This is from a rare original 8x10 glass plate negative by Chattanooga photographer William H. Stokes. It was taken during the United Confederate Veterans reunion held in Chattanooga in late May 1913.
Confederate veteran organizations were formed to alleviate and address many of the challenges facing former soldiers and their communities in the aftermath of the Civil War. These organizations later served an important social function by helping veterans maintain ties to those with whom they had served. They were a very big deal, drawing thousands of visitors to the host cities. The aging confederate officers were flanked by many social appointees - beautiful young ladies with titles such as ‘Maid of Honor'.
I have definitively identified only a few of the 21 people in the photo and will continue to research & add found matches. It is possible that one of the ladies in this photo is Zella Armstrong, notable author and historian. On Sept. 21, 1940, more than 200 Chattanoogans gathered in the ballroom of the Hotel Patten to honor her. Lauded for "loving her city, her state, her nation and her Southland, with a fervor and a constancy that few could boast," Miss Zella was presented with a commemorative silver medal, one side proclaiming her as "Chattanooga's No. 1 Woman Citizen," the other depicting the flags of the city, Tennessee, United States and the Confederacy. Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press
(Miss Katie), author, teacher, journalist, and club woman, was born on July 29, 1874, in Brenham, Texas. She served five terms as president of the Texas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was third vice president general of the UDC, and was a life member of its executive board. In addition, she served as president of the Texas Woman's Press Association (1908–09), state historian of the Daughters of the American Revolution (1909–10). Miss Katie was twice appointed sponsor for Texas to the General Confederate reunions and in May 1913 was appointed sponsor for the South to the General Confederate Reunion held in Chattanooga. READ MORE at Texas State Historical Assn.
Dr. Jonathan Waverly Bachman and three of his brothers fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Afterward, he endured the yellow fever epidemic of 1878. He was considered the city's pastor, marrying and burying several generations of Chattanoogans. It was Dr. Bachman who delivered the dedicatory prayer when the Walnut Street Bridge was opened in 1891. He did the same for the Market Street Bridge in 1917, and his son, Nathan Lynn Bachman, drove the first auto - a Hudson Supersix - over it. READ MORE at Chattanoogan.com
Born in Baton Rouge, LA. All his family members were killed by a plague when he was a youth. He served in the Civil War under General Stonewall Jackson. He was an active member of the United Confederate Veterans and help to establish the Confederate Home in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Perhaps the most colorful individual in this group, he was the leader of northernmost land action of the Civil War, The St. Albans Raid, (Vermont) on October 19, 1864.
Serving twice as Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans, and then holding the title of Honorary Commander-in-Chief for Life until his death in 1919, Bennett H. Young was an instrumental figure in expanding the Lost Cause memorialization movement by actively supporting monument projects, attending dedication events, and giving countless orations.
Young was a man of many talents, not least of which was his ability to stir up a crowd. As one newspaper described him following a speaking engagement in 1916 before the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Texas, “That he is one of the most eloquent living Confederates all will concede. He has the marvelous gift of ‘whooping up the boys.’ No living man knows better the tender and heroic spots in the Confederate heart and he knows just how and when to touch.SOURCE: Bennett H. Young and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation, Joy M. Giguere, Penn State York
I personally would like to think that when he spoke, he sounded like Yosemite Sam of Looney Tunes fame.