OXFORD MERCURY [OXFORD, MS], March 14, 1861, p.2, c. 3
An Event in Oxford.
Presentation of a Banner to the Lamar Rifles.
The Military from Holly Springs.
Grand Display on the Square
The Scene at the Church.
Address of Miss WileyŚResponse of Capt. Green.
Speeches of Chalmers, Harris and Walter.
The day before yesterday, Tuesday, will long be remembered by the citizens of Oxford as an epoch in the history of their city. It was announced last week that on the evening of that day, at eight o'clock, a standard would be presented, by the ladies of Oxford, to the Lamar Rifles. A messenger was dispatched to Holly Springs, instructed to extend an invitation to the military there to honor the occasion with their presence. The invitation was accepted by the Home Guards, Capt. Harris, and by the Jeff. Davis Rifles, Capt. Benton. A special train, consisting of a locomotive, tender, and three coaches, left the city of Holly Springs at half-past eleven, with the above companies on board, together with a large number of distinguished citizens.
Early in the morning, Capt. Green and Capt. Delay, of the Lamar Rifles and Lafayette Guards, issued orders for their companies to meet at their armories at one o'clock. At that hour they met, and forming ranks they made a junction at the northwest corner of the Square, and, preceded by drum and fife, marched to the depot. They arrived there at two o'clock, and patiently waited the arrival of the extra train. The mail train came down fifteen minutes ahead of time, and reported the extra a few miles behind. The whistle announced its approach at precisely half-past two. Soon it was alongside the platform. The Rifles and the Guards were drawn up, front face on the platform, and the moment the train stopped, fired a salute. Then the companies commenced defiling from the cars, and were welcomed with loud shouts by over half the people in Oxford, for at least that many were there. The visiting companies were marched to the front of the platform, where our companies were formed in open ranks, "present arms," through which they marched. The battalion was then formed as follows: Lamar Rifles in front, Home Guards, Jeff. Davis Rifles, in command of Lieut. H. W. Walter, the Lafayette Guards bringing up the rear. Brigadier General C. H. Mott here took command of the battalion. The line of march was taken up along Depot street. The gay plumes, the beautiful uniforms and the enlivening music presented a scene more animating than had ever been witnessed since this was a town. The people along the street were of course [tear in paper] their balconies and to their front [tear in paper] porticoes. The battalion [tear in paper] the square as it came upon it, when the companies were separated and went through with various evolutions, each striving hard to excel the other. But ranks were soon broken, and the volunteers were each left to enjoy themselves in whatever manner they thought best.
They nearly unanimously called upon the editor hereof, and, of course, took a drink of waterŚout of a jug. The Mercury office has never been so highly honored, and we hope each and all who called upon us will make it always convenient to call again when in town. The Home Guards called upon us in a body.
The visitors were invited to the University Hotel to supper. It is unnecessary to tell anybody about here that Col. Robinson "knows how to keep a hotel," and that the volunteers were furnished with the very best he had in the house. Perhaps many o them were not promptly waited upon which they of course saw was in consequence of the great number in the dining room. They all, however, obtained an excellent supper, and a highly flavored Havana upon their exit from the room.
Going to the Church.
So soon as supper was over the Home Guards and Jeff. Davis Rifles formed on the north-western corner of the Square, the Lamar Rifles at their armory, in the basement of the Cumberland Church. At this time we looked towards the Cumberland Church and saw it brilliantly illuminated, and people pouring into it. The visiting companies soon marched to the front of the church and up the right aisle. Their entrance was the signal for loud huzzas. The church was even then densely packed with ladies, men, boys and girls. We were fortunate in getting standing room near the temporary platform erected. Looking [tear in paper] the room there was, indeed, "a [tear in paper] turned faces." And upon each face was an expression of joy and gladness. No occasion ever attracted such a vast audience together in this town. It is estimated that twenty-five hundred people were present. Every seat was taken, every spot occupied, while hundreds lingered around the door, unable to get near it.
Arrival of the Ladies with the Standard.
At ten minutes to eight o'clock a commotion at the doors announced the approach of the ladies with the standard. Entering the right aisle with their escorts, Miss Wiley leaning upon the arm of Capt. Green, they proceeded to the front of the pulpit and ascended the platform erected for the occasion. The ladies were received in front of the church by the Rifles, with arms presented, and were immediately followed up the aisle by the company. The company was formed in front of the platform, upon which stood the seven ladies personating the seven States of the new Confederacy. The seven young ladies were dressed in snowy white, with a blue sash, upon which was printed in gilt letters the States they personated. The States were represented as follows:
MississippiŚMiss Sallie A. Wiley.
TexasŚMiss Sue Keys.
LouisianaŚMiss Sallie Slate.
AlabamaŚMiss Mollie Tomlinson.
GeorgiaŚMiss Sallie Tomlinson.
FloridaŚMiss Sue Howry.
South CarolinaŚMiss Sallie Fox.
[note: rip down the center of the next column, including description of flag. It has a wide fringe, with a landscape in the center with a gilt border, an emblematic tree, a shield, a stem of cotton, and red painted letters "Always Ready." On the reverse is an inscription to the effect of presented by the ladies of Oxford to the Lamar Rifles, and the date.]