At the conclusion of the reading of the poem, Major John J. Horner
introduced as the orator of the day, General George W. Gordon
, of Memphis, Tennessee
, after acknowledging the complimentary introduction, said:
One of the noblest duties of the living is to perpetuate the virtues and memories of the dead.
And in obedience to the impulse of this sacred sentiment, we have here assembled to dedicate that beautiful monument (pointing to the shaft), with its expressive and appropriate symbols, to the glory and memory of a great soldier, a true fell at the battle of Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.
Although more than a quarter of century has elapsed since he perished in the cause of his country, that shaft but now gives visible expression to those cherished sentiments of remembrance and veneration which have ever since, and ever should animate the minds and hearts of a grateful people.
General Cleburne was born in the county of Cork, Ireland, March 17, 1828, and was consequently in the thirty-seventh year of his age at the time of his death, and just in the full prime and pride of his glorious manhood.
He was a descendant of William Cleyborne, the colonial secretary of Virginia in 1626.1 His mother was of the lineage of that Maurice Ronayne, who obtained from King Henry the IV “a grant of the rights of Englishmen.”
He early indicated a predilection for the profession of arms by leaving Trinity College,