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[309] long route every door is open and every table spread, and at every halt of the column, the soldiers, old and young, are heartily invited to partake of Virginia cheer. In no place but Virginia is such graceful hospitality possible. It is the hospitality of a chivalrous, greathearted, unselfish people. It sought us and ministered to us on the weary march, in the hospitals where we lay sick and wounded; yea, even in the heat of battle, amid hissing shots and bursting shells, and in the horrors of the seige.

And now the march is ended, and we are drawn up, line after line, around the monument. The veil is dropped and the magnificent statue of the great Lee stands revealed in its perfect beauty.

Cheers such as we have not heard for a quarter of a century salute our noble chieftain, mingled with the thunder of artillery and the roar and rattle of musketry. It seems as if legions of heroes have risen from the dead and are fighting their battles again in defense of Richmond.

Our trip has been a great joy to our veterans and a revelation and delight to our young men.

Concentrated happiness cannot last always and stern duty hurries us back to our life work.

Words can faintly express our thanks to the noble friends we have left behind. Our visit to them will be remembered with intense pleasure all our days.

We rejoice that we met our old friends, the First Virginia, and recalled the memories of the days when we camped together.

The gallant Howitzers, old and young, have not only revived the friendships of the war, but have revealed themselves the truest and best of friends, and their name will be a household word with us forever. In war they won laurels and an illustrious name. In peace they have won greater victories still—victories that have made hearts their willing captives.

And now in our Louisiana homes, we have a new theme, ‘The memories of our second trip to Richmond.’

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