Sunday, October 14, 2012

Europe Camp Completes Monument Restoration in Rome

Tomb of CSA Captain Thomas Jefferson Page restored in Rome, Italy

Yearly tens of thousands of visitors flock to the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome, Italy to see the final resting places of British Poets John Keats and Percy Shelley, 19th Century American author of Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana and others.

But one magnificent, but lesser-known grave honors someone very different.

Captain Thomas Jefferson Page (1808-1899) was a major American naval figure. After a long and distinguished career as a U.S. Navy Officer, during the WBTS Page served the South as a Confederate States Navy Officer: he built Confederate ships in Europe and challenged and faced down U.S. Navy ships. But by the time he could get his French-built ironclad ram CSS Stonewall to America waters, the war was over.

After the War, Page went to Argentina and eventually moved to Rome, Italy. He died there in 1899, full of years, an important, much-loved member of the American community there.

Captain Page’s impressive tomb, now over one hundred years old, badly needed renovation.

In 2010, the SCV’s Europe Camp led an international effort, which, with donations from Europe and the United States, as well as the SCV national organization, enabled the Cemetery to fully restore the tomb of this important America naval figure.

On Saturday, 8 September 2012, the tomb was rededicated in a ceremony hosted by Europe Camp. Guests came from Europe, Australia and the United States. More than a hundred years after the Captain was laid to rest, his final resting place is again a shining, unique American presence in the Eternal City.