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Zzzlast days, death and burial.

How Early rode to Texas on horseback, and then went to Mexico, thence to Cuba and Canada after the war; how he returned and upheld the manly spirit of the people, and how zealously he defended Confederate memories is a familiar story to you all. He was the warm admirer of President Davis, and frequently visited him, nor did he ever neglect opportunity to show him and his every consideration in his power. His reverence for Lee and Jackson was scarce less than a religion. He almost worshipped them. He was the first president of the Lee Monument Association, and the most liberal of all contributors to the monument. He was also president [331] of the Southern Historical Society. Especially we do not forget to-night that he was the first president of our own Association of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was always with us on Confederate memorial occasions, at the unveiling of the Jackson and Lee statues and the reinterment of President Davis, and he never missed a meeting of this society but once in twenty-two years, and then on account of sickness.

We look around us now in vain for his familiar, gray-clad form; the noble, classic head; the keen, black, flashing eye; the long, white, patriarchal beard; the bent form; the shrewd, pat speech; the cordial greeting. We miss them here to-night. The mighty past of which he was so great a part recedes farther from us, and the chill of a lost friendship falls upon our hearts as we realize that we shall look upon his brave face and shake his honest hand no more.

When he died an epoch passed to its historic niche, and the world to those who loved him seemed colder than before. But he will come again in memorial bronze. Lynchburg, which he saved, owes it to herself to build his monument there. Richmond and Virginia, which he defended, owe it to themselves to build it here. Lee and Jackson and A. P. Hill, yon Howitzer upon your highway, and yon sentinel upon the hilltop will be lonesome till Stuart and Early shall join them here.

On March 2d last, in the town of Lynchburg, where he had resided since the war, in the 78th year of his age, he passed away. Floral tributes, telegrams and letters poured in from all quarters. Delegates from this society and many Confederate camps attended his funeral. The flag of the State hung at half-mast over the Capitol, the Governor and the Legislature, which happened to be in session, paid every proper respect to his memory. As he lay majestic in the solemn repose of death, clothed in Confederate gray, and as the coffin was about to close, one of his noblest and bravest followers stepped forward and kissed his marble brow. Services were held in the Episcopal church, and the Rev. T. M. Carson, a former chaplain in his command, who had witnessed his heroism at Cedar Creek, pronounced a touching eulogy, taking for his text the words: ‘A Prince in Israel has Fallen.’ Amongst the chief mourners was that line of gray and wrinkled men, who followed his hearse, carrying a tattered flag that told its own story. I have never witnessed a more imposing scene than the outpouring of the people as his body was borne to the grave with military ceremonial. The [332] streets and public highways were thronged, business was suspended, and thousands came to see the last of ‘Old Jube.’

A beautiful site for his grave was donated by the trustees of Spring Hill Cemetery—an elevated spot, in full view of the mountains, and but a few yards from the point where he had his headquarters on the field of battle when Hunter was defeated.

The sun was sinking behind the peaks of Otter and shedding its last rays over the scene as he was lowered to rest. The artillery and the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute, the same gallant corps that had been with him upon this field thirty years before, fired a last salute, a grizzled bugler sounded taps near by the spot where Tinsley sounded the advance in 1864, and all was over.

As we turned away from the new-made grave, I thought of what the Indians said when Powhatan, the great king, was no more: ‘Our chief has passed beyond the mountains to the setting sun.’

There was another thought that looked beyond the sunset's radiant glow — that the spirit of our mighty warrior had passed to Him who inspires ‘the ancient and eternal purpose of knighthood’ to stand for the weak, to fight for them, and, if needs come, to die for them content.

Virginia holds the dust of many a faithful son, but not of one who loved her more, who fought for her better, or would have died for her more willingly.

Incorruptible hero, noble friend. Farewell! Farewell!

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