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[227] to see the crucial point, to catch the moment of a crisis, and thus to do the right thing at the right time—one of the highest attributes of a soldier.

Let us pause here for a moment. Think of what the Army of Northern Virginia was, of what it suffered and endured, and of what it achieved. To have belonged to that army and to have passed through that fierce ordeal in any capacity however humble, provided one did his duty, is warrant for no small meed of praise—that army of which an eloquent historian of its great adversary, the Army of the Potomac; has said: ‘Who can ever forget that once looked upon that array of tattered uniforms and bright muskets, that body of incomparable infantry, the Army of Northern Virginia, which for four years carried the revolt upon its bayonets, opposing a constant front to the mighty concentration of power brought against it, which receiving terrible blows did not fail to give the like, and which vital in all its parts died only with its annihilation.’ What then of the man who joined it at sixty-four, and without military training, by sheer force of his own high qualities, won his way to the rank of major-general under the eye and with the approval of Robert E. Lee, and whose conduct in battle extorted the warm admiration of that Rhadamanthine judge, General Jubal A. Early? Their approbation was praise indeed.

In the spring of 1863 he was for a second time elected governor. During his first term in that office, to which he was chosen by the legislature in 1845, he discharged his duties in a most satisfactory manner. There is but one circumstance of that administration to which I wish to call particular attention.

In the various schemes for constructing internal improvement, a subject which then engaged to a great degree the attention of the people of this State, he advocated a system which would have promoted the unity and solidarity of all sections of our Commonwealth, and which converging upon Richmond was designed to make this city the commercial as well as the political capital of the Commonwealth. He contemplated the construction of railroads from the western and northwestern parts of the State, which would have had a strong tendency to diminish, if not to obviate, the disposition towards separation along those natural lines of cleavage, the Alleghany mountains. Other counsels prevailed, other plans were adopted, the interests of the western part of the State were alienated from us; and, when the time of stress came, Virginia was

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