We go, comrades, to drop a flower upon the graves of those who represent to us the gallant dead of that army.
From the cavalry, the artillery, and the infantry, 'tis not our privilege to place the tribute of devotion on the graves of our Stuart
, our Pelham
, or our Jackson
, or even, perhaps, upon the humble mound of that comrade best beloved to each, but others of our brotherhood will drop the tear and strew the graves where tender hands have gathered them, and over those who lie yet where they fell, by hill and glen, and grove, will the good God spread the daisy and the buttercup, and the tender dew will drop its glistening tear.
On the graves of these who rest within our charge we each will drop the flower in memory of his absent dead, while all unite in common tribute to him who loved them all, and was a father to us all — our great commander.
We are here, citizens of Fauquier
, to honor those who have made your county historic ground.
You yourselves have made its name an honored word in the households of the South
; for none of those who came within the reach of the ever extended arms of your sympathy, none of that brave army, which sweeping along your rugged roads to intercept and force the foe to battle, fed on the bounty which the untiring hands of your fair women, and the eager ardor of your old men provided, can forget the patriotism which made you prodigal even in your penury, and raised the flush of honest pride upon your soldiers' cheeks, as any one could say, “I am from old Fauquier
But the gallant deeds of those you sent to battle have won for you a different and a peculiar glory.
I need not mention the rich legacy of fame bequeathed you by creme de la creme
of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Black Horse
The heart of the State of Virginia
throbs in quickened pulsations at the name of the knightliest leader of that knightly band, as she longs to place upon his brow some fitting testimonial of her honor.
I need not speak of the honor won for his county by the Ashby
, whom a nation mourned.
I need not call to mind the fame won in the name of our county-seat, by the Warrenton Rifles, and their gallant leader, who fell indeed, “first in the foremost line.”
There is no need to recount the exploits of those scouts and rangers who maintained an independent state within the lines, and almost within sight of the capitol
of the enemy.
Time would fail me even to sketch the glorious achievements of those other heroes who went forth with your Scott
, the Carters, and your Randolph
On first Mannassas maiden field; through the hardship and the sickness and the one sharp conflict of the Peninsula
campaign; in the splendors of the Valley
victories; on the bloody field of Seven Pines