are about 120 miles apart; and in assault or defence of these cities each section put forth its mightiest effort.
The first army marched out from Washington
in 1861, and the Army of Northern Virginia routed it at Manassas
In 1862 it repelled the mighty army of invasion which came in sight of the spires of Richmond
; defeated it and another army, a second time, on the plains of Manassas
; baffled or beat other armies at Winchester
, Cross-Keys and Port Republic
; advancing northward captured Harper's Ferry
with 1,000 prisoners; fought a drawn battle in Maryland
, and hurled back a mighty foe at Fredericksburg
In 1863 it defeated ‘the finest army on the planet’ at Chancellorsville
, and leaping northward carried its standard into Pennsylvania
, where it failed to drive the foe from the heights of Gettysburg
, and then returning to its own soil, again threw the hostile army back on Washington
, and yet again balked invasion at Mine-Run
During that year it allowed no invading army to approach at any time within five days march of its capital.
In 1864 it hurled back one column at Bermuda Hundreds, another at New Market
, still another at Lynchburg
; won victory at Kernstown
, and assailed the outer walls of Washington
With the main invading army, under its sturdiest leader, it sought and nearly succeeded in a death grapple in the Wilderness
; repeatedly repulsed it with frightful loss at Spotsylvania
; won another Fredericksburg
at Cold Harbor; repelled with awful slaughter all attacks in front of Petersburg
; and for ten long months defended two cities twenty-two miles apart, until the thin line, worn by attrition and starvation, was broken through at last.
Four awful years passed before the armies which started from Washington
, trod the streets of Richmond
; and in each of those years the Army of Northern Virginia startled Washington
with the roll of its drum, or fought battles for its possession north of the Potomac
The last hours of such an army have not received that consideration from the historian which they deserve.
Knowing it will prove of interest to the survivors of that glorious army, and that perchance something I may say may serve to direct abler minds and pens to this rich epoch in its history, I venture to address my comrades tonight on ‘The last days of the Army of Northern Virginia.’
It is impossible, of course, in the scope or compass of such a paper, to give in detail the history of the events which forced the