The orator presented.
After the Stonewall Band
had played ‘Dixie,’ General Early
introduced Colonel Archer Anderson
, the orator of the day, as follows:
Friends, Fellow-Citizens, and Comrades
, —It has been twenty years since a meeting of Confederate soldiers was held in the city of Richmond
, which was presided over by the illustrious President
of the Confederacy
, at which steps were taken for the purpose of erecting a monument to the memory of our great Commander
It was not that such a monument was necessary to perpetuate his fame, but to show the men who had followed him how worthy have been the followers of Robert E. Lee
That illustrious President
is not here on this occasion to witness tribute to the memory of his friend.
It is not my purpose to make a speech.
I want to assure you now
that I am glad to meet the survivors and my old comrades.
Amongst them I greet most heartily the private soldiers, who did their duty during the war, never deserted during the war, and have been doing their duty and remained faithful since the war.
That man who is a private soldier is equal to the highest in rank, and I can take him by the hand most cordially, and greet him as my comrade and a soldier.
I am glad to find so many of them here.
But, gentlemen, I did not rise for the purpose of making a speech.
A wise man of old has said, ‘Speech is silvern, but silence is golden,’ and I feel on this occasion like investing in gold, as language is too inadequate to do justice to the subject.
I shall therefore close my remarks by introducing to you Colonel Archer Anderson
, the orator of the occasion, who will address you.