Take a look here:

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