The Monument to General Robert E. Lee.History of the movement for its erection.
[Compiled from accounts in the Dispatch and Times newspapers of Richmond.] In all our eventful history, perhaps, nothing has stirred the heart of the South like the death of General Lee. It came not as a shock; it had been expected for many months; the whole people knew that he had gone to Charleston for his health, and it was generally known, too, that there was little hope of benefit to the journey. It came in due season; the last few years of honored and honorable retirement had afforded to the o'erfraught heart of the Southern people an opportunity for relief in the expressions of love and reverence and consolation that crowded upon the hero in his mountain home from day to day. Lexington had become a shrine, and all sections of the country turned to it with veneration. Moreover, the life was complete; the work lay open to the world; the example had been shown; the precepts uttered; the blessing bestowed. The mourning, therefore, was without bitterness, but it was no less tender and deep; it was for the loss of a father rather than of a leader.  General Lee died at 9 o'clock A. M. on the 12th of October, 1870. On that day there was a meeting in the town of Lexington, of citizens, and of those who had served under him in the field, who at once took steps to organize the
Lee Memorial Association,which prosecuted their labors and desires to a consummation at once noble and appropriate, in placing over the tomb of the hero, at Lexington, Valentine's majestic ‘Recumbent Figure,’ which is regarded by authority and held by general acclaim to be one of the grandest works of art in this country.
The Ladies' Lee Monument Association.A few days after the movement at Lexington, a few ladies, members of that noble and devoted body, the Hollywood Memorial Association, met in a private parlor in Richmond and organized the Ladies' Lee Monument Association. Their design was to erect a monument to the great chieftain in this city, and to collect funds for the purpose throughout the South. The organization was constituted as follows: President, Mrs. William H. Macfarland; vice-presidents, Mrs. George W. Randolph, Mrs. James Lyons, Mrs. William Brown; treasurer, Miss Elizabeth Byrd Nicholas; secretary, Miss Sarah Nicholas Randolph. Despite the prevailing poverty of the people of the South, and the entire prostration of their resources resultant from the war, the success of the ladies was highly creditable in their speedy collection of fully $15,000—a tribute of devotion met by personal sacrifice.
Lee Monument Association.The next move towards the monument was instituted by Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, the senior surviving officer of the Army of Northern Virginia, in the following address, which appeared in the public prints October 25th, 1870:
Pursuant to this call there assembled at the First Presbyteriar Church, in Richmond, on Thursday evening, November 3d, 1870, the grandest gathering of Confederate soldiers which had met since the war. This church then stood upon the upper portion of the site now occupied by our imposing City Hall.  Among the leading officers who participated in the meeting were Generals Early, John B. Gordon, Edward Johnson, I. R. Trimble, W. B. Taliaferro, William Smith, W. N. Pendleton, Fitz. Lee, M. Ransom, William Terry, Benjamin Huger, Robert Ransom, L. L. Lomax, George H. Steuart, C. W. Field, W. S. Walker, B. T. Johnson, J. D. Imboden, R. L. Walker, Harry Heth, Samuel Jones, John S. Preston, Henry A. Wise, George E. Pickett, D. H. Maury, M. D. Corse, J. H. Lane, James L. Kemper, J. A. Walker, and others; Colonels Thomas H. Carter, Hilary P. Jones, Thomas L. Preston, Robert S. Preston, William Allan, William Preston Johnston, Charles S. Venable, Charles Marshall, Walter H. Taylor, Henry E. Peyton, and Robert E. Withers; Commodore M. F. Maury, Captain R. D. Minor, of the Confederate States Navy, and scores of others of our leading officers, and hosts of the ‘ragged veterans’ of the rank and file. The meeting was called to order by