Speech of General Marcus J. Wright.As a representative of our gallant comrades of the West, General Wright was warmly greeted, and made the following appropriate response:
As a member of the Army of Tennessee, which I believe has not heretofore had a representative at any of your reunions, I thank you sincerely for the toast just proposed. It gives me great pleasure to meet on this occasion the comrades and friends of Lee and Jackson — honored alike by the survivors of the Army of Northern Virginia and of the Army of Tennessee--names destined to live for all time to come. It is pleasant to me, as a representative of the Army of Tennessee, to tell you how sincerely the survivors of that army cherish and revere the names and memories of their great commanders. They feel a just pride that on the historic field of Shiloh they were led by that great commander Albert Sidney Johnston, a man “whose life was one long sacrifice to conscience, and even that life on a woeful Sabbath did he yield as a holocaust at his country's need.” They point with pride to the heroic Bishop--General Leonidas Polk, who, as citizen, clergyman, general, was “without fear and without reproach.” They remember the devotion of the brave, patriotic and indefatigable General Braxton Bragg. All of these now “sleep the sleep that knows no wakening.” “They rest in honor — mourned by a bereaved people, having in life been true to themselves, their people and their God.”The pennon droops that led the sacred bandThe survivors of the Army of Tennessee remember with admiration and devotion that brave, chivalrous and splendid soldier, who so often led and inspired them in battle--General G. T. Beauregard. But there was yet another commander of the Army of Tennessee, not unknown to the Army of Northern Virginia, a native of the Old Dominion — a soldier of national fame — a general whose name inspired the greatest confidence and enthusiasm in that army — a man whom we all delight to honor--General Joseph E. Johnston. It is a beautiful exemplification of the better side of human nature, that after the fierce contests of battle are ended the contending survivors are willing to do justice to their opponents, and to give each other due credit for their gallantry; nor is it less to be commended that though armies may be unsuccessful, the survivors no less admire the heroism and skill of the great men who led them — both living and dead — and that this admiration is not confined
Along the crimson field;
The meteor-blade sinks from the nerveless hand
Over the spotless shield.