The address of Hon. John Lamb.Delivered at Ashland, Va., on memorial day, Saturday, May 26th, 1906.
Memorial day has grown into an institution among us. The old Confederate naturally becomes reminiscent when in the presence of his comrades he recalls the hardships, the sacrifices and the conflicts of 40 years ago. The features and the forms of those who stood shoulder to shoulder with him in the conflict, or fell by his side, come before his mind's eye as distinct as the scenes of yesterday. This is a day of sadness to him, not unmixed however, with the proud recollection that he was an humble factor in one of the grandest struggles for self government that has ever occurred on the earth. As the younger people of this generation cannot enter into our feelings now, so they cannot imagine how we felt 40 years ago. The causes for that struggle, and the motives of those who participated have been so misrepresented and maligned by the historians of the day that it becomes the sacred duty of those who survive to vindicate the motives, and explain the principles, of the actors in that great drama. The writers and speakers of the South owe it to our dead leaders, and the noble men who followed them, to vindicate their action in the eyes of mankind, and prove to all the world, that those who fought for the South were neither rebels nor traitors. For this reason, my comrades, and the older people here, will indulge me while I present some views not new to them, but intended for the rising generation—those perhaps who studied Barnes' and Fiske's histories. We do not meet in our Camps or on Memorial occasions to discuss the abstract question of the right or wrong of the conflict that was waged with such fury 40 years ago. It is useless to raise this question. Possibly it may be urged that in some respects both sides were wrong. The historian of the future may probably delare that upon the strict construction of the Constitution one side was