Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
May 20, 1911     Arkansas Catholic
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May 20, 1911
 

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Page Two THE SOUTHERN GUARDIAN ,t. The Rev. P. F. Brannan, the well known Texas Missionary, ":" q' whose picture appears above, delivered one of the finest pieces of + Io original poetry on "The Confederate Soldier," last Wednesday at ":* + the Reunion in the Auditorium, ill the presence of several thousands, .Io I. that was heard there. Father Brannan went out with Robert E. q" + Lee in 1861 as a drummer boy, and after four years of service in the %% q' ranks surrendered with him at Appomatox. After the close of the + + War he went to Texas/ practiced law awhile and became Mayor of %% ,t, Weatherford. His natural feelings led him to a religious life and + + he became a priest. His field of work has been chiefly missionary. 4. I. He has given missions in nearly half the States of the Union, and + :" is still in harness for the work. Father Bramlan's poem is given here. *: + + In spirit we go back today, When all of us were young and strong; When we were proud to wear the gray, Opposed to what we tbought was wrong, When every man stood at his post, To do, to dare, and to obey, To prove he loved his country most, Resigned to give his life away. I 'Tis sad, yet sweet, now to recall, The hardships that we underwent; Far worse than Caesar's when in Gaul, For often we had not a cent. And haversacks were nfighty slim, And everything was, oh! so blue; It ahnost made the eyes grow dim, To find the rations that we drew. But then it was some recompense, To slip at night among the trees; And take  turkey off the fence, Or rob a fruitful hive of bees. And, maybe, we would get a shoat, If not, a chicken or a goose; If nothing else, a bi,y goat, Or anything that lay round loose. Tile weary march who can forget, So tired, hungry, sleepy too; Trudging along in cold and wet, Trying to find those men in blue. And washday, that was something great; We'd wash in some stream flowing by, Sit clothesless on the banks and wait For shirt and other things to dry. Our troubles were enough by day, And often they were worse at night. He could not sleep, he could not pray, For every soldier got a bite. And often he would have to rise, And hold his shirt above the blaze; Their numbers try to minimize, And shorten thus their length of days. But after all we now delight, To bring once more to memory's door, The beating drum, the march, the fight, And comrades brave who've gone before, The cannon's boom, the screeching shell, The fierce contention on the field, The bayonet and the "rebel yell," Be fore which everything would yield. Oh how I love to brirrg to mind Dear old Virginia's many charms; Her people knightly and refined, Her lovely streams, her vernal farms, Her purple mountains, skies so blue, The old turnpike, the fence of stone; The clover fields all wet with dew. Afld other beauties ;tlI her men. F:rewell, dear Richmond on tk.," James, Farewell swce- Valley Shenandoah; The valor which was shown of yore, In silent graves, where now do sleep The cold remains of those who died; Where Memory shall her vigils keep While truth and honor shall ab;de. The Southern soldier has no cau.c To be ashamed of anything. Tile world may now withhold ap- plause, But unborn poets yet shall sing In glowing language of his name, Will tell the story of his past, Will write it on tlle scroll of fame, To live as long as time shall last. But there's one name that's far above And far away beyond them all; Whose mem'ry we shall always love, Who kept his grandeur in his fall. Whose fame shall ever amplify, In centuries that are yet to be, A name that will not, cannot die, Our great and peerless Robert Lee. Flow grand was his majestic soul l In victory or in sad defeat, How perfect was his self-controll How kind his heart, how pure, how sweet. No monument, however high, Although its summit kissed the skies; Would be too great to testify The glory which his name implies. And there's a name that meant suc- cess, Whose fame's eternal as the hills; The army's hope when in distress, A name that burns, a name that thrills. How dazzling were his splendid deedsl In strategy he led them all, And all the world today concedes That there in only one "Stonewall." No braver man was ever born, He flung the lightning in his path, Snatched victory out of hope forlorn, Like to a whirlwind in its wrath. Jackson and Leel Fame's synonyms Their tombs shall always be a shrine Where valor sings her sweetest hynms, Where history shall their names entwine. My dear beloved soldier friends, We soon shall hear the last tattoo, Which time shall beat as it descends To hide us all from mortal view. But there's a land I hope we'll see, Where there's no sorrow, and no wars; Where there's an endless reveille, Which Angels sing beyond the stars. Good-bye, beloved friends, good-bye, Our lees are passing fast away, Like clouds that fleck the lilac sky, Or moths that round the candle play, A few more years 'twill be at best, When all of us who wore the gray, Will have passed, let's hope, to rest, Awaiting that last judgment day. Fatewell grand State, whirh still pro- Good-bye, once more, a last good- claims bye, Togefher here no more we'll meet. Our friendship, though, shall never die, A soldier's love knows no deceit. There is a bond as strong as steel That binds us as the day to night; That is, that we shall always feel That what we did was for the right. UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERANS' REUNION (Continued from Page I.) erecting monuments to their fathers. husbands, brothers and sons. It is only in recent years that their annual conventions discussed tbe matter with any kind of sympathy. At the Louisville Reunion of the U. C. V., in I9O3, Geneal C. Irvine Walker, Charleston S. C., command- er of tbe Army of North Virginia, was elected chairman of a committee that was to include one Confederate Veteran from each of the recognized fifteen Sounthern States and States where there was an organization of the U. C. V. This connnittee has been continued by the various reun- ions and General Walker has remain- ed chairman of the executive com- mittee.General V. Y. Cook, of Bates- ville, is tile Arkansas naember. Tiffs committee decided to have if possible one uniform monument in each of the Confederate States. It was further agreed upon, after consultation with several distinguished artists, that the monument proper be of bronze and the pedestal and surroundings be of stone or marble as each State migbt elect. Designs and bids were called for and the work allotted to Miss Belle Kinney, of Nashville, Tenn. There is now some delay, as each State must first aprove the report and action of the General Committee and then give an order for the bronze monument. The idea of selecting a bronze monument was suggested by the fact that if fifteen or more sucb monuments were ordered, the cost of easting tbem would be so reduced that a fifty thousand dollar monu- ment could be gotten for not more than ten thousaud dollars. The State Annual Reunion of the Arkansas U. C. V., held at Ft. Smith, Octoher I7-I9, 9o6, appointed through the commander, General N. T. Roberts, a conunittee of five vet- erans to arrange for .tile co-operation of the U. C. V. and the U. S. C. V of Arkansas with the general com- mittee for the erection of a monu- ment to the Confederate women of Arkansas. The following was the committee: Jas. H. Berry, V.Y. Cook, Cbas. Coffin, Dan W. Jones, and J. M. Lucey. Subsequently it was arranged that Jonathan Kellogg be added to the comnaittee as Secre- tary, and the commander of tile Ar- kansas Division U. C. V. be ex-offi- cio a member. The conamittee as then constituted consisted of the com- mander, V. Y. Cook, Chas. Coffin, Dan W. Jones, J. Kellogg and J. M. Lucey. At the first meeting J. M. Lucey was made chairnaan and J. Kel- logg, secretary. Thus stands the comnfittee at the present time. A volume of the Records of the Confederate Women of Arkansas was published in 19o7, J. M. Lucey being the editor. Three thousand copies were published and some money real- ized for the monument. The Arkan- sas legislature a month ago made an appropriation of $IO,OOO to enable the committee to erect a suitable naonument on tile Capitol grounds, Little Rock to the Arkansas women of the Confederacy. VETERANS DRAFT MESSAGE TO TAFT. Ex-Confederates Send Telegram to Nation's Chief Executive in Re- sponse to His Greeting. Voicing the sentuncnt and appre- ciation of the people of tbe South of the attitude of tbe chief execu- tive of the United States in sending a telegaphed greeting to the Confed- erate Veterans gathered in Little Rock, the United Confederate Vet- erans sent a response to President Taft. The telegram, which follows, was read before the convention of the United Confederate Veterans and unanimously indorsed: "President W. H. Taft, "Tbe White House, Washington, "The United Confederate Veterans' Association assembled at Little Rock, Ark., in annual convention, represent- ing the Confederate survivors of the war between the states, desire to ex- press their appreciation of the kind telegram sent by you. "Viewed from either a personal or an official standpoint, it brings to the association tile greatest pleasure. It speaks volumes for the breadth and generosity of the sentiments the American people now hold of the gi- gantic conflict of 186I to z865 and the universal recognition that tile men of the South fought for what they es- teemed a great principle and which they backed by unfaltering courage. "This feeling plays a most impor- tant i)art in the restoration of the ]perfect memory and confidence felt both by the North and the South. As brave men, we are not unmindful of either the courage or patriotism of the Federal army. As of our own soldiers, we emphasize the acbieve- ments of those who followed the stars and stripes. "No patriot would change bis spirit of peace and unbounded faith felt by all Americans in the superb destiny of the republic and wbich fills the hearts, of all true men in every part of our country. "Intensely loyal to the memory of our gallant and chivalrous Confeder- ate dead, we cheerfully accord those with whom we battled due praise, b r what they did in the course of J,'m most dreadful war of modern ttmes. "As Confederates we cannot forget the splendid sentiments which prompted you when secretary of war to set aside in Arlington cemetery a lot for the burial of our deceased comrades who died in prison or fell in the vicinity of Washington, nor can we fail to think gratefully of your appointment of many of our distin- guished sons to high office. In your association with the Southern people you have always manifested a spirit which has won our esteem and which assures you of a welcome in the Southland of the most cordial kind. You can rest assured that the spirit and sentiments of your message are fully appreciated by every living Con- federate. (Signed) "Geo. W. Gordon, "K. M. Van Zandt, "Bennett H. Young, "T. H. Castleman, "C. Irvine Walker, "Jas. F. Smith, "Official. Win. E. Mickle, "Adjutant General." Missionaries Who Live in the Saddle The above illustration, called "The Cavalry of Christ", represents a band of misionaries laboring in tile extreme southwestern part of Texas along the border line between ttle United States and Old Mexico. You will note that these nfissionaries are dressed just as they travel on their long journeys from ranch to ranch, over the hot sand roads,often rid- ing whole days and whole nights to reach some distant ranch, where they gather together the few people of a ranch for an evening service called tile "Rosary Service." follow- ed next morning by the Holy Sac- rifice of tile Mass. The nfissionary carries with him all the necessary ar- ticles required to fit up the tempora- rily constructed altar for tbc Holy Sacrifice. These articles are packed in the most econonfical manner in the saddle-bag and a poncho, so as to be of as little inconvenience to the missionary on horseback as pos- sible, and also of as little burden as possible to tbe horse. These good nfissionaries show an exceptionally tender feeling for their faithful steeds, and are always anxious to spare them as much as they can. Not infrequently do they share their "'ra- tions" with their beloved equine friend; and it has already happened that the horse was given tlle larger portion of the supply so as to enable him to cover the long distance, the priest going without food to tb journey's end. These trips in the sad- dle last from three to six weeks at a time, interrupted only when a ranch is reached. One of the misionaries called the writer's attention to the shirt that was adopted as a part of the civil uniform of tile misionary. "This is tile kind of a shirt that we have to wear on these trips, in order to pre- serve, as nearly as we can, some kind of a respectable appearance; for we have to banish from our mind any idea of a laundry, or anything like it, from the time we start until we get back." Tile development of agricultural conditions in the extreme southwest- ern part of Texas, through the in- stallation of powerful water-pinups which lift the water from the Rio Grande river into the artificially con- structed canals, and send the water over the erstwhile arid area of that part of the country, through smaller channels and flumes, making it very fertile soil for vegetation, is offering an opportunity to the many Mexi- cans coming from Old Mexico, and also those living on ranches, to set- tle more closely to farms and grow- ing towns. Tbe introduction of this irrigation system will help to better the conditions of these simple Mexi- can people; and it will help to offer hetter opportunities, too, for the zealous missionaries to make more rapid progress in providing better fa- cilities for tile religious needs ot their people. This, at least, will be the case in that part of the country which is situated close to the Rio Grande river. Farther inland, the good missionaries will probably con- tinue for a number of years to go through their accttstomed hardships, unless irrigation is likewise secured there, through artesian wells al- ready started in some sections. In tiffs squad of "The Cavalry of Christ" are two missionaries who de- serve more than a passing notice. Tile one as the old nnssionary in the center, called popularly by the Mexi- cans, "Juan de la Costa." Tbe prop- er name of this aged missionary is Father John Bretault, O. M. I. Tiffs good priest spent thirty-seven out of forty years traveling on borseback along the Rio Grande river, and up and down tbe Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, with headquarters at La Lomita, a Mexican mission on the Rio Grande river, located a little over three miles south of tbe present town called Mission, the setlement where Wiliam Jennings Bryan has his Texas farm. Incidentally, it might be of interest to the reader to know that the land in and around the town of Mission was bequeathed by an old Frenchman, living in Old Mexico just across the RioGrande river, opposite the La Lomita ntis- sion, to the Oblate Father for ntis- sionary purposes. Tbe principal rep- resented hy this amount of land pro- duces an annual income of some- thing over $2,0oo. This amount is used for the benefit of the Mexican misions, and particularly for Mexi- can mission schools. The amount, of course, is lint a mere bagatelle compared to the extensive needs of that great expanse .of territory. It might be added that the vast- ness of Texas territory is not com- monly grasped. Just think of it! From the western to the eastern boundary of the State, the distance is about one thousand miles; and the distance from tile north to the south is ahnost as great. This illustration shows only a few of the hardy and zealous missiona- ries working in the southern and southwestern parts of our country. There are zealous missionaries, regu- lars as well as seculars, laboring un- der the same conditions in New Mexico Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alal)anra. Like con- ditions also prevail with varying fea- tures, as the readers of this paper have learned and will continue to learn from the accounts given of tbe nfisionary field in more northern pi- oneer parts of the United States. Referring again to the venerable mismnary "Juan de la Costa," he is, even at this day, a hardy looking man after forty years of missionary labor among the Mexicans. His attach- ment for the Mexicans was so great that when he was obliged to abandon his missionary activity in the saddle, l)ceause of attacks of vertigo, he pleaded most earnestly to be allowed to spend Iris remaining days among the Mexicans he loves so nmch. A great many interesting things could be added here about the career and experiences of the good old mis- sionary; but space will not permit The writer cannot refrain, however, from saying that one cannot help but notice the sunshiny disposition of the venerable priest, and his keen sense of tremor. Immediately after the above pbotograph was taken, it seems that tile old spirit of tbe mis- sionary was revived, and, quick as a flasb, he reined his steed and start.. ed off at a full gallop, with tbe oth- ers following and trying to pass him. For the next ten minutes there was one of the finest races one coula wish to see. One by one the others dropped out of the race, and it was old Father "Juan de la Costa" who made the complete circle around tlle town, and stopped in front of tile residence with a broad smile of sat- isfaction on his venerable face, and remarking to tile self-constituted judges: "It takes an old man to show these young riders how to speed." He swung himself out of the saddle like a young man of eighteen; and with a wave of his hand toward tile rest of the squad coming up be- hind, he remarked in Spanish, "To- dos muchaehos," translated meaning, "They're nothing but boys." And he included as a mere "boy" the Rev. Julio Plat, O. M. I., another old misionary, who has pent thirty-one years on the missions in that part of the country. Fther Julio is still in active work and is located at the missionary center at Roma, situated on tbe Rio Grande farther north of Mission. Father Julio has been at tiffs one mission continuously for twenty-eight years. He is a very eloquent speaker. This good priest was the companion missionary of the beloved and wel-known Padre Jose Maria (Clos), who had the longest record of any of the missionaries in that part of the country, having spent forty-eight years in the woods and plains of Texas, and dying at tile age of eighty-two years. Father Julio and Father Jose Maria worked together for a number of years, and were very devoted companions. The photograph of "The Cavalry "of Christ" was taken at the special request of the writer. It is seldom that this many nussionaries meet at one time and in one place. It hap- pened to be the fifth Sunday of the month; and these misionaries had four months ahead planned to meet at this old mission and join in sol- emnizing the great event of dedicat- ing to the Lord the neat frame church just completed at Mission. Five of these mlssionaies had to ride great distances to get to Mis- sion. They all came overland on the horses which you see in the pic- ture. On the extreme left of the row is the Rev. Father Hally, who at- tends Gulf Coast missions from the Mercedes center. This good father, in order to meet an engagement to witness a marriage ceremony, had to ride on horseback one hundred and ten miles continuously with only a break of one hour's sleep early Sun- day morning--from two to three-- when he rose and said Mass, and, together with his companion ntis- sionary, continued his journey in the saddle until he had reached Mission at lO:3O a. m. He was thirty-six hours in the saddle. It is needless to state that the good priest, after the ceremonies and after dinner, felt the necessity of a long sleep. There is no doubt but that each and every one of the other missiona- ries have gone through like experi- ences at one time or another, and very likely on more than one oeea- zion.