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[312]

Robert Edward Lee.


An address

Delivered at the Dedication of the Lee Monument,


by Colonel Archer Anderson.
[This chaste, eloquent, and considerate utterance is worthy of its exalted subject and of the impressive occasion, and must be conceded a commanding distinction of its gifted and accomplished author.]

Fellow Citizens:

A people carves its own image in the monuments of its great men. Not Virginians only, not only those who dwell in the fair land stretching from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, but all who bear the American name may proudly consent that posterity shall judge them by the structure, which we are here to dedicate and crown with a heroic figure. For, as the Latin poet said, that, wherever the Roman name and sway extended, there should be the sepulchre of Pompey, so to-day, in every part of America, the character and fame of Robert Edward Lee are treasured as a ‘possession for all time.’

And, if this be true of that great name, what shall be said of the circumstances which surround us on this day of solemn commemoration?

That at the end of the first quarter of a century after the close of a stupendous civil war, in which more than a million men struggled for the mastery during four years of fierce and bloody conflict, we should see the Southern States in complete possession of their local self-government, the Federal Constitution unchanged save as respects the great issues submitted to the arbitrament of war, and the defeated party—whilst in full and patriotic sympathy with all the present grandeur and imperial promise of a reunited country—still not held to renounce any glorious memory, but free to heap honors upon their trusted leaders, living or dead—all this reveals a character in which the American people may well be content to be handed down to history.

All this, and more, will be the testimony of the solid fabric we here complete. It will recall the generous initiative and the unflagging

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