Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 17.djvu/215
The Monument to General Robert JS, Lee, 20*7
of that section at once determined to organize an association with the intention of marking in an appropriate manner the place of his burial. Valentine's recumbent statue is there to-day to prove they have fully and faithfully executed their trust. In this city the ladies of the Hollywood Memorial Association, never weary in work for the Confederate soldier, living or dead, at once proceeded to take the necessary steps to collect money to erect a monument to General Lee in Richmond or its vicinity. Another society was formed for the same purpose a little later, and was the result of a call by General Jubal Early (the senior Confederate soldier in Virginia) for a meet- ing of his Confederate comrades for the purpose of testifying their sorrow at the death of their commander and perfecting an organiza- tion to build to his memory a monument. A memorable meeting on the 3d of November, 1870, was the result of General Early's action, and a monument association was promptly organized. The funds collected by this last body were, during Governor Kemper's adminis- tration, placed by them into the hands of a State board, consisting of the Governor, Auditor and Treasurer. At the request of the board of managers, of which General Early was president, this board then assumed the place of the former one, and this action was confirmed by law. These two associations, having the same objective point, then proceeded to carry out the object for which they were formed.
After my installation to office, efforts to consolidate the two organi- zations into one were successfully made. Now, with united purpose, we promise to continue this work of love, and in two years from this date I invite you here again to witness the unveiling, upon this spot, of an equestrian statue to General Lee.
We have in our midst to-day the officer who first organized the move to form within the ranks of the Confederate soldier an associa- tion to perpetuate the memory of the army commander, who was the first president of the Lee Monument Association, and whose heart to-day beats as steady and strong for the living as it throbs tender and true for the dead. I voice the unanimous wish of our association in asking General Jubal A. Early to preside over this meeting, and I now with great pleasure present him to this audience.
The applause with which General Early was greeted showed the warm place he has in the hearts of old Confederates. In a few re- marks he expressed his gratification at the large gathering in spite