Metairie Cemetery


Outside of the city, near Metairie road, and on banks of the New Canal is the largest and handsomest cemetery of the city. Take Canal street and Lake cars to the Ridge and cross the bridge. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. The famous Metairie race course, where Lexington and Lecompte ran, in 1853, the celebrated race, was purchased a few years ago by a company and converted into a plans were examined, and finally that of Harrod accepted, which retained the old race course as the main drive, and reserved a large garden in the centre. The most notable tombs are those of the Hernandez, Slocomb, Howard, Morris and Clapp families; the monument of the Washington Artillery and that of the Army of Tennessee, and near the lake the tombs of Saloy, McCan and others. Near the entrance is a large receiving vault, built in the form of a chapel, and several mounds of exquisite flowers. At the entrance is the tomb of the Army of Tennessee, surmounted by the equestrian statue of General Albert Sidney Johnston. In the vault are buried Generals Beauregard and Johnston. At the entrance of the vault is the statue of a Confederate soldier calling the roll.


Metairie Cemetery, intersection of Pontchartrain Blvd. and Metairie Rd., is the finest of all New Orleans cemeteries and one of the show places of the city. The site of a famous antebellum race track, it occupies a beautiful location among groves of green trees and quiet waterways. In 1873 the racing was discontinued and the Metairie Cemetery Association formed. In 1895 the grounds were beautified and landscaped, with a series of drives, paved walks, lagoons, and many fine trees. Marble and granite in beautiful and costly designs line every roadway. Here cemetery architecture is to be found at its best.

In the center of a large green mound surrounded by palm trees is the handsome granite shaft, the Army of Northern Virginia Monument, commemorating the Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson, and the men of the Louisiana Division of the Army of Northern Virginia who fought under him. The monument was dedicated May 10, 1881, the eighteenth anniversary of the death of Jackson, in the presence of a great throng of spectators. Above the mausoleum, in which 2,500 men are buried, rises the granite monument, 32 feet in height. Atop this is the statue of Jackson, 'neither calmer nor grander than Jackson stood in flesh' On the pedestal are carved two crossed flags with the inscription 'From Manassas to Appomattox, 1861 to 1865.' The statue was the work of Achille Perelli of New Orleans.

The monument erected to the memory of the Louisiana Division of the Army of Tennessee is one of the finest Confederate monuments in New Orleans. It was dedicated April 5, 1887, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. The handsome bronze equestrian statue represents General Johnston as he led the charge at that battle in which he received his mortal wound. On the right of the entrance to the mausoleum stands a lifelike marble statue of an orderly sergeant calling the roll of the soldiers. The Gothic arch at the entrance of the tomb is surmounted with a bronze medallion with flags and arms, and at the sides are the names of the battles in which the division fought. The remains of General Beauregard repose inside, and the vault contains a memorial tablet to Johnston. The work was executed by Alexander Doyle and Achille Perelli.

At the intersection of Aves. D and I, a short distance from the entrance of the cemetery, stands the white granite monument erected in memory of Louisiana's Washington Artillery, one of the best-known military organizations of the South. The company was organized in 1840 and saw its first service in the war with Mexico. During the Civil War the company, which had by then expanded into a battalion of five companies, saw service in more than sixty great battles from Bull Run to Appomattox. The monument is 32 feet in height, and is topped with the figure of an artillery soldier leaning on a gun swab. Granite posts, shaped like upright cannon and connected with iron chains, surround the mound. The base of the pedestal consists of a graduated pyramid of three steps, with sculptured cannonballs at the bottom. On the face of the pedestal appears the emblem of the company, a tiger's head, with the motto 'Try us,' and also the badge of the artillery, the State seal, and a bas-relief bust of Washington. The dates '1846' and '1861-1865' are engraved on one side, together with the names of the battles in which the company fought and the members who lost their lives in service. George Doyle was the sculptor.

Elsewhere in the cemetery are the tombs of Generals John B. Hood, Richard Taylor, and Fred N. Ogden, all prominent Confederates. Jefferson Davis was first buried here, but his remains have since been removed. The remains of Governor Claiborne, the first American Governor of Louisiana, were brought to Metairie from St. Louis No. 1.

Other famous names are those of the Reverend Thomas Riley Markham, Chaplain General of the Confederacy; Dr. B. F. Palmer, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church; Bishop Sessums, of the Episcopal Church; Governor Henry Clay Warmoth, and John Dimitry.

Many of the prominent families of the city have tombs in Metairie, and the remains of many others have been brought there from their original resting-places in other cemeteries. Magnificent family tombs rise on all sides, and certain oddities are to be seen as well. The tall shaft of the Moriarity Monument stands just to the left of the entrance. Amusing stories are told about the four female figures at the base of the shaft, but all are without foundation in fact. The four statues are simply stock figures placed on the monument for effect by the builder. Mr. Dooley, upon observing the statues, is said to have remarked: 'Faith, Hope, Charity and Mrs. Moriarity.' Somewhat to the rear on the right, near Pontchartrain Blvd., stands the red granite tomb of Jose Morales, with torches of flaming stone and a bronze female figure in the act of knocking at the door of the tomb. It was built originally for Josie Arlington Duebler, of Storyville fame, and many stories have been told of it.


The Metarie is the largest and most modern in the city. Its entrance is but a few rods from that of Greenwood, just across the canal bridge. As you enter, orange-laden trees, bordering its shell-paved entrance-driveway, greet you; to the right is the tomb of the Louisiana Division of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, in which is a tablet to the memory of General Albert Sydney Johnson. His statue is to surmount it, and the statue of a Confederate soldier is to guard the entrance. To the left is a large public receiving vault. Then follows an avenue of beautiful tombs, from which other avenues diverge over a large space. The tombs are more modern in their construction; the walks and drives of shell pavement are laid in curves, while the others are in angles ; it is more spacious, more American. It contains some beautiful works of cemetery architecture and sculpture.

The Washington Artillery have a fine monument, commemorating its battles and names of its dead, with a statue of a Confederate soldier surmounting it. The Louisiana division of the Army of Northern Virginia also have a tomb and shaft, surmounted by a statue of Stonewall Jackson. The head of the statue is covered with a soldier's cap, which does not seem quite appropriate, and it suffers somewhat in comparison with the statue of Jackson in the State House Park in Richmond.

The Knights of Pythias have a handsome enclosure for their dead. The Morris tomb is a granite structure standing in the interior of a church of Ivy, with circular front windows, side windows and transept. This is very pretty. The frame is of light iron work, but so covered inside and out with ivy as to be hidden from view. Adjoining it stands a beautiful and venerable live oak, whose immense trunk and moss-laden branches are worthy of observation.

The other cemeteries located on or near the Metairie Ridge are:

Hebrew Cemetery. - "Dispersed of Judah;" Canal street, between Anthony street and Metairie Ridge; size 250 feet square.

Polish Hebrew Cemetery. - Canal street, opposite above. Sometimes called "Jewish Rest."

Odd Fellows Cemetery. - Canal street and Metairie road ; size 360 feet square.

Charity Hospital Cemeteries, Nos. 1 and 2. - Canal street, between Anthony and Metairie road; and Metairie road, between Bienville and Canal. Exclusively for burials from Charity Hospital.

Masonic Cemetery. - Bienville street, between Metairie Ridge and Anthony street; size three squares.

St. Patrick Cemetery No. 1. - Canal street, between Anthony street and Metairie Ridge; size 400 by 1,500 feet.

St. Patrick Cemetery No. 2. - Canal, between Anthony and Metairie road, opposite above; size one square.

St. Patrick Cemetery No. 3. - Metairie road, between Canal and Bienville; size two squares.

Firemen's Cemeteries. - Known as Cypress Grove Nos. 1 and 2, and Greenwood. Metairie Ridge and Canal street.

Outlines of the History of Louisiana, BY HON. JAMES S. ZACHARIE, Second Vice President of the Louisiana Historical Society, Member of the City Council of New Orleans. 1903

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New Orleans History, 1897-1917