Inspiration of what Lt. Watkins may have looked like at the formation of the Lookout Artillery

Inspiration of what Lt. Watkins may have looked like at the formation of the Lookout Artillery

c. 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Lt. Richard Levens (Dick) Watkins
 was the catalyst of the Lookout Artillery.  Twenty-six years of age, he was the youngest of the Watkins brothers (who owned and operated a hardware store in Chattanooga) wheon to organize an artillery company in March 1862.  Hamilton County Confederates contains an excellent biography on Lt. Watkins: .-  Announcements of his death appeared in the Illinois Daily Inter Ocean and Maryland Sun newspapers.   Preserved in the Grace Armstrong Coile Collection, at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, are the following newspaper clippings: 

COL. DICK WATKINS DEAD. – Some Points of Interest Concerning the Old Confederate. – Special to the Tribune:  CHATTANOOGA, TENN., Dec. . – Col. R. L. (“Dick”) Watkins, one of the most conspicuous characters in latter day East Tennessee life, died about midnight Sunday.  At the time of his demise he was president of the Watkins Grocery Company, director in two National banks and prominently interested in numerous other enterprises, besides being one of the largest shippers of tanbark in the United States.  He was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, in 1836, but later moved to Knox County where he organized an artillery company of 153 volunteers and was commissioned captain June 1861, by J. P. Benjamin, secretary of war for the Confederacy.  After fighting through the war in every battle participated in by Gens. Bragg, J. E. Johnson and Hood he disbanded his company April 10, 1865 at Meridian, Miss., and marched the entire distance to Dalton, GA., on crutches into a hospital.  In the late election he was the Democratic candidate for State Senator and is the author of the much talked of municipal reform bill which went to the Legislature under his name.

From "Confederate Military History" by Gen. Clement A. Evans

Photo from “Confederate Military History” by Gen. Clement A. Evans, published 1899

 HONORS TO THE DEAD – Funeral of the Late Col. R. L. Watkins Yesterday Afternoon. – Laid to Rest by Those With Whom He Fought in the Dark War Days. – REV. DR. M’FERRIN’S TRIBUTE. – Despite the Rain, Chattanooga’s Leading Citizens Attended the Services at the Centenary Church – Beautiful Music and Flowers, but Sad Hearts – The Funeral Cortege. – With all the honor due his high station and that his sorrowing comrades and friends deemed it an honor to show, the remains of the late Col. R. L. Watkins were yesterday borne to their last resting place and put under the sod in that silent city of the dead, Forest Hills Cemetery.  According to the wishes of the deceased, he was buried by the men with whom he gallantly fought in the dark days of 1861-65.  The funeral services were held at the Centenary church at 1:30 o’clock.  On the pulpit stands rested beautiful floral offerings, sweetly suggestive in design and lending brightness and fragrance to the sad scene.  In the center of the bank of flowers was a floral confederate battle flag, an emblem which vividly called to the minds of the veterans assembled there the times of strife when their dead brother fought at their sides.  Nothing could be more indicative of Col. Watkins’ high standing in the community than the large congregation of Chattanooga’s best citizens, who braved a cold and disagreeable rain to be present at the obsequies over his remains.  Shortly before the hour appointed for the services the mayor, city officials, members of the city council and police force, marched into the church in a body and took seats reserved for them.  A short while afterwards Companies B and E, of the National Guard State of Tennessee, in command of Lieut. Weitzel, entered the then well-filled auditorium.  A few minutes after 1:30 p.m. the hearse escorted by sixty member of N. B. Forrest Camp Confederate Veterans, arrived, accompanied by the ministers and relatives of the deceased. THE FLOWER-LADEN CASKET was borne to the altar by the pall bearers, Messrs. W.P. McClatchey, J. F. Shipp, W.O. Peeples, J.P. Smartt, W.C. Payne, E.F. Sevier, M.H. Clift and Tomlinson Fort.  Following them were the honorary poll bearers, I.D. Allen, N.C. Ford, F.M. Gardenshire, J.S. Martin, Milton Russell, and R.M. Tankesley.  After the members of the camp and the relatives were seated the services began.  A few days before his death Col. Watkins asked that Mrs. M.H. Pratt, Mrs. L.G. Walker, Mr. Howard L. Smith and Mr. Fed Voigt sing at the funeral services over his remains and that they render his favorite airs, “Sewanee River,” “Last rose of summer: and “Annie Laurie.”  In compliance with the request, the above talented vocalists arranged and carried out the following musical programme, Mrs. T.R. Anderson presiding at the organ:  “I Am Going Home” (air Sewanee River) –Quartette.  “I Would Not Live Always,” (air “Last Rose of Summer”) –Mrs. L.G. Walker.  “”We Shall Sleep Beyond the River,” (air “Annie Laurie”)-Quartette.  At the conclusion of the first number, Rev. J.W. Bachman offered an eloquent prayer.  Then came Mrs. Walkers excellently rendered solo, after which Rev. J.P. McFerrin, chaplain of the camp, delivered the funeral address.  DR McFERRINS REMARKS.  Dr. McFerrin opened his remarks by reading the life of Col. Watkins, published a few days ago in The Times.  Commenting on the character of the dead soldier, he then among other things said:  “That Col. Watkins should be understood, it was necessary that one should know him well.  It was those who came in close relations with him – who knew the man – who were struck with his high honor, nobility of character, unimpeachable integrity.  Such a man I knew him to be and when speaking over his remains I feel as if I were performing this service for an elder brother.  I loved him and knew his character.  Many who met him casually formed an erroneous opinion of him, but all who got close to him found those noble and generous traits that I have found.  The world never knew what Col. Watkins did.  He was not the man to let his right hand know what his left hand did.  When he was a friend, he was a friend indeed and a friend in time of need.  He was continually DOING GENEROUS ACTS.  Go over his books you would find here and there so much for charity, so much to help this friend and that.  Few knew the extent of these generous acts, as Col. Watkins was not the man to read his works before the world.  He was a man of energy and business tact, as evidenced by what he has accomplished.  Few have done more to contribute to the prosperity of this city than he.  Col. Watkins was a noble and valorous soldier.  In the dark days of the war he stood by his section; he went forth to do his duty and shed his blood upon the field of battle.  Not a truer or braver soldier ever drew a battle blade!  He was devoted to the cause of the Confederacy.  Comrades, our ranks are growing thinner, and it will only be a few more years when none of us will be left to tell of the days of conflict.  Let us be true as our brother was true and walk in fellowship with him in the bright beyond.”  After Dr. McFerrin had finished his eloquent tribute to the deceased, the casket was raised and for the last time she [sic] friends looked upon all that is mortal of Col. Richard L. Watkins.  The remains were borne to the hearse.  The FUNERAL CORTEGE then formed on east Eight street in the following order: 

Platoon of Police; in command of Lieut. Huffaker.      

Captains of the fire companies.

Drum Corps.

Clergymen in carriage.

The hearse, escorted by the active pall bearers.

The honorary pall bearers on foot.

The members of the family in carriages.

Camp of Confederate Veterans afoot.

Carriages of friends.

Second battalion, N.G.S.T., Lieut Weitzel in command.

     Owing to the inclement weather the fire department did not join the funeral procession.  To the sound of muffled drums the cortege passed down Eighth street to Market, thence to Ninth, on Ninth to Carter, along Carter to Montgomery Avenue, thence to Boyce.  At this point those on foot boarded electric cars, the procession continuing on Whiteside street to the cemetery.  As the raindrops fell from the trees the casket was lowered into the grave.  AT THE GRAVE.  Dr. McFerrin delivered a prayer at the grave after the coffin was lowered.  A detachment of Company E then fired three volleys over the body and the bugler sounded the last tattoo, the soft notes being borne on the soughing breeze as a requiem for the repose of the soul of the deceased, after which the mourners dispersed.  [handwritten Thursday Dec. 27/94]