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[230] of the magnanimous conduct of our people in the defense of the rights their fathers secured by the war of the revolution, and which the Constitutional Union was formed, not to destroy, but to preserve. Though unsuccessful in the effort to maintain those rights, the eternal foundation of truth and justice on which they rest remains unshaken.

It is a debt we owe to posterity, that our records should be made so complete and enduring that those who come after us shall not be misled by misrepresentation and suppression of facts; this is the high duty which the Society is striving to perform. To secure the means needful for that purpose, General Fitzhugh Lee has undertaken the laborious task of visiting our people and telling them a story of the war, of which, like Aeneas, he can say: “All of which I saw,” and others may add: “ A great part part of which you were.”

This gallant soldier, engaged in so honorable and patriotic a task, well deserves the attention which it is your purpose to bestow, and I renew the expression of regret that circumstances beyond my control do not permit me to be with you on the occasion of his visit.

Faithfully yours,


On Tuesday night, the 27th of February, there assembled at the Washington Artillery armory one of the largest and most brilliant audiences we have ever seen. The lady patronesses of the occasion, numbering over one hundred, occupied rows of front seats, and in their tasteful attire, and with their knots of red and white roses and ribbons on their bosoms, lent a grace and charm to the occasion. The platform was most artistically and appropriately decorated. Stacks of muskets were on the flanks—two small cannon, ‘Redemption’ and ‘Resurrection,’ were posted at each of the front angles—out of a stone wall arose Perelli's statue of ‘StonewallJackson,—while the tattered battle-flags of the Confederacy were appropriately hung, and above all was a canopy of United States flags—the whole combining to form a most pleasing picture. On the platform were the Committees of Arrangements and Reception, the President and Vice-Presidents of the meeting and other distinguished gentlemen, while all through the large audience were maimed veterans and patriotic women ready to applaud to the echo the eloquent utterances of the gallant soldier who came to tell the true story of Chancellorsville.

Captain W. R. Lyman, in a few words fitly chosen, introduced as President of the meeting Colonel William Preston Johnston, who has recently moved to New Orleans and assumed the Presidency of Tulane University. Colonel Johnston was received with loud applause, and made an exceeding graceful and felicitous address, appropriately introducing General Lee, who had to stand several minutes before the deafening applause with which he was received would allow him to proceed.

His address was listened to with deepest interest by the vast crowd, and frequently interrupted with enthusiastic applause. His tribute to the gallant General Nicholls (ex-Governor of the State), who lost his leg at Chancellorsville (and whose maimed form and ‘empty sleeve’ were on the platform, touching testimonials of his faithful service), was as eloquent as just, and was received with deafening applause.

At the close of the lecture, ladies and gentlemen crowded around General Lee to express their gratification and congatulations,—a short reception was held in the Museum of the Armory, and then the committee escorted us to one of the most magnificent banquets


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