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[339]

Upon the death of General Breckinridge General Joseph E. Johnston, the senior surviving officer of the Confederate army, and the predecessor of General Lee in command of that army, which, under the lead of the latter, became so renowned as the Army of Northern Virginia, was made the President.

On the 29th of November, 1878, the corner stone of the mausoleum was laid, under the superintendence of a distinguished architect of Baltimore, who was charged with its construction. The requisite funds have been raised by great exertion, a large part having been contributed in small sums. The noble work has now been completed, and we are assembled here to perform the crowning act, in unveiling the recumbent figure of one of the grandest and noblest heroes, soldiers and patriots, who have figured in all the history of the world. In doing this we are not conferring honor on the memory of General Robert E. Lee—we are merely demonstrating to the world that we were worthy to have been the followers and compatriots of such a man. Unfortunately, neither the gallant soldier and Christian gentleman, General Pendleton, Chairman of the Executive Committee, nor the gallant Davidson, the efficient Secretary of that Committee, have survived to witness the completion of the work, to the success of which they contributed so largely.

It is deeply to be regretted that President Davis, who was expected to deliver an address on this occasion, has been prevented by circumstances from being present, but his lovely and accomplished young daughter, whose pride it is to have been born on the soil of Virginia, has sent from his Southern home two Confederate flags made of immortelles, and two bay wreaths, one of each to be placed on the tombs of Generals Lee and Jackson, respectively, as tokens of her admiration for their great characters, and of the sympathy of her family with us. There is also another whose absence is to be deeply regretted, though he is nearly within reach of my voice—I mean that war-Governor of Virginia, who conferred upon Generals Lee and Jackson the commissions which brought them into the service of their native State, in defence of right, justice, liberty and independence, and who sustained them throughout, whether they were in the State or Confederate service, with such unswerving fidelity and unselfish devotion-you must know that I can mean no other than John Letcher, with whom we all so heartily sympathize in the bodily affliction, which alone prevents him from being with us.

And now permit me to introduce to you, as the orator of the


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Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (1)

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November 29th, 1878 AD (1)
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