the dumb animals which once staggered laboriously along your thoroughfares.
Startling are the achievements of our race and age, and Virginia
(God bless her!) and the great South
stand in the forefront of advancing civilization and mighty empires.
Vast steamers now run from West Point
and Newport News to Europe
, and as they dash through the capes to the sea, moved by a power which is but a bucketful of its own brine, sending towards Heaven gigantic columns of smoke and lashing the mighty deep into snowy foam all around the pathway through the billows, they look like calumets of peace which nations interchange as the eternal pledges of amity and friendship, never to be broken.
The passenger locomotive which left here this morning ere midday has scaled the mountain slope, rushed through the very heart of the tunneled monster that once stood in the path of human progress, and as night and darkness thicken in its front it is now lighting up the rolling praries beyond the Alleghanies
with the fierce glare of its great, fiery eye, and by to-morrow's noon it will cool its heated limbs by the banks of the ‘Father
Our mountains are opening to their base and giving up their ancient treasures, ‘the cataract has ceased to blow its trumpet from the steep to charm the ear of listening poets,’ and lends its mighty hand to turn our mills, float our ships, and furnish the light and power of electricity.
Steam, with gleaming front, giant form and brazen throat, sounds the trumpets of civilization along all our echoing shores, and stretches forth its vaporous sceptre over the swelling tide, proclaiming to the world our triumphs over the greatest physical agencies of the universe.
But while we view the grand procession as it moves with majestic steps along the path of human progress, let us not forget to honor, glorify and immortalize ‘Heaven's last best gift to man,’ the loving partner of our hearts, homes, joys and sufferings.
Let us place her high up by the side of the Confederate
soldier, on the eternal and imperishable granite of our own native hills.
Let her stand thus in sight of the battlefields and monuments that commemorate the deeds and perpetrate the memories of Virginia
's statesmen and heroes, proclaiming to all future ages and generations how the people of this State and of the South
love, cherish and honor the truth, courage, constancy and fortitude of the women of the Southern Confederacy, who followed the banner of the ‘Lost Cause’ with hope and pride, and tears and prayers, from Big Bethel to Appomattox