Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 35.djvu/147
lips, except what may be implied from his remark, made after the war : "If General Jackson had been with me I would have won a victory."
There was a time during the Revolutionary War when its fate seemed to depend ' upon a single man George Washington. Fortunately, he survived to see the independence of his country.
The fall of the commanding general after the opening of the battle assuming that he has all the requisites of leadership has a paralyzing effect, from which it is hard, and generally im- possible, entirely to recover. This is true, not only of contests of hostile armies, but also of the great enterprises of peace in the commercial and social world.
When, therefore, I express the opinion, very generally enter- tained, that if Fitz Lee had lived this exposition would have been more largely attended, and its financial results more satisfactory, it must not be understood as in any wise a reflection upon the able, devoted and public-spirited men who have administered its affairs since his untimely death. Nay, more! When. all the delays, difficulties and discouragements for which they were not responsible, but with which they had to contend are con- sidered, their achievement is marvelous.
An entertainment has been given to the country and the world of greater educational and historic value, and upon a more elevated plane, than has been afforded by any of the great ex- hibitions of the past.
The strangers who have come within your gates have been most cordially welcomed by the exposition officials, and the courtesies which were extended to them at the Virginia and other buildings will ever be a delightful recollection. What they saw and learned here enlightened their minds, broadened their views and expanded their patriotism, and impressed them "not only with the sense of present pleasure, but with the pleasing thought that in their .visit there was life and food for future years."
For those who did not come we have profoundest pity, be- cause they have lost the opportunity of their lives, so graciously offered by the mother Commonwealth, of visiting, under the most favorable and attractive conditions, the sacred places within her borders, which ought to be dear to all our country-