From the Richmond Times, 6/1/1899, p. 5, c. 5
MISS SALLIE TOMPKINS.
Picture of the Southern Heroine Presented at the Confederate Museum
The Confederate Museum was the scene of a most interesting ceremony at 11:30 o’clock yesterday morning when a picture of Miss Sallie Tompkins, one of the best known women connected with the Lost Cause, was presented to the Confederate Memorial Literary Society.
A large crowd was present.
Mr. Joseph Bryan, who had been chosen to make the presentation, was unable to be present, and his speech was read for him by Mr. J. Stewart Bryan.
Mr. Bryan paid a beautiful tribute to the love and self-sacrifice of Confederate women for the cause they loved so much, and described the remarkable work of Miss Sallie Tompkins as the head of Robertson Hospital at the corner of Third and Main streets where were treated more than 1,300 sick and wounded Confederate soldiers.
He told how Judge John Robertson gave up his private residence and all his furniture to Miss Tompkins for this cause, how President Davis because of her fine services retained her private hospital, the only one out of many, as part of the service of the army and commissioned her as a captain.
He spoke of the peculiar fitness of the picture of this noble woman being confided to the Confederate Museum as an object to preserve the memory of devotion and of duty for the benefit of coming generations.
In accepting the portrait Dr. W. R. L. Smith said that he felt the fitness of the occasion that saw the picture of Miss Tompkins, a noble and heroic woman, presented to the society which was founded by Confederate women for the presentation of Confederate memorials.
“That the nobility of those who fought for the Confederacy should not be measured entirely by those who stood the brunt of battle, for those who served in the hospitals and were in daily conflict with exhausting diseases and fearful wounds played a no less heroic part.”
“It is especially fitting that such a memorial as this should be entrusted to the hands of the ladies who compose the Confederate Memorial Literary Society.”
The influence of memorials cannot be measured by mere size. There are some that will live eternally, though only enshrined in the hearts of each succeeding generation. When the Lord’s feet were anointed in the house of Simon, in Bethany. He said, “Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world there shall also be told what this woman hath done for a memorial of her.
This is true, and today it is more lasting than the far-shining top of the Washington Monument.”
“In the glorious future the names of the Confederate heroes, I dare say, will never be reckoned up without giving a place of honor to that of Miss Sallie Tompkins, whose example of heroism and self-sacrifice has raised to her a monument more lasting than brass or stone, and whose picture in the uniform which she wore in her daily work among the sick and dying will keep to all generations the memory of her work because the work was worthy.”