Removal of the statue from the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad, May 7th, 1890.
The demonstration of the people of Richmond
on the afternoon of Monday, May 7, 1890, was a most touching exhibition of reverence and affection.
It was a self-honoring expression, in that it was a testimonial to the noble, pure and gentle in human nature, as impressed by grand example and held by instinctive impulse.
No one may say that a single blemish dulled the pure and devoted life of Robert E. Lee
, the leader of the heroic armies of the South
in a struggle for life, right and fireside; and when the unequal struggle had failed, the consecrated educator of the youth of his prostrated people.
A simple announcement of the press that the statue of the beloved commander would be removed from the cars on the track of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad, at the head of Broad street, to its destined site, convoked on the afternoon of the bright May day a dense throng in our broadest thoroughfare, which extended from about the sacred objects through many squares within the city.
It was a mass of both sexes, representing every age and condition.
Woman was probably in the majority—grand-mother, mother, maiden, children by the hand, infant in the arms—all with flushed cheeks and warm eyes.
The crowd had begun to assemble before 3 o'clock, by 4:30 o'clock it was a mass more than a half a mile in extent.
The street was packed, windows and balconies were thronged, housetops were covered.