Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/142

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

dress was delivered by Hon. Charles T. Lassiter, the able and eloquent young Senator from Petersburg, and his address was worthy of his fame as an orator.

And here it may be stated that the Confederate memorial exercises in Petersburg have always heretofore been, and will always hereafter be, held on the 9th of June, a day made ever memorable in the annals of the city. This year they were omitted on that day on account of improvements being made in the soldiers' section in Blandford Cemetery by the Ladies' Memorial Association, and which have just been completed. The ladies then selected to-day, July 30th, the anniversary of the battle of the Crater, in which Petersburg soldiers took such glorious part, for the annual exercises. Among these improvements is the beautiful stand, which was formally dedicated this afternoon.


Senator Lassiter, on being introduced, said:

Ladies of the Petersburg Ladies' Memorial Association, Veterans, Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Ladies' Memorial Association of Petersburg has the honor of having been first in point of time to undertake the sacred task, which has been theirs for so many years, of preserving the memory of the soldiers who wore the gray and who gave their lives during the momentous conflict of 1861-'65.

Now, more than forty years since the association was organized, we come once more to pay our annual tribute of love and veneration to the soldier dead, who sleep so quietly in old Blandford, awaiting the resurrection.

Never has a loving task been more faithfully accomplished than has the work of this association. Beginning when these fields still bore the marks of recent battle, and when the people of the South had just turned to recreate their social life, this work of caring for our dead has never been permitted to be forgotten.

Some, indeed many, of the original members have themselves answered the last roll call, but the survivors, with the spirit of the Old Guard, have closed up their ranks, and have carried on the work until to-day. George Eliot makes one of her charac-