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[42] life went out amid the carnage of battle, or ebbed away in sickly prison pens and dismal hospital wards. We thank Thee for the tender grace of the women of our Southland, whose deeds of mercy span with redeeming glory the dark abyss of war, and through whose untiring zeal the names of patriots have been preserved, and their dust immortalized.

We most earnestly beseech Thee that the swiftly passing years may bear us further and further from the rankling memories of fraternal strife, and that the flowers we strew to-day may symbolize the charitable thoughts and generous deeds of a people once divided, who have learned mutual forgiveness above the unutterable pathos of their warriors' graves. And as the blood of Thy dear Son cleanses our souls from the defilement of sin, even so may the bloodshed of many battle-fields, represented by these sculptured memorials, make pure and beautiful the service of to-day. Oh, God of Hosts! let thy banner over us be love, that when life's bivouac shall end we may stack our arms in triumph, and crossing over the river, rest under the shadow of the tree of life.

And unto Thee the Father, unto Thee the Son, and unto Thee the Holy Ghost, shall be united and endless praises. Amen.

Captain John J. Williams, commander of the General Turner Ashby Camp, in behalf of the Ladies Memorial Association, asked for a collection, the proceeds to be applied to a fund for the purpose of erecting headstones to the graves of those whose names were known, but their State not known. He also announced that stones had been placed to each grave in the Virginia lot.

Captain Williams then introduced Captain Wm. N. McDonald, formerly an ordnance officer of the Turner Ashby Brigade, who delivered an interesting eulogy on Major James W. Thomson, who lost his life while leading a cavalry charge at High Bridge on General Lee's retreat from Petersburg. Captain McDonald said:

The mighty throng of the living strewing flowers over the graves of the dead Confederates is a fitting presence in which to real the memory of one who, among all the brave hearts that followed Lee and Jackson, was unsurpassed by none in a romantic devotion to the lost cause. The mountains that look down upon us, this beautiful valley, the land he loved so well, and these loyal harts of his old command here witnessed the splendor of his courage and the nobility of his action.

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