The unveiling ceremonies.
Major Brander Presides
, Dr. Newton Prays
, and Dr. Jones
presents the orator.
When a little before 1 o'clock Major Thomas A. Brander
, president of the Hill
Monument Association, called the assemblage to order it was estimated that there were some fifteen thousand persons on the grounds, and there was a remarkable hush for such a crowd as Rev. Dr. John B. Newton
stepped forward and offered the following prayer:
Almighty God and Heavenly Father, in Thee ‘we live and move and have our being,’ and without Thee we can do nothing.
Bless us, we pray Thee, in our present work.
Put far from us the spirit of evil, and fill us with Thy grace and heavenly benediction.
May all that we do be to Thy glory and to the honor and welfare of Thy people.
Impart to us the love of Thy truth.
Inspire us with high and holy purposes.
Make us duly sensible of Thy mercies and humbly submissive to Thy will.
Bless our people everywhere.
Give them grateful hearts for all the sacred memories of the past; for all that was true and noble in the lives of those whose names we revere, and whose self-sacrificing devotion to duty we this day commemorate.
Comfort all who mourn, strengthen the weak, lift up the fallen, and save the perishing.
We ask all in the name of Thy dear Son, our Lord
and Saviour, Jesus Christ
The orator introduced.
Rev. Dr. J. William Jones
, who entered the Confederate army as a private in the Thirteenth Virginia, General Hill
's old regiment, and who is known throughout the length and breath of the Southland for his devotion to the Southern
cause and its memories, introduced the orator of the day, General James A. Walker
. Dr. Jones
Mr. President, Comrades of the Arm y of Northern Virginia
, Soldiers of the Confederacy, Ladies and Gentlemen
If the personal allusion may be pardoned, I will say that I count myself one of the happiest, if not the happiest, man in all this vast crowd assembled here to-day.
Always happy to meet the men who wore the gray—for if there is one man on earth whom I honor and love above another, it is the true Confederate soldier—I delight to mingle in reunions of the survivors of every army of the Confederacy
as they gather from Maryland
But it is for me always a peculiar pleasure to attend a Confederate gathering in historic, battle-scarred heroic old Richmond
, and to mingle with the men who followed Lee
and A. P. Hill
[great applause], and ‘Jeb
; the men who composed the Army of Northern Virginia, the noblest army of heroic patriots that ever marched under any flag, or fought for any cause, ‘in all the tide of time.’
A happy task to discharge.
And yet a still greater happiness is mine to-day; for, as I look out on this crowd I see the faces and forms of men by whose side I have marched along the weary road, bivouacked in the pelting storm, or went into the leaden and iron hail of battle—the men of the noble old Thirteenth Virginia regiment and the grand old Third Corps assembled to honor themselves by doing honor to our peerless leader—the brave and accomplished soldier, the chivalric Virginia
gentleman, the devoted patriot, the martyr hero of our dying cause, ‘gallant and glorious Little Powell Hill.’
I am only to introduce the fitly-chosen orator of the day, and I shall not, of course, be guilty of the gross impropriety of attempting a speech myself, but I am sure that you will pardon me if I say just this: Richmond
is fast becoming the ‘Monumental City.’
Her peerless Washington
, surrounded by his compatriots of the Revolution of 1776—her Lee
—her monument to ‘the true hero’ of the war, the private soldier, now being erected—her monument to ‘the flower of cavaliers,’ dashing, glorious Jeb Stuart, which is to be erected in the near future—and the projected grand monument to our noble Christian President
statesman, orator, patriot—Jefferson Davis
—all these will teach our children's children that these men were not ‘rebels,’ and not ‘traitors,’ but as true patriots as the world ever saw.
A worthy work well done.
But I do not hesitate to declare that none of these monuments have been, or will be, more worthily erected than the one we are to unveil here to-day to A. P. Hill
—a worthy comrade of that bright galaxy of leaders which made the name and fame of the Southern Confederacy immortal forever.
And now it only remains for me not to introduce, for I shall not presume to do that
to an audience of Virginians
and of Confederate soldiers, but simply to announce the orator of the occasion.
and intimate friend of A. P. Hill
, his successor in command of the old Thirteenth Virginia regiment; the man whose heroic courage and high soldierly qualities attracted the attention of Lee
, and caused them to select him to command the old ‘Stonewall
’ brigade, which he ably led until shot down in the ‘bloody angle’ at Spotsylvania Courthouse; the man who succeeded the gallant and lamented John Pegram
, and led Ewell
's) old division around Petersburg
and to Appomattox Courthouse; the man who was always at the post of duty, was one of the bravest and best soldiers and most indomitable patriots that the war produced—that man has been fitly chosen to speak of A. P. Hill
on this occasion, and it gives me peculiar pleasure to announce the name, General James A. Walker
, of Wytheville, Virginia
, or if my loved and honored old friend and commander will pardon the liberty, I will announce him by a name more familiar still to his old followers and comrades, ‘Stonewall Jim Walker
,’ the worthy successor of A. P. Hill
and of Stonewall Jackson
, the man worthy to voice the feelings and sentiments of his old command concerning their loved leader, A. P. Hill
spoke with his usual force and vigor, and throughout the crowd punctuated his sentences with cheers.