or baffled forces to cover Washington
, is hastening to aid in the great series of battles which during the last days of June and the early ones of July, resulted in the defeat of McClellan
's army and the relief of the Confederate
I have thus tried to give you, fellow-soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia, an outline of one of the most brilliant pages of our history.
Time has not permitted me to dwell on the great deeds which crowded these few months, nor to characterize in fitting terms of panegyric the mighty actors in them.
I have attempted nothing beyond a simple and carefully accurate statement of facts.
This may help to clear away from one campaign the dust and mould which already gather over the memories of our great struggle.
It may do more.
It may, by touching the electric chord of association, transport us for the time into the presence of the majestic dead; and of the mighty drama, the acting of which was like another and a higher life, and the contemplation of which should tend to strengthen, elevate, ennoble.
It is wise in our day — it is wise always — to recur to a time when patriotism was a passion; when devotion to great principles dwarfed all considerations other than those of truth and right; when duty was felt
to be the sublimest word in our language; when sacrifice outweighed selfishness; when “human virtue was equal to human calamity.”
Among the heroes of that time Jackson
holds a splendid place — an illustrious member of a worthy band — aye, a band than which no land in any age can point to a worthier!