Cause, which claimed the passionate fealty of five millions of people—and that too a people, whose fathers had borne by far the greater share in wresting from English tyranny the freedom of the Western world. It was a Cause worthy of the heroic sacrifices made by that people—a Cause, which developed to heroic pitch by fire of battle the noblest virtues which God has allowed to mortal men. Surely, it is meet that we shall seek to perpetuate to all coming time the wondrous record of that antique valor, that incorruptible patriotism, that passionate devotion to principle, regardless of the cost, which shall prove to generations yet unborn the noblest obligation to bear themselves as not unworthy of their heroic strain—which, so far from mantling their cheeks with the blush of shame, shall make them fitly proud that they are the descendants of the men, who knew how to bear defeat because untouched of dishonor, and who, strong in the immortal truth that ‘God and our consciences alone give measure of right and wrong,’ met with unshaken front the very stroke of Fate.
Peace has come! God give his blessing‘Rebel’ he was, and is, to the ‘cheap patriots’ of the hour, who feared to look upon his face when his sword was girded on his thigh. ‘Rebel’ too, was Virginia's greatest son of our First Revolution in the mouths of those who denied the chartered liberties of our ‘Old Dominion.’ But to day, under every sun and in every clime, the name of that immortal ‘Rebel’ is the synonym of the loftiest patriotism, of sternest devotion to Constitutional freedom. Yet, had not success been his, Washington were none the less a patriot and a champion of freedom. So, oh, my comrades of countless hard-fought field for Truth, for Justice and for Right, holding fast to the ennobling traditions of our heroic past, which teach us that patriotism is patriotism and that principle is principle, whether glorified by victory or shrouded in defeat—so shall we honor the memory of such men as Ambrose Powell Hill, who did not fear to die that they might transmit to their children the heritage bequeathed them by their fathers. The speech of Commander McCabe was received with loud applause, and many of those present, including some of the ladies, congratulated him on his fine effort.
On the fact and on the name!
The South speaks no invective,
And she writes no word of blame—
But we call all men to witness.
That we stand up without shame.