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[407] although confronted by serious difficulties on the way, and merit the thanks of all interested in the noble work of art, which they kindly volunteered to accompany.

As soon as the wagon bearing the statue was drawn ashore, the procession, consisting of the elements named above, moved towards Lexington under the conduct of Governor Letcher and General Early, aided by an efficient corps of marshals, the wagon being drawn by the students of the University, and the cadets following in line. As the procession passed the Military Institute a salute of seventeen guns was fired.

On reaching the University grounds the statue was presented by Mr. J. T. E. Thornhill, of the escort, in a graceful and appropriate address, to which Governor Letcher made a happy response on behalf of the Lee Memorial Association. The Governor was followed by Colonel William Preston Johnston, who represented Washington and Lee University, and delivered the following chaste and beautiful address:

Fellow Citizens,—You have come together to receive with fitting honors the monument that patriotism has planned and genius executed to the memory of Lee. Your presence here testifies to the constancy of your faith in the man and in the cause that are now both immortal. It is the tenderest office of private friendship to cherish the memory of loved ones who have gone from among us; it is the most exalted duty of public reverence to perpetuate in enduring forms the services of great men, who forgetting themselves, have lived and died for others. We may rejoice that such memorials have not been lacking in this, the home and burial-place of our leader; that here the fair poet of Beechenbrook has responded in verse to the inspiration of the theme; that here, Jones, an Israelite in whom is no guile, laid the foundations of his noble volume of “Reminiscences;” and that here Valentine first modelled the bust of Lee that now comes back to us an ideal of dead chivalry, the marble effigy of the Christian soldier.

It is right, it is becoming, it is our sacred duty to rear to Lee the statue, mausoleum, the memorial pile; to cast in bronze and carve in marble the figure that shall image his splendid presence. To-day we are proud and happy that so much of our good work has been achieved. We have what money cannot buy—a work of true art—a work of genius, animated by love and veneration—a work worthy to celebrate the fame of our hero. Virginia, the South, America, all


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Robert Edward Lee (3)
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