Libbie Custer to her cousin:
"Oh, Rebecca, how delighted you would have been! It was something so novel to us and reminded us of "Ivanhoe" and other descriptions of olden days... Thousands of people sat around the arena on the spectators stand. The Judges Stand is a three story temple built building in the centre, with fountains on the lawn around it. The costumes of the riders and the excitement of each tilt was so new to us..... In the evening the Queen of Beauty was crowned by the successful chevalier at a ball given at the Southern Hotel.... "
Based on successful war-time models of women's fundraisers The Southern Relief Fair was organized by the city's Missouri Southern Relief Association. Organizers solicited gifts and war souvenirs, among them a lock of Robert E. Lee's hair, which he apparently sent with a letter.
We hope Mrs. Custer got a chance to look at the Turkish Table inside the hall. It was one of the most successful areas raising over $10,000.
Oddly enough, the Turkish Table was where quilts were sold and raffled. Several silk quilts were mentioned and one "famous quilt" that had been around the fundraising events that year, won and then re-donated.
The McPheeters post-war loyalty to the Confederacy is not in doubt either. An 1870 Jefferson Davis letter was sold recently in which Davis thanks Colonel G.W. Alexander & Mssrs Fife & McPheters for their assistance. William designated $3,000 of the funds to the relief of Jefferson Davis living in Memphis a few years after the war.