Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/398

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392 Southern Historical Society Papers.

ing generations that the soldiers of the Southern Confederacy were not rebels, but were Americans who loved constitutional liberty as something dearer than life itself.

THE ORATOR.

Dr. R. L. Mason, rector of Grace Episcopal church, who is a member of Lee Camp, was then introduced and offered a fervent prayer.

Rev. George H. Ray, pastor of Union-Station Methodist Church, also an old veteran, was presented to the assemblage as the orator of the day. He stated that he was an extemporaneous speaker and on this occassion he could either make an extemporaneous address or read a paper on the subject. The former would take him an hour, while the latter would only take up thirty- five minutes. He had de- cided to read his address, which was as follows:

We sometimes hear men speak of the heroes of the Lost Cause. I believe there were heroes, but I do not think the cause was lost. Slaves are free. The integrity of the nation is maintained. The union of the States is cemented in blood. The Southern soldier has laid down his arms. The Confederacy is dissolved. But the cause of constitutional liberty for which we fought is not lost. The display of four years of bravery and suffering by the soldiers led by Lee, fighting as they did against all odds for the maintainence of our com- mon Anglican and American thought of self government, becomes a factor in the defense of the Magna Charta of a common community. No man or set of men can live without modifying the condition of their fellows and being modified in turn. The unconscious tree affects the growth of other trees of the forest. How much more will a conscious being modify his fellows with whom he comes in contact, and how much more will the concerted action of a community affect the communities it jostles and over which it wields a partial or full control ? So on this nation to-day is felt the effect of Southern valor. Lee's virtue and matchless generalship are felt.

He may have been unconscious of the influence wielded by him- self and his associates. He and his friends at their fall may have felt that the cause they represented was lost, but at this distance it does not take a philosopher to see that the movement inspired by Oliver Cromwell became a great factor in English liberty. Although Charles II in anger stamped his foot and scorned the "fool's cap" when reinstated to the throne, yet the fool's cap lives. The influence