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[125]

Ladies, gentlemen and comrades:

To me has been assigned the duty of making the presentation, and while I could wish that this task had been given to some one else, still I assume the position with pride, and shall consider the honor the proudest of my life. But if in the presentation I should use no elegant language, still I shall utter the sentiments of a candid heart, sentiments that shall find a responsive echo in the breasts of all; and before proceeding to the duty assigned me on this occassion, I will give you a brief outline of the history of this monument which stands before us to commemorate the deeds of our lost ones. Of course many of you are familiar with the facts which I shall state, but for the benefit of those who are not, I shall ask your indulgence for a few minutes. Many years ago an association was formed by the ladies of Fairfax to raise funds for the purpose of collecting together the remains of the Confederate soldiers who, in the defence of a common cause, found sepulchre upon Fairfax soil, and to erect a monument to the memory of the Confederate dead. The purpose was so far accomplished that this handsome lot was purchased, and the grassy mound at the base of this monument now covers the remains of two hundred heroes. At that point the funds being exhausted the ultimate purpose of the association was for a time held in abeyance.

Two years ago the ex-Confederates of Fairfax formed an association and completed the work so nobly begun by the ladies.

The inscription on the monument, ‘From Fairfax to Appomattox,’ illustrates the part taken by the Fairfax soldiers, whose blood stained every battle field participated in by the Army of Northern Virginia. The names inscribed thereon tell of Colonel James Thrift, of the Eighth Virginia Infantry, who was mortally wounded at Seven Pines, and died as he had lived—every inch a hero; of Lieutenant G. W. Swink, Sergeants Reed, Lynn, Gunnell, Hutchinson, Harrison, Thompson, and others of Company G, Eighth Virginia Infantry; of Captain John T. Burke, Sergeants Steele, Ford, Barnes, Wrenn, Petitt, Richardson, Thomas, and others of Company D, Seventeenth Virginia Infantry; of Robert T. Love and D. McLee, Seventeenth Virginia Infantry; of Sergeants Troth and Taylor, Seventh Virginia Infantry; of R. T. Halley, Forty-ninth Virginia Infantry; of Matthew Plaskett, and W. H. Dawson, and others, Nineteenth Georgia Infantry; of Conway Chichester, First Virginia Cavalry; of Lieutenants

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