with no vain thought of exalting his name in the opinion of mankind, we meet to do him honor.
At his open grave, passion must stand abashed, and eulogy is dumb.
Striving to mount up to that clear air, wherein his own spirit dwelt, of calm wisdom and heroic patience, we seek only to render a last, simple, but just tribute to his memory.
At different times, he was known to some or all of us from the day that he received the sword of Virginia
at the hands of her sovereign Convention, and from the seven days around Richmond
, through the varying fortunes of an unequal fight, to the closing scenes at Appomattox
He has been known to us again as the beloved and venerated citizen of our own community, and the President
of the noble institution of learning to which George Washington
gave an endowment and a name.
We have been daily witness to his quiet, unostentatious, Christian life; we have seen him prove that ‘him no adversity could ever move, nor policy at any time entice to shrink from God and from his word.’
Knowing him as thus we did, in war and in peace, we pronounce him to have been, in all the elements of real greatness which may challenge cavil and defy the touch of time, the peer of the most renowned of any age or country, and the foremost American
of the wondrous century in which he lived.
He is gone from among us—‘gone before the Father
; far beyond the twilight judgments of this world; high above its mists and obscurities.’
No more shall we look upon his noble form, meet his benignant smile, or receive his kindly greeting.
But here where he set his last great example of steadfast, unselfish devotion to duty, the memory of his greatness and his worth must ever linger; and while we reverently bow in submission to the summons of Infinite Wisdom calling him away, we send up a solemn aspiration of thankfulness that to us was the honor and the blessing of communion with him in his last days on earth, and to our people is committed the pious office of consigning his mortal remains to the tomb.
Hallowed through all time shall be the spot whence his spirit passed from earth to heaven!
, That we tender to Mrs. Lee
and her family the expression of our profound sympathy in an affliction which we feel full well can be but little mitigated by poor words of human consolation.
, That the usual badges of mourning be worn for six months.
, That the officers and soldiers of the late Confederate States
, resident in Rockbridge
, unite in an association for the erection of a suitable monument at this place, and a committee be appointed to report a plan of organization to an adjourned meeting on Saturday next.
Coming from the funeral services, these veterans held another meeting, at which they adopted the following:
Resolved, by the officers and soldiers of the former Confederate army, now assembled
, That we have followed the body of our beloved General to the tomb with inexpressible sorrow; the last sad rites are over, and as we venerated and loved him in life, we ardently desire to guard his sacred dust.
Here, at the home of his adoption, in the edifice reared by himself and dedicated