Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/235

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ter-. of tin- ( 'onfederai \ wa>. o;o.uu/fd. The day is fixed by the constitiitiitn of the Chapter as that of tin- animal meeting;. This = !, in view of the recent terrible onslaughts made upon tin- mem- ory of Robert E. Lee by a few of the northern pre.ss, and the re- marks that he, the purest ami the noblest of the threat patriots of America, was a traitor to his country and unworthy of a place in the Hall of Fame, aroused the just indignation of the women of the South, and the Daughters of the Confederacy, sworn to perpetuate and guard the truth and beauty of Southern patriotism and the memory of the Southern heroes, could not allow such an aspersion to pass unnoticed. They therefore resolved to make this anniversary of the birth of General Lee the occasion of a public protest to the insult offered to his memory. Dr. Palmer, the beloved patriot and noted divine, and Judge Charles E. Fenner were therefore both in- vited to be present at the annual meeting of the Association and de- liver a tribute to Robt. E. Lee. Mrs. Mary Ashley Townsend, one of the South' s most gifted writers, was requested to write a poem especially for the occasion; a selection from Father Ryan's beautiful Southern songs, "The Sword of Robert Lee," was placed among the numbers on the programme, and tributes to the memory of the South's greatest and best were among other incidents of the even- ing. Through some delay in receiving his invitation Judge Fenner was unable to be present; but Dr. Palmer was there, and Mrs. Townsend was present; members of the armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee, and old veterans from the Soldiers' Home thronged Memorial Hall, and some 300 ladies, the great majority Daughters of the Confederacy, were present, filling the hall to the very doors. It was a magnificent gathering, a grand outpouring of Southern chivalry and Southern womanhood, to do honor to him of whom Father Ryan wrote:

" Forth from its scabbard never hand

Wore sword from stain as free. Nor nobler chief led braver band, Nor braver band had cause more grand, Nor cause a chief like Lee."

The annual meeting of

Tin-: DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY opened at 2:30 P. M. The first portion of the evening was devoted