“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lynchburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Veterans' Bench

Erected 1931 by the Southern Memorial Association


— Honoring Garland-Rodes Camp (No. 8) of Confederate Veterans Colonel Kirkwood Otey, First Commander —

The Veterans' Bench Marker image. Click for full size.
August 14, 2021
1. The Veterans' Bench Marker
Shortly after this Veterans' Bench was completed, the following letter was received by Mrs. John H. Lewis, president of the Southern Memorial Association.

Lynchburg, Va., Dec. 22, 1931.

Mrs. John H. Lewis,
Lynchburg, Va. Dear Mrs. Lewis:-

I am writing to ask you please to tell me why you and Mrs. Scott went over in the Methodist Cemetery and picked out my square to build the memorial seeing graves and flower pots with dried flowers, and the big rock lilies and rose bush at the corners. They surely did not grow there of their own accord; they were planted there by my grandmother, Mrs. William Herndon. And you all were told that two ladies came over often with flowers. We did not go often in winter as we live in the suburbs, and that is why we did not find it out sooner. If you wanted the square, why did you not put a notice in the paper for the persons owning the square next to the soldiers' monument to come and claim it or it would be taken for the new memorial. We take the paper and would have been so glad.

Do you feel in your heart that you have treated me
The Veterans' Bench Marker image. Click for full size.
August 14, 2021
2. The Veterans' Bench Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
right by taking my burial ground where my husband and children are buried? I lost three children in two weeks. Do you realize that is a sacred spot of land to me, the angels are still hovering over it even if it did not have tombstones to mark their graves. If it had once occurred to me that someone would come and take it away I would have put stones at each corner. Do you think the Lord will bless you for taking a poor widow's burying ground, all that I have to look forward to when I die. There was room for five more now living to be buried. The first one was buried in 1860. When John Lynch gave the city the land it was forest and those that were given squares had to clean them up before they could bury their dead. And 1860 was before there were any soldiers buried in the cemetery.

You will find enclosed a list of the family buried on the square and also list of our friends who can testify to the fact, some of whom were at the burials in 1886 and also my husband in 1918.

Now won't you please take it over with Mr. Hart and see if some arrangement cannot be made to remove it to some other part of the cemetery?

Hoping very much you will do this and will let me hear from you, I am

Yours very truly,
Mrs. Maggie Wilson
#491 Oakley Avenue,
Lynchburg, Va.

The crisis presented by this unexpected letter
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
had the following eventual resolution in 1932:

The bodies of Mrs. Mary Wilson (died 1908) and George H. Wilson (died 1918) were not directly under the bench and were removed to a plot in Spring Hill Cemetery, Lynchburg. The graves of Mrs. Wilson's four children remain untouched under this west wing of the Veterans' Bench they are Mary J. Wilson, Adelia C. Wilson, and George H. Wilson, Jr. all diptheria epidemic victims who died in 1886, and Maggie E. Wilson who died 1890.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is December 22, 1931.
Location. 37° 24.922′ N, 79° 9.443′ W. Marker is in Lynchburg, Virginia. Memorial can be reached from Taylor Street, 0.2 miles north of 4th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 Taylor St, Lynchburg VA 24501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 14-States Confederate Monument (here, next to this marker); Ancient Sugar Maple Tree (a few steps from this marker); In Memory of Lucy Kirkwood Scott Hotchkiss (within shouting distance of this marker); Samuel Brice (Bryce) (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Smallpox Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Lynchburg, Virginia
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Women of Lynchburg's Confederate Hospitals (within shouting distance of this marker); The Confederate Section (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lynchburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2021. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 18, 2021.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

Paid Advertisement
Dec. 1, 2021