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[260] its wonderful career of victory; it was a Virginian, who, at its head, held at bay for three years the army recruited from the four quarters of the globe, and who, with ever-decreasing forces, fought the world in arms; it was a Virginian, who, with portions of this famous army made those stealthy marches to the rear and struck those terrible blows, which so astonished the world. We remember that it was a Virginian, whose eloquence most fired the hearts of the Colonists against British aggression; that it was a Virginian, who moved in that Continental Congress for a declaration of independence; that it was a Virginian who wrote that declaration; that it was a Virginian, who led the armies of the rebellion against Great Britain; that it was a Virginian, who so expounded the principles of the Constitution as to make that instrument acceptable to the American people; that it was a Virginian who presided over the court established under that Constitution with such ability and impartiality that he is to-day regarded as the wisest, greatest and purest of the Chief Justices of the United States. We remember with great pride that one-half of the life of the nation from Washington to Lincoln—thirty-six of the seventy-two years—was passed under the administration of Virginia Presidents. We remember with reverential awe, the father of his country, the Virginia-born Washington, of whom Wellington said that he was the grandest and sublimest, and yet the plainest and simplest character in history. Concerning whom Byron made the pathetic lament that the earth had no more seed to produce another like unto him.

But, though, from the settlement at Jamestown to the present hour, proud memories and glorious traditions cluster around the beautiful women and illustrious men of Virginia, I honestly believe that the most heroic portion of her history is from 1861 to 1865, when she so grandly bared her bosom to the hostile blow, and bore with such sublime patience the desolation of her soil and the slaughter of the noblest and best of her sons. The Army of Northern Virginia! So let it be! Let the grand old State and the grand old army bear the same name, and may their fame be linked together forever and forever!

Others have spoken before your Association of the great battles and the great leaders of the civil war. Mine be the grateful task to talk of the unknown and unheralded private in the ranks. The picture of him rises before you all—the keen, patient, quizzical, devil-may-care face, the brimless slouch hat, the fragment of a coat, the ragged breeches, the raw-hide shoes, unless some lucky find on


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