Remarks of Captain John Lamb on March 24, 1899, at Richmond, Virginia, in the Hall of R. E. Lee Camp, no. 1, C. V. In accepting, on behalf of the Camp, the portrait of General Thomas T. Munford, C. S. Cavalry.

[The portrait, in oil, of General Thomas T. Munford, Confederate States Cavalry, a striking life-likeness, executed by Bernard Gutman, of Lynchburg, Virginia, was presented on Friday evening, March 24, 1899, to Robert E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans, in a chaste address by Major Samuel Griffin of Bedford City, Virginia, who served as Adjutant-General on the staff of General Munford. It was evidently, as stated by the speaker, ‘a labor of love,’ and was in glowing eulogy of the personal virtues and valor of the distinguished cavalry leader. The description of the disbanding of General Munford's famous command after the memorable surrender of April 9, 1865, was highly pathetic.

The speaker said, in conclusion, that he could not refrain from a passing tribute to the signal gallantry on the field of battle, he had so often witnessed in his old comrade Captain Lamb, who was to follow him in accepting the portrait of their beloved commander.

The remarks of Captain Lamb were in deep feeling and unostentatiously characteristic of ,him. They embody many details of history of intrinsic value as the testimony of a participant in momentous campaigns and engagements covering the period of the stupendous struggle of the South for independence. Captain Lamb the oft-re-elected, efficient and popular representative of the third district in our National Congress, in his exemplified merit is well-known to our people.

The occasion was highly enjoyed by a large and intelligent audience comprehending leading ladies and gentlemen of our city and [2] its vicinity, the Society of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and war-worn veterans, in force.

There was enlivening music under the direction of Professor Herbert Rees, and a touching solo by Mrs Walter Mercer.

The paper of Captain Lamb is now for the first time printed.— editor.]

Mr. Commander, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a pleasant duty at any time to respond to a request from Lee Camp. It is further an honor to be detailed for the special duty of receiving another portrait to be added to the splendid galaxy that surrounds us on these walls. This is a portrait, my comrades, of one in whose command I served; whose splendid form and mein come before my mind's eye even now as I call up the past and see him at the head of his old 2d Regiment, or leading a charge of the brigade he commanded so admirably.

I would ask your sympathy, and invite your friendly criticism, as I attempt to condense in a brief compass that which would require more than an hour to rehearse, in order that justice might be done to the deserts of my old friend and comrade whose portrait I gratefully accept.

Our thanks are due the comrade, Major Samuel Griffin, the Adjutant-General of our old brigade, for his eloquent and tasty address in presenting this portrait. He has relieved, in great measure, the burden which would have rested upon me, for he has told far better than I might of the distinguished services rendered by General Munford. These heroes, living and dead, who look down upon us from our walls, have made history. Let us, their comrades and survivors, as well as the sons whom God has vouchsafed us, see that it is preserved, and the records of these our glorious heroes handed down to the generations that shall follow us. I know of no better way to preserve the truth than through your camp organizations, and that of the Sons of Veterans. These young gentlemen will to-night learn something of the sacrifices of a gallant Confederate leader, who was among the very first to enlist, and the very last to lay down his arms; who, as commander of the splendid 2nd regiment of cavalry, led the advances and guarded the flanks, and picketed the lines of Stonewall Jackson, who, after the death of Ashby, led the men who so often responded to the bugle call of that brilliant commander.

When General Jackson's command moved to the assistance of [3] Lee in the combined attack upon McClellan, that resulted in the seven days fight around this historic city, Colonel Munford's regiment accompanied his command, and participated, as far as the nature of the densely wooded country would permit, in the fights around Richmond. At White Oak Swamp, where Jackson was detained a whole day, while Longstreet and A. P. Hill were delivering the fearful battle of Frazier's Farm, Colonel Munford was called upon to perform one of those difficult tasks that often fall to the lot of this arm of the service. As the part he performed that day has been misunderstood and erroneous impressions prevail as to the cause of Jackson's delay at White Oak Swamp, let me, in the fewest words possible, give the exact situation. While Magruder engaged the Federal forces on the afternoon of the 29th of June, 1862, Jackson's forces were rebuilding Grape Vine Bridge, and only succeeded in crossing the Chickahominy after darkness had fallen. On reaching White Oak Swamp on the 30th, he ordered Munford to cross the stream, notwithstanding the enemy had torn up the bridge and planted their artillery so as to command the crossing. Crutchfield brought up two batteries of artillery and opened on the enemy. Munford's leading squadron moved across under almost insuperable difficulties.

The regiment soon followed, charging the Federal batteries, but were repulsed by the infantry line of battle. Munford moved down the stream, and recrossed with great difficulty by a cow-path. He informed General Jackson that the infantry could cross below the bridge, but the engineers thought that they could cross better above it. A division of infantry was therefore put in above, but, after wasting hours of valuable time, failed to effect a crossing.

For an interesting page of the chapter of accidents that followed us from Gaines' Mill to ‘Westover,’ see the letter of General Munford on page 80 of the Camnpaigns of Stuart, by H. B. McClellan.

On page 466 of Dabney's Life of Jackson, we find these significant words: ‘Two columns pushed with determination across the two fords, at which the cavalry of Munford passed over and returned—the one in the centre, and the other at the left—and protected in their outset by the oblique fire of a powerful artillery, so well posted on the right, would not have failed to dislodge Franklin from a position already half lost. The list of casualties would have indeed been larger than that presented on the 30th, of one cannoneer mortally wounded. But how much shorter would have been the bloody list filled up the next day at Malvern Hill.’ When [4] Dabney says, ‘this temporary eclipse of Jackson's genius was probably to be explained by physical causes;’ the whole story of the White Oak Swamp is told in a few words. I wish to emphasize the fact that Colonel T. T. Munford performed well and satisfactorily the part assigned him that day, for on a little slip of paper General Jackson wrote to him: ‘I congratulate you on getting out.’

Had Munford's suggestion been followed, Franklin would have been forced back to where Heintzelman and McCall were barely holding their own against Longstreet and A. P. Hill.

The Federal forces, disputing the passage of Fisher's Run by Armistead and Mahone, would have been forced to fall back, and Huger's whole division would have reinforced Longstreet; while Magruder at Timberlake's store, on the Darbytown Road, at two o'clock, the 30th, was within two hours march of Glendale. To one who understands the topography of this country it looks as if the very stars in their courses fought against us on the fateful 30th of June, 1862. A month of inactivity succeeded the seven days battles and then followed the second Manassas campaign.

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