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Address before the Virginia division of Army of Northern Virginia, at their reunion on the evening of October 21, 1886.

The hall of the House of Delegates in the State Capitol was packed to its utmost capacity with beautiful women and brave men to honor the annual gathering of ‘the men who wore the gray.’ General W. B. Taliaferro, president of the Association, called the meeting to order, and the chaplain, Rev. Dr. J. William Jones, opened the exercises with prayer.

On motion of Judge George L. Christian, the president appointed a committee (Judge George L. Christian, Colonel Archer Anderson and Captain Carlton McCarthy) to wait on GovernorLee and Mrs. Lee, and Miss Winnie Davis, and invite them to seats in the hall.

The committee soon appeared with the distinguished guests—GovernorLee and Mrs. Lee and Miss Winnie Davis, escorted by General Early—who were received with deafening applause as they came up the aisle and took the seats reserved for them.

General Taliaferro made a very appropriate address of welcome, in which, after an allusion to the presence in the city that day of the commander-in-chief of the United States armies, he said that our devotion to the order of things now existing did not in the least prevent us from being true to our convictions of 1861-‘65, and that we have by no means ceased to honor our Confederate leaders or our noble Confederate women. He was especially glad to greet here the distinguished soldier who is now Governor of Virginia, and ‘the child of the Confederacy’—the daughter of our ever-honored chief, President Jefferson Davis.

These sentiments were greeted with enthusiastic applause.

General Early then arose, and amid loud applause moved that Miss Winnie Davis, ‘the daughter of the Confederacy,’ be made an honorary member of the Association, and that the president [182] present her with the badge of the Association. He said he knew that she was proud that she was a daughter of Virginia, and certainly Virginia has no daughter of whom she has greater reason to be proud.

After the applause with which General Early was greeted had subsided, the chair put the motion, which received a unanimous and enthusiastic ‘Aye.’

General Taliaferro, in a few fit words, presented the badge to Miss Davis, who came forward to receive it, and bowed her acknowledgments, with that grace which characterizes her, amid the enthusiastic and prolonged applause of the crowd.

The badge is in the form of the regular badges of the Association (a Confederate battle-flag), but instead of being made of baser metal is of pure gold and enamel, and is a beautiful specimen of the jeweler's art, as well as a very highly-prized souvenir of a notable occasion. On the reverse of the badge is the full name of the recipient, ‘Varina Anne Davis,’ engraved in enamel letters of red, white and blue. The badge was attached to a broad ribbon of the Confederate colors, and enclosed in a beautiful morocco case. It is an open secret that it was the gift of a distinguished and gallant Confederate General, who ordered ‘the handsomest badge that could be made regardless of cost.’

At the close of the public exercises, the veterans and visitors crowded around ‘the daughter of the Confederacy,’ and gave her a grand ovation as they craved the privilege of shaking her hand, and speaking warm words of welcome to the daughter of our loved and honored chief, President Davis.

Miss ‘Winnie’ [the pet name given her by her father has supplanted the name with which she was christened at St. Paul's church, Richmond, soon after her birth in 1864] has been two months in Richmond (the guest of Dr. J. William Jones, Governor Lee, and General J. R. Anderson), and has received every attention from our people, while her varied accomplishments, sweet disposition, and charming manners have won the hearts of all who have met her.

On motion of General Joseph R. Anderson, the old officers—with the exception of Captain Walter K. Martin, deceased, whose place was filled by Mr. Lewis Ginter—were re-elected as follows: President, General William B. Taliaferro; Vice-Presidents, General William Smith, Colonel Charles Marshall, Colonel James H. Skinner, General T. T. Munford, and Captain P. W. McKinney; Chaplain, Dr. J. William Jones; Executive Committee, Colonel William H. Palmer, Colonel Archer Anderson, Sergeant George L. Christian, [183] Major T. A. Brander, Sergeant John S. Ellett, and Major Lewis Ginter; Treasurer, Sergeant Robert S. Bosher; Secretary, Private Carlton McCarthy.

Colonel Archer Anderson presented a fit and touching tribute to Captain Walter K. Martin.

General Taliaferro, in a few eloquent words, appropriately introduced as orator of the evening his distinguished comrade, Colonel Edward McCrady, Jr., who had been a gallant soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia, and who now came from his stricken city of Charleston and his gallant State of South Carolina at the call of his comrades. General Taliaferro paid a warm tribute to South Carolina, which was loudly applauded.

When Colonel McCrady arose he was greeted with loud applause, which was frequently repeated as he proceeded to deliver his address.

Address of Colonel Edward McCrady, Jr.

Comrades of the Army of Northern Virginia,
and Ladies and Gentlemen:

In the article on the subject of ‘Army’ in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the author, the distinguished and accomplished British officer, General G. Pomeroy Colley, C. B., who soon after fell in that wretched little Boerer war in the Transvaal, after giving a brief sketch of the armies of the world, ancient and modern, of the rise and organization of each, and of all the great levees of history, closing with an account of the American army, and its strange military history, says:

‘The total number of men called under arms by the Government of the United States between April, 1861, and April, 1865, amounted to 2,759,049, of whom 2,656,053 were actually embodied in the armies. If to these we add the 1,100,000 men embodied by the Southern States during the same time,1 the total armed forces reach the enormous amount of nearly four millions drawn from a population of only thirty-two millions—figures before which the celebrated uprising of the French Nation in 1793, or the recent efforts of France and Germany in the war of 1870-1871 sink into insignificance.’

I have thought, my comrades, that instead of taking for the subject [184] of our recollections on this occasion of our annual reunion, any of the great achievements in battle of the famous army in which it was our fortune to have served, and our well justified pride to have belonged, I would rather, quoting General Colley's estimate of the forces of the Southern army for my text, talk to you this evening of the Confederate army itself, than of its deeds; especially of that part of it, the memory of which this Association preserves. To recall how it was that from a few detached volunteer militia companies, the Army of Northern Virginia grew in the course of a year, as it has been said, into the greatest body of infantry the world has ever seen. To revive and catch again to-night if we can, somewhat of the fire and enthusiasm of that time which carried us so hurriedly into its ranks, and somewhat of the devoted patriotism which kept us there so patiently amidst all the sufferings and privations of those four long eventful years.

In his essay on Burns, Carlyle thus speaks of the love for his mother-land—Scotland. He says:

‘We hope there is a patriotism founded on something better than prejudice; that our country may be dear to us without injury to our philosophy—that in loving and justly prizing all other lands we may prize justly and yet love before all others our own stern mother-land, and the venerable structure of social and moral life which mind has through all ages been building up for us there. Surely there is nourishment for the better part of man's heart in all this; surely the roots that have fixed themselves in the very core of man's being may be so cultivated as to grow up not into briers but into roses in the field of life.’

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