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,
nearly one-half of the Northern
people voted that it was wrong, and in their platform denounced the administration of Lincoln
in the conduct of the war as a usurpation, and said ‘that the Constitution
itself had been disregarded in every part,’ and ‘that justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities.’
Out of their own mouths let us judge them.
On the third day of November, 1870, a few weeks after the death of our great chieftain, Lee
, there assembled, in pursuance of a call issued by General Early
, as the ranking officer of the army of Northern Virginia, then residing in Virginia
, the grandest body of men and heroes that it was ever my privilege to look upon.
That meeting, composed of representative men and soldiers from all parts of the South
, was called to pay respect to the memory of General Lee
, and to inaugurate the movement which culminated in the erection of the equestrian statue which adorns our western suburbs.
It was presided over by President Davis
, and was addressed by Mr. Davis
, General Early
, General Wise
, General Gordon
, Colonel Preston
, Colonel Venable
, Colonel Marshall
, Colonel Preston Johnston
, and Colonel Withers
, in the most elegant and eloquent addresses that I ever heard.