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[216] gratitude for his great services and sacrifices in the cause of the Southern people.

My chief object to day shall be to explain this seeming inconsistency and make clear the significance of the work we have in hand, that we may be able to answer our children when they shall ask us, ‘What mean ye by this monument to an enemy of the Union which you teach us to cherish and defend?’

I have selected this subject as most appropriate to the occasion, because it seems to me that, however great the virtues and however exalted the character of him whose statue we propose to rear on this spot, and however great his deeds in war, his right to such a memorial will be tested also by the merits of the cause in which he was engaged.

It needs no eulogy to establish his title to the noblest monument that can be reared to great attributes of mind and soul, and to illustrious deeds of war.

But history tears down statues and monuments to great attributes and illustrious deeds, unless those attributes be devoted to some noble end, and illustrious deeds be done in a righteous cause.

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