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[323] the Confederate government, a conviction of the indispensable necessity of Richmond to the life of the Southern cause.

Washington talked of retreating, in the last resort, to the mountains of West Augusta, and their maintaining an undying resistance to the British invaders. It is possible that such a guerilla warfare might have succeeded a hundred years ago against an enemy coming across the Atlantic, before the use of steam on sea and river and railway, and before even turnpikes connected the coast with the mountains. It is possible. But the probability is that, as in other contests, the end of organized regular warfare would have been the virtual end of the struggle. How much more must this have been the case in our recent war, when military armaments had already become complex and artificial! Modern armies, with their elaborate small arms, artillery, and ammunition, cannot be maintained without great mechanical appliances. They cannot even be fed without great lines of railway. And how can railways be utilized in a country closely blockaded without these same manufacturing resources.

All this was true from 1861 to 1865. At no time during that period did there exist, south of Richmond, foundries and rolling-mills, capable, in a year's work, of supplying the Confederate armies and railways for three months. In the first part of the war, the nucleus of such establishments could not be found elsewhere in the South. In the latter part, beginnings had been made, but the new production of cannon and railway material never became adequate to the demands of a campaign. If the requisite machinery could have been improvised, the product could not have been hastily increased, because of the absolute lack of skilled workmen. The loss of the skilled artisans of Richmond would have been as fatal, in our poverty, as the loss of its mills and workshops.

The defense of Richmond, then, was the superhuman task to which Lee now found himself committed by the policy of the Confederate Government, and by the pressure of conditions, independent of his will or control.

How precious for us Virginians is this intimate association of his immortal labors with this city of our affections—for more than a century the centre of our State life, for four years of heroic struggle the inviolate citadel of a people in arms! The familiar objects about us are memorials of him; the streets which his feet have trodden, the church where he worshipped, the modest dwelling which sheltered those nearest his heart, the heights overlooking river and land which make up the military topography he had so deeply studied, and the

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