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.