I know that the Civil War Monument has six hundred anonymous Confederate soldiers laid to rest there. Is there also a tomb included for two known soldiers? If so, what were their names?
George D. N. Collette, DMD
Yes, the Civil War Monument in Greenwood Cemetery is a fine memorial to some of the men -- unknown soldiers -- who died for the cause. But as you suspect, there are tombs for some men who are not buried in anonymity, and two of them were not your ordinary soldiers. In fact, they were brigadier generals.
The first of these to be buried in Greenwood Cemetery was Young Marshall Moody, who was born on June 23, 1822 in Chesterfield County, Va. Brig. Gen. Moody survived the war but made the mistake of coming to New Orleans on a business trip where he died of yellow fever on Sept. 18, 1866.
Another important officer in the Confederate Army was Thomas Moore Scott, born in 1829 in Athens, Ga. Scott was wounded at the Battle of Franklin on Nov. 30, 1864, often referred to as "the bloodiest hours of the American Civil War," but lived to tell about it before he died in New Orleans on April 21, 1876 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.
There are also others of lesser rank and of other branches of the military buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Two of them are William Harbin of the Confederate Navy and William Minnick of the Confederate Marine Corps, both of whom died in September 1964.
Greenwood's Confederate Monument is the first Civil War memorial to be erected in New Orleans. The low mound marks the mass grave of soldiers whose remains were gathered through the efforts of the Ladies Benevolent Association of Louisiana. The monument was dedicated in 1874.
I made my first trip to New Orleans as a teenager in 1953. I hitchhiked there with a buddy. The Roosevelt Hotel was too expensive for us, but we stayed at a hotel named either St. James or St. Charles. I know there are hotels by both those names there now, but neither of them is the one I remember. Do you know of any hotels with either of those names that existed in New Orleans in 1953?
Stephen F. Wood
In 1953, there was indeed a St. Charles Hotel. In fact, it was the third St. Charles Hotel to stand on that spot. The first got its name because it faced St. Charles Avenue, just above Canal Street.
The third hotel of that name was built in 1896 to replace the other two that had burned down in 1851 and 1894. The third hotel was a fine building but nothing to compare to the grandeur of its predecessors. But for almost 60 years it was a place many chose for business meetings, debutant parties and Mardi Gras balls. This hotel was last operated as the Sheraton-St. Charles and was demolished in 1974.
This could have been the hotel you stayed in, but for two guys who were hitchhiking, my guess is probably not.
There was also at that time a St. James Hotel that was also built in the 1850s like the second St. Charles. The first St. James Hotel was located in a building originally called the Banks' Arcade, a three-story edifice built by Thomas Banks in 1833. It had a glass-roofed court, which combined an auction mart, a barroom and some features of a modern office building. The hotel was built when the Banks' Arcade was renovated in 1859. Just a few years later, after the Yankees occupied the city in 1862, the St. James Hotel served as a Union hospital during the Civil War.
By 1966 it was in bad shape and was demolished. It is now occupied by the Board of Trade Plaza, which is located at 316 Board of Trade Place, just off Gravier Street between Magazine and Tchoupitoulas streets.
Today, there is a new St. James Hotel just steps away at 300 Magazine Street and a new Royal St. Charles Hotel at 135 St. Charles Avenue.