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The Banquet

At the St. Claire Hotel which followed the public meeting was one of the most elegant affairs of the kind ever gotten up. The room and the tables were beautifully decorated — the bill of fare, admirably served, embraced all of the substantials and delicacies of the season, and formed a contrast to the “rations” we used to “draw” both amusing and refreshing to contemplate. General Lee presided with his accustomed dignity, ease and ready wit, and while all went “merry as a marriage bell” there was not a single case of intoxication and no disorder of any kind to mar the pleasure of the occasion.

We regret that we have space for only the regular toasts, the names of the respondents, and two of the speeches:

1. The Army of Northern Virginia--

They marched throa long and stormy nights,
     They bore the brunt of an hundred fights,
And their courage never failed;
     Hunger and cold and the summer's heat
They felt on the march and long retreat,
     Yet their brave hearts never quailed.

General Joseph E. Johnston was to have responded, but was unavoidably absent.

2. The Cavalry--Their representative, General J. E. B. Stuart. The daughters of his loved Virginia keep green the hero's grave. May her sons imitate his example and emulate his virtues.

Many a tale of triumph won
     Shalt breath his name in memory's ear;
Long will Virginia mourn a son
     Without reproach or fear.

Captain E. A. Goggin.

3. The Artillery--

Aha! A song for the bugle's tongue,
     For the bugle to sing before us,
When our gleaming guns, like clarions,
     Shall thunder the battle-chorus!

Judge William I. Clopton.

4. The Infantry--

Sweeps from the woods the bold array,
     Not their's to falter in the fray;
No men more sternly trained than they
     To meet their deadly doom.

Hon. A. M. Keiley.

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J. E. B. Stuart (1)
W. H. F. Lee (1)
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