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 When the Confederate soldiers left Appomattox twenty-five years ago many felt like they would like to leave the State forever. They would have done so but for the example of R. E. Lee, who showed his readiness to identify himself with her future. The progress of twenty-five years was due to the energy and industry of the Confederate soldiers, and what had been accomplished by these men was by inspiration gathered from the lips of Lee. When he was in New Orleans in December, 1889, he was glad to hear Mrs. Davis say, when he spoke to her in regard to Mr. Davis being buried here, that several times during his life the President had remarked that when he died they would find ‘Richmond’ engraved on his heart. And so Richmond came to pay her tribute of love, respect, and affection to R. E. Lee, the man who taught that ‘the fittest place to die is where man dies for man.’ The fourth and last regular toast of the evening was replied to by Commander A. W. Archer, of Lee Camp. It was: R. E. Lee Camp. The burden of years and the ravages of time may thin the ranks of the war-worn veterans, yet the fond memories of a glorious past will keep their hearts ever young, and the cheerful glow of their camp-fires shall never cease to illumine the imperishable name inscribed upon their banner. Colonel Archer devoted himself chiefly to the objects of the Camp and the history of its organization and growth. The name of Lee, he declared, is dear to all, and its repetition does not weary. The principles of Lee Camp, assisting the fallen brother, were exercised at Appomattox. He told of how the Camp was organized in a little room by four men, who met to devise ways and means for helping the widows and orphans of dead comrades, and that now in the Soldiers' Home it has the most enduring of monuments. It is the private soldier, the man who did the fighting, that commands the respect of the country to-day. If in the future the ex-Confederate discharges his duty as faithfully as in the past, when he crosses over the river and meets the great generals who have gone before he will be greeted as a true and faithful soldier.
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