An address delivered before R. E. Lee
camp no. 1, C. V., Richmond, Va.
, January 29, 1909.
Mr. Commander and Comrades
It was my wish that this address should be made by Col. Rawley W. Martin
, of Lynchburg
, who led the Fifty-third Virginia in Pickett
's charge, and fell by the side of Armistead
on Cemetary Ridge.
But this could not be, and so I come to take his place.
For the task assigned me I feel myself but poorly equipped.
Unlike Col. Martin
, I followed our old Commander
, as St. Peter
followed the Master
, ‘afar off.’
It is, I may say, with unfeigned diffidence that I venture to speak of war to the veteran soldiers who are here to-night.
On me, however, through your kindness, is this honor conferred, that I should present to the Camp the portrait of Lewis A. Armistead
I thank you for it with all my heart.
family, coming direct from England
, settled in Virginia
in 1636, and became ere long a family of soldiers.
Five brothers, three of them in the regular army, took part in the war of 1812. Col. George Armistead
, the oldest of the five, defended Fort McHenry
The flag which waved over it during the bombardment, which Key immortalized as the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ was long guarded as a sacred heir-loom by his decendants.
It is now laid up in the National Museum.
A second brother, Lewis Gustavus Adolphus
, named for the Swedish hero, ‘The Lion of the North
,’ fell at Fort Erie
Walker Keith Armistead
, the father of our old chief, graduated at West Point
in 1803, fought in Canada
, closed the Seminole
war, and was, when he died in 1845, second in command in the regular army.
, who became his wife, was a native of the old North State
, and so it happened that Lewis A. Armistead
was born at Newbern, N. C.
, in 1817.