At the conclusion of the prayer Judge Christian
introduced Senator John W. Daniel
, the orator of the occasion, and in doing so said:
Ladies and Gentlemen and Comrades of the Army of Northern Virginia
On this day, thirty-two years ago, the Army of Northern Virginia met the Army of the Potomac on the bloody field of Fredericksburg
, and the result was that the Army of the Potomac was driven pell-mell from that field and across the Rappahannock
And, with two exceptions, whenever these two armies met each other the same result followed, although the odds, both in numbers and equipment, were always greatly on the side of the Army of the Potomac.
The two exceptions to which I refer were, of course, Sharpsburg
, and whilst on these two bloody fields the battles were drawn and the lion held at bay, yet the Army of the Potomac knew it was the lion still, and did not dare to attack.
The record of the Army of Northern Virginia, from Manassas
, is one of the brightest and most glorious that ever did or ever can adorn the pages of history; and, therefore, the man ‘whose soul is so dead’ that he is not proud to have been a part of that army, battling not for what he thought was right, but what was right, is too contemptible, in my opinion, to be by any human power raised to the level of the brute.
We, who are assembled here to-day, who were in that army, are proud of that fact, and those who have assembled with us to do honor to this occasion, who could not be in it, would be ashamed of us if we were not.
Zzzreflect the South's sentiment.
This Assembly reflects the sentiment of this whole Southland to-day, and such a statement could never be predicated of men engaged in an unholy or unrighteous cause.
Indeed, my countrymen, it is impossible to conceive that a cause espoused and led by such men as Davis
, the two Johnstons, Early
and their compatriots was wrong, whilst that led by Lincoln
, Thad Stevens
, and Ben Butler
, et id omne genus
, was right, and in the presidential election of 1864, when the issue between Lincoln
was distinctly made, as to whether the war then being waged against the South
was right or wrong,