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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/259

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Unveiling a Statue of Dr. Hunter McGwire. 251

Lewis, the hero of Point Pleasant, and the man who with his own hands fired one of the guns which drove the hated Dunmore and his minions from our soil.

We can't stop even to name the great events which occurred be- tween 1787 and 1 86 1, in which Virginians figured, both as the civic and military leaders of the country, and can only say that during thirty-six out of the seventy-four years, then intervening, Virginia furnished the Chief Magistrate of the nation, whilst two others of those who filled that high office were the product of her fruitful loins.

But the great crisis in our history came with 1861. The deeds of virtue and of valor, of daring and devotion, of suffering and of sac- rifice, of the men and women of the South from '61 to '65, form as proud a heritage of glory as was ever bequeathed from sire to son.

Need I tell the people of the capital of the "storm cradled" but meteoric Confederacy, how Virginia bore herself in those dark and trying days ? I need only say that some of the greatest names which the muse of history has inscribed upon her pages were enrolled there during that period, and among the greatest of these was that of " Stonewall Jackson." The poet wrote of him

"A hero came among us, as we slept; At first he lowly knelt, then rose and wept, Then gathering up a thousand spears, He swept across the field of Mars, Then bowed farewell, and walked among the stars In the land where we were dreaming."

Within two years he so filled the world with his fame, that the people of another continent have erected and donated to Virginia yonder monument as a token of their respect for his character, and admiration for the brilliancy of his achievements. Where in all his- tory will you find the counterpart of this tribute to character and to genius ?

Old Thomas Carlyle, in his Latter Day Pamphlets, has written : "Whom doth the King delight to honor? That is the question of questions concerning the King's own honor. Shew me the man you honor; I know by that symptom better than by any other, what kind of a man you yourself are. For you shew me there what your ideal of manhood is; what kind of a man you long inexpressi- bly to be, and would thank the gods with your whole heart for being if you could.