Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/248
238 Southern Historical Society Papers.
The R. E. Lee Camp Fair opened in Richmond on the night of the 14th of May under the most flattering and promising auspices.
We have no space to describe the brilliant occasion — the beautiful decora- tions, the piles of useful and fancy articles sent with liberal hand from all parts of the country, the crowd which packed the large armory hall, the speeches of Corporal Tanner, of New York, and General Wade Hampton, of South Carolina, the appearance of Lee Camp Confederate Veterans, and Phil. Kearney Post, G. A. R., marching in fraternal ranks, and many other features too numerous to mention — but we will only say that the opening was a sure prophecy that the Fair will prove a grand success and add hand- somely to the fund already in hand towards establishing here in Richmond a " Home " for disabled and needy Confederate soldiers of every State.
The following letters, selected from a large number received, coming from representative men of opposite sides well express the feeling with which this great enterprize is being prosecuted.
FROM GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
New York, May 7, 1884. Peyton Wise, Esq., Chairman, dfc. :
Dear Sir, — I am in receipt of the formal invitation to be present at the opening of the Fair for the home of disabled Confederate soldiers on the 14th of this month, and your kind letter accompanying it.
If it was possible for me to do so I would accept this invitation, but, as you may know, I am still on crutches — not from injuries received in conflict with those in whose behalf the Fair is given — and cannot hope to be in good traveling condition for some months yet.
I hope your Fair may prove a success, and that the object contemplated may receive a support which will give to all the brave men who need it a home and a rest from cares.
The men who faced each other in deadly conflict can well aff'ord to be the best of friends now, and only strive for rivalry in seeing which can be the best citizens of the grandest country on earth.
Very truly yours, U. S. Grant.
It should be added to General Grant's honor that the above letter was written amidst his severe pecuniary troubles, and that he had previously contributed five hundred dollars (I500) to the fund.
from general JOHN B. GORDON.
New York, May 10, 1884. //on. Peyton Wise, Chairman :
Mv Dear Sir,— You will understand how grateful to my sensibilities are the contents of your letter of May 5th, and how gladly I should accept the invitation of the committee and yourself. It seems now, however, impos- sible for me to get away from New York at the time designated. I have delayed answering, hoping that I should be in W^ashington and would be