Southern Historical Society Papers/Volume 26/The Visit of General Joseph Wheeler to Richmond, Va.
GENERAL JOSEPH WHEELER.
The Visit of the Hero to Richmond, Va., Dec. 16-17, 1899.
ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF A PORTRAIT OF "THE GALLANT PELHAM," TO R. E. LEE CAMP CONFEDERATE VETERANS.
With Addresses by Mr. E. P. Cox, General Wheeler, Gov. J. Hoge Tyler, Judge D. A. DeArmond, and Hon. W. A. Jones.
Richmond, Virginia, had a visit from the virile veteran, General Joseph Wheeler, in January, 1899.
The hero of two wars, at the close of the Civil War, by his skill and indomitable courage, had won the high rank of Lieutenant-General, and been assigned to the command of a corps. In our last war, it has been urged that he was the chief propeller to successful issue, and that his coolness and courage at Santiago (although he arose from prostrating illness in an ambulance and pressed to the front), saved our army, at least, from temporary disaster.
Rev. J. William Jones, D. D., who has lately examined the official reports of the war, 1861-1865, states that General Wheeler had sixteen horses killed under him in that gigantic conflict.
General Wheeler came to Richmond at the invitation of R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Veterans, to accept on its behalf, the portrait of Major John Pelham, presented to it by the Sons of Veterans. He was accompanied by Hon. David A. DeArmond, Member of Congress from Mississippi, and Hon. W. A. Jones, Representative of the First Congressional District of Virginia.
He was met at Milford Station by a Committee from Lee and Pickett Veteran Camps, and from that of the Sons of Veterans, and arrived on the evening of the i6th instant. At Ashland he was received with joyous acclaim by the students of the Randolph-Macon College and citizens en masse, and acknowledged the welcome with a brief address. At Elba Station, despite of the persistent and drenching down-pour of rain throughout the afternoon, there was a large crowd assembled to greet him.
Lee Camp Hall was filled to its full capacity and upon the entrance of General Wheeler (accompanied by the Committee, the distinguished gentlemen named, Gov. J. Hoge Tyler, Hon. John Lamb, and others), the audience rose with one accord and cheered him to the echo.
Commander E. Leslie Spence called the assemblage to order and Chaplain J. E. Cook, of the Camp of the Sons of Veterans, offered a beautiful prayer.
"In Silent Mead" was then sung by a quartette composed of Messrs. Frank W. Cunningham, Lohman, Cardozo and Triplett.
The portrait in oil, which was executed by Mr. William E. Trahern, a veteran, was highly complimented for its fidelity, by those who had known the gallant Pelham in life.
Commander Spence now gracefully extended the greeting of the camp, and in a few well-chosen words introduced Mr. Edwin P. Cox, who had been chosen on behalf of the Sons, to make the presentation address.
THE PRESENTATION SPEECH.
Commander, Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen:
The days when Pelham and Stuart rode together and won immortal fame and deathless victory have passed into another age. The men who "though vanquished yet conquered disgrace and preserved unharmed the shrine of the public honor," are the foremost figures in the brilliant achievements of these modern times. When the word was telegraphed from the trenches before Santiago, that to the terror of death from the bullets of the enemy, there had been added the dread of fever, stalking like some death-dealing phantom among the men, in effect so terrible because so silent, the great heart of the nation throbbed with fear. Alarm gave place to reassurance when AlalHiin<i'< //./> / f i Ill-mi and
the message- was received that General Wheeler was in the trenches with his men. This son of the great State of Alabama has won the love of our entire country by his high honor and great daring.
Amid all clamor and criticism, by friend and foe, his name is never utti-ivd save with praise. Alabama, in former times, sent forth another son who, on the battle-fields of Virginia, gained the names of "gallant " and "vigilant." This is, therefore, an auspicious and fitting occasion, chosen by R. E. Lee Camp Sons of Veterans, to present t<> the sponsor Veteran Camp, the picture of him whoso worthily won, and wore his characteristic designations. Major John Pelham was a marvellous development of the age in which he lived. Great was he of whom the London. Times could say, " no one of an equal age in either army has won an equal reputation." Lovable was his character, which drew r from an enemy in arms the praise: " I rejoice, dear Pelham, in your success."
Useful was the man, whose loss at the early age of twenty-four was mourned as an irretrievable disaster to the Cause for which he fought.
Loved, honored and admired by friend and foe, at home and abroad, had he lived longer, his name would have been written higher and his fame would have shone brighter in that galaxy of he- roes whose memories shed brilliant lustre on the annals of our stu- pendous struggle.
REVIEW OF PELHAM'S LIFE.
Mr. Cox gave a very interesting review of Major Pelham's brief but brilliant career. The speaker told of his birth in Calhoun county, Ala., September jth, 1838; of his parentage; early life; of his entrance of the Military Academy at West Point at the age of eighteen; of his success there, of his leaving with his class-mate, General Thomas L. Rosser, as soon as Fort Sumter was fired on, although he was cer- tain of graduation at the close of the session. After spending a few days at home young Pelham went to Montgomery, whence be was ordered to Lynchburg, as inspector of ordnance.
Continuing, Mr. Cox briefly reviewed some of Pelham's greatest military achievements.
Soon he was placed in command of the artillery on the left wing at Sharpsburg. General Stonewall Jackson, observing his action in that battle, said : ' 'Every army ought to have a Pelham on each flank. ' ' A few days before the battle of Fredericksburg, at Port Royal he attacked the terror of those gunboats, with such success that they were driven down the Rappahannock River. His daring and dashing courage in directing a detachment which checked the opposing army at Fredericksburg, impelled General Lee to exclaim: "Is it not glorious to see such courage in one so young!"
Mr. Cox added: "In general orders that of Major John Pelham was the only name mentioned below that of a major-general, and that which was worth more than any rank in any army more valuable than any title of nobility or badge of any order, General Lee bestowed on him the name by which he was afterwards known, "the gallant Pelham."
BURIED BY HIS MOTHER.
Mr. Cox related the circumstances under which Pelham was mortally wounded at Kelly's Ford, March 17, 1863, quoted General Stuart's tribute to him, and concluded: His ashes sleep now in the village grave-yard of Jacksonville, Ala., by the side of his mother, who loved him, and whom he loved so well. The night his body reached home was beautifully clear. The moon, at its fullness, silvered over the whole landscape, and changed the sombre funeral procession from dark to white. The Spartan mother determined that come in whatever condition the boy should, she would meet him on the threshold of his home; and so she was at the door awaiting the arrival of his form, now cold in death. She looked upon the scene, so pure and bright, and whispered through her tears: "Washed white in the blood of the Lamb that was slain." When future ages shall read the story of Major John Pelham, the hero of the artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia, may they not also say, though war is terrible and its bloodshed tinges the pages of history, these red stains are washed white in the blood of this fallen hero? Rome had her Pantheon dedicated to all her gods. England erects monuments to her mighty dead in her ancient Westminster Abbey. The South shall, in this hall, find her Pantheon consecrated to the recollection of her heroes; her Westminster Abbey devoted to the memorials of her great men. The "gallant Pelham" is in their illustrious ranks. Through more than a quarter of a century, which intervenes between his time and ours, his life affords the best example of purity in heart, nobleness of purpose, grandeur in aim, bravery in action and devotion to duty. The recent actions of sons of Confederate veterans under the burning tropical suns of Cuba sublimely show that the same warm blood of the South is coursing through their young veins, and that the story of his life is not forgotten or unremembered. As Mr. Cox concluded, he was very loudly applauded. His address made an excellent impression, and its delivery was particularly facile.
THE GOVERNOR'S REMARKS.
Another selection by the quartette followed, and then Captain Laughton, as Chairman of the Portrait Committee, introduced Governor Tyler, who, he announced, would, in time, introduce "the most distinguished exponent of patriotism of the State of Alabama." Governor Tyler, who was warmly greeted, said:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
In the short span of years allotted to man, it falls to the fortune of but few to serve through two wars and be a hero in both. Who that saw the gallant boys in gray, so bravely led under the Stars and Bars, could, even in fancy, in little more than a quarter of a century, see the same brave spirit leading the boys in blue on to victory beneath the Stars and Stripes? But such has been the fortune of the gallant hero whom we have with us to-night, and to whom we shall have the pleasure of listening, as he will receive the portrait that has just been presented to this camp of one of the bravest and knighthest of our Southern sons.
With equal fortitude and courage General Wheeler has met the duty of the hour, and has been crowned with the laurel wreath of victory, leading Southern boys on Southern fields of glory, and at the head of the soldiers of a reunited country at Santiago and up the bloody heights of San Juan. He has come to attest by his presence his unchanging interest in the old Confederates. With him the gray and blue threads have been woven into the beautiful fabric of devotion to country. May we, in the rush of the onward destiny of our republic, never forget those who wore the gray, but keep their memories green and ever sacredly enshrined in our hearts.
The presence among us here to-night of our old Confederate leader recalls to many of us scenes, incidents, and emotions of a past that has been immortalized in history by the achievements of the Confederate soldier. He needs no introduction. He is one of us. His battles have been our battles, his cause our cause, his achievements our admiration, his fame our joy, his services our nation's pride, and his whole life an offering to the welfare of his countrymen. I therefore simply present him to his people. 296 Southern Historical Nor/V///
LOUD CHEERS FOR WHEELER.
As Governor Tyler uttered these words the audience rose and cheered to the echo. So great was enthusiasm that it was fully two minutes before General Wheeler could make himself heard.
Enthusiasm at length gave way to curiosity, and then General Wheeler, in clear, penetrating tones, said:
Mr. Commander, Governor Tyler, Members of
General Lee' Camp of Veterans :
It affords me great pleasure that I am permitted to be with you on this interesting occasion. It is especially a pleasure to find here an interest in those days and scenes which cause the soil of Virginia to be held in such veneration, and to find that that interest is not di- minished by time. It is also a pleasure to find the sons of Virginia taking such deep interest in those things which commanded the at- tention of their fathers. It might be expected that we would find that sentiment in Virginia, the birthplace of patriots, the home of heroes, the grave of liberty's martyrs! It is a privilege to stand upon her historic soil. How overwhelmingly rush upon us thoughts of her past! Here Washington first saw the light, and Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, as they grew to manhood's prime, learned to be great, and here is enshrined their hallowed dust.
Virginia gave to the world Gaines, Harrison, Taylor, Scott, John- ston, Stonewall Jackson, Stuart and the long roll of the chivalric Lees, above all, the one colossal Lee, whose fame challenges the ages from the topmost heights of glorious renown; the gallant, superb, chivalrous Robert. Edward Lee, a general whose victories have no parallel in history, a man whose unblemished character stands before the world as a model of the purest virtue and highest type of manhood. Blessed be this beautiful historic city, so closely identified with his chivalrous life.
" But Lee has a thousand graves
In a thousand hearts, I ween; And teardrops fall from our eyes in waves
That will keep his memory green. Ah, Muse! you dare not claim
A nobler man than he, Nor nobler man has less of blame, Nor blameless man hath purer name, Nor purer name hath grander fame,
Nor Fame another Lee." //(;*/> r,-lk'iin niul \\' heeler. -7
Forty-three years ago, a tall, erect, handsome young man reported for duty at the Military Academy at West Point. His blonde hair, t.iir complexion and blushing cheeks giving him a delicate, refined apprai mce, in spite of his athletic form and well-krrown superiority in manly sports, would have attracted attention in any assemblage. His general bearing gave proof of firmness and integrity of charac- ter, and in the retrospect, we can readily understand that he pos-
-i 'd characteristics which enabled him to rise to the superb heights he so rapidly attained. It is the portrait of this manly form upon which we gaze to-night.
THE CAREER OF PELHAM.
John Pelham was born near Alexandria, Calhoun county, Ala., in September, 1838. He entered West Point in 1856, remaining there until the spring of 1861, when the thunders of war summoned him back to his native State, a week before the graduation of his class, when he would have received his commission in the United States Army. He was immediately put in charge of the Confed- erate Ordnance at Lynchburg, Va., with the rank of first lieutenant, and was shortly after assigned as drillmaster to Albertus's Battery, at Winchester. His handling of the guns at the first Battle of Ma- nassas established his reputation as a fearless officer and a skilful artillerists, and he was entrusted by General Stuart with the organi- zation of a battery of six pieces of horse artillery, which he recruited from Alabama, Virginia and Maryland. At Williamsburg and First Cold Harbor, at the second Battle of Manassas, at Sharpsburg and Shepherdstown he fought with the enthusiasm of youth and the coolness of a veteran. Stonewall Jackson loved and trusted "The Boy Artillerist," as he was often called, and frequently gave expres- sion to his appreciation of Pelham's magnificent work. At the Battle of Fredericksburg he met the concentrated fire of several bat- teries with one Napoleon, and elicited the unstinted praise of his superior officers. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colo- nel, and his commission was before the Senate for confirmation when his death occurred at Kelly's Ford, on the Rappahannock, March 17, 1863. He was cut down in the act of leading a charge while waiting the arrival of his artillery. His death was a crushing loss to the division, and was announced by General Stuart in words seldom surpassed in strength or beauty. He says of him:
"The noble, the chivalric, the gallant Pelham is no more. How much he was loved, appreciated and admired let the tears of agony 298 Scitf/ i-ii lllxtnrn-iil tiorielii Papers.
we here shed and the gloom of mourning throughout my command bear witness. His loss is irreparable. The memory of ' the gallant Pelham,' his many virtues, his noble nature, and purity of charac- ter, is enshrined as a sacred legacy in the hearts of all who knew him. His record has been bright and spotless, his career brilliant and successful. He fell the noblest of sacrifices on the altar of his country, to whose glorious service he had dedicated his life from the beginning of the war."
SOME INTERESTING FIGURES.
I recall reading a description of one of Humboldt's works by Agassiz, in which he referred to it as " descriptive but not compara- tive," and he went on to show that, in describing anything, its mag- nitude or character, it was necessary to, in some way, institute a comparison with something with which we were familiar.
In order to fully appreciate the magnitude of the great struggle, in which Pelham engaged, you must make some comparison between the civil war and others which were fought by the American people.
The official reports give the following as the losses in killed and wounded of the Federal army in seven out of nearly a thousand se- verely contested struggles during the four years of war.
Seven Days' Fight, 9> 2 9 :
Chickamauga, - - 10,906
Wilderness, J 4.494
None of these figures include the missing, many of whom were either killed or wounded, and, if included, would greatly add to the number.
The battles of the Wilderness and of Spotsylvania might, with great propriety, be termed one continuous battle, and there is no better way to impress us with its magnitude than to observe that the losses in killed and wounded in that engagement exceeded the killed and wounded in all the battles of all the wars fought by our people prior to 1861. To be more explicit, the loss was greater than that in all the battles of the French-Indian war, all the battles of the Revolution, all the battles of the war of 1812, all the battles of the n'* /A/no /'flli'iin "IK/ \\'/>/<r. '_".'!'
\\.ir with Mexico, and all the battles of our various Indian wars. Add the losses of all the battles of all these wars together, and the total 1"-^ will be K-SS than that of the battles of Wilderness and Spotsylvania.
HIS A BRILLIANT ( ARKER.
Alabama is the mother of many brave, heroic sons, but second to none is the young hero whose memory we honor to-night. I say young, because to us, over whose head since then the storms of many years have thundered, that earnest, boyish face comes back as the friend of yesterday. A brilliant career was his few his days, but full of heroic deeds; short but glorious. Gentle and retiring as a maiden, he was brave as a paladin, and stood in the midst of fire and carnage as emotionless and unshaken as a rock. In the words of your own immortal Lee at the battle of Fredericksburg: " It was glorious to see such courage in one so young," and to us who cher- ish heroic deeds, it is a grand thought that the memory of this brave soldier, whose life ebbed out upon the blood-stained banks of the Rap- puhannock, is ever enshrined in the halo of immortal youth, "un- changed by sorrow and undimmed by tears."
It is well-nigh six and thirty years since his sacrifice was consum- mated, and to-night we look upon the semblance of his features in the place of honor prepared for it, and to perpetuate his memory. The years roll on, men come and go and are forgotten, the popular idol of to-day may be fallen ere the morrow, but the memory and the sacrifice of Pelham will live for aye. The passing years but leave an ever deepening tinge of gold upon "red danger's amaranthine wreath " that crowns the youthful patriot's brow. Alabama's crown holds no jewel purer or brighter than the memory of the gallant Pel- ham, and his name shall be cherished with pride and spoken with loving reverence so long as honor and purity and fearless chivalry are dear to the people for whom his life-blood was so gallantly shed.
I cannot resist the temptation of quoting an exquisite sonnet writ- ten by the late Hon. William R. Smith, of Alabama, then a member >f the Confederate Congress, when the sad news of Pelham 's death received in Richmond. These lines have never, to my knowl-
Ige been printed.
In Memory of John Pelham.
" I-V1I by his iiims! " Oh, gallant youth! Renown Beheld thy fall, and from the battle's rage 300 SnufliiTii llislorirtil Society Papers.
Plucked and transferred thee to its lyric page; Intent to bind thy brows with oaken crown, And hand thy name in crimson glory down, Kindling the narrative from age to age To fire the hearts of hero, saint, and sage
Above the fear of tyrants or their frown. Come, take thy station by th' intrepid twain That shout o'er th' Athenian tyrants slain By that bold boy, that braved Porsena's flame, And burned his way through torture to his fame By him, Horatius, stalwart to the last These are thy kin, these great souls of the past.
General Wheeler has never posed as an orator, but his polished address, delivered with much force and earnestness, held his audience stillbound, save by several irrepressible outbursts of cheering, until the close, when he was given another ovation as he turned to go to his seat.
FINE SPEECH BY DE-ARMOND.
This was not to be the end of the feast of good things, however, though in the ordinary course it would have concluded the pre- arranged programme.
At the request of many of those present, Captain Lamb intro- duced the distinguished congressman from Mississippi. In doing so he paid a very warm tribute to that " gallant and heroic soldier, a true and tried friend, and a hero in peace as well as in war." Judge DeArmond said:
" If I could choose my place I would rather listen than speak. I would gather inspiration from these noble surroundings rather than mar this occasion by any feeble words that I might utter." Never, he said, ha'd he felt more honored than he did at being asked to speak, and never had he gazed into the faces of an audience such as that. There was everything there present calculated to inspire. " From the walls," he said, "looks down the heroism of the past. What thoughts of history! What heroes! I feel it is a proud priv- ilege to address the noble sons of sires so noble." A thousand things might determine a contest, without regard to the justice of the cause, the speaker said, but the thing that lives is the story of heroic deeds and heroic men. Perhaps nowhere on earth were there gathered together so many noble achievements as in this historic city of Richmond. \\'hl<r. 301
, \THERING PLACE OF HEROES
"What a gathering place of heroes," he said, "Ah! Virginians. far distant be the day when the story of the glorious deeds of your glorious men shall be forgotten. Ah! fellow-citizens, I do not, no one can, wonder at your sublime faith, as you feel you are the de- scendants of the noblest men the world has ever known. Noble sons of veterans, making your way proudly in the world, you have no pensions to sustain you (loud and prolonged applause); nothing to rely upon except your individual efforts; the world is all before you, in which to make your way, and there are none better quali- fied."
The speaker paid high compliments to the fidelity and zeal of Congressman Lamb and Jones. In allusion to the honored guest of the evening, Judge DeArmond said: " In the short war many op- portunities were afforded the soldiers of the North, but few compara- tively to the soldiers of the South, but with the scant opportunities given, the hero of the Spanish-American war is before you to-night. (Loud cheers.) But for that gallant soldier, but for his skill and discretion, the story of Santiago, El Caneyand San Juan Hill would have been written differently. (A voice: "That's right," and cheers.) There would have been dropping back and defeat. " His- tory can't be written with the Confederate soldier left out," said Judge DeArmond, and this statement was greeted with much laughter and applause. He paid his compliments again to the pen- sion laws, and concluded by again expressing appreciation of the honor shown him, and expressing the ardent hope that through the coming years the sons of noble sires will keep alive in their camps the spirit of nobility of their fathers. Virginians must in future, as in the past, "blaze the way," and stand as a solid phalanx against wrong. When Virginia charges, we shall all know what the charge ought to be against.
MR. JONES ALSO SPEAKS.
Judge DeArmond was loudly cheered as he took his seat, and icn there were calls for Congressman Jones. Briefly, he thanked the audience for the cordiality of his reception. It had been the first >pportunity he had enjoyed of attending a meeting of Sons of Vete- uis. He made a humorous allusion to his own connection with the adding that he took great pride in the fact that no one had a right to the title, son of a Confederate veteran than he. He 302 Suiilltfrit Hixfui-ictil .SV//Y// /-V//></>.
spoke of his father's service through four years, and said he believed the cause a just and righteous one. He believed that no cause led by Generals Lee and Jackson could be other than a righteous cause. He closed with an allusion to a small painting in the Library Build- ing, at Washington, of " Stonewall" Jackson and his men praying, and said that picture had attracted more attention than any in that notable gallery.
The meeting was then adjourned by Commander Spence, and the request that none would make an effort to leave the hall until Gene- ral Wheeler and his party had gone to their carriages was duly regarded.
RECEPTION AT THE EXECUTIVE MANSION.
General Wheeler held a public reception at the Executive Mansion, after the adjournment of the meeting at Lee Camp Hall, and from 10 o'clock until 11:30 people flocked to greet the distinguished visitor, who had some happy remarks to make to each one.
The hall of the mansion was decorated with the State and national colors, standing side by side behind stacked arms. The Jefferson orchestra played during the function. Despite the lateness of the hour, it is estimated that fully 300 persons were present.
Those receiving were Governor Tyler and the following members of his staff: Colonel C. O'B. Covvardin, Colonel Tennant, Colonel Skelton, and Colonel Carrington; Mrs. Tyler, Mrs. C. O'B. Cowar- din, Mrs. Tennant, Mrs. J. Taylor Ellyson, Mrs. A. J. Montague.
After the reception General Wheeler dined with Governor Tyler and the members of his family, others present being Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Montague, Mr. and Mrs. J. Taylor Ellyson, Congressmen De Armond, Jones, and Lamb; Captain Cussons, Major N. V. Ran- dolph, Mr. 'Robert Lecky, Jr., Mr. E. P. Cox, and Mr. E. L. Spence, Jr.
JANUARY 17, 1899.
General Wheeler in person is small and slight, about the size of the late and lamented Judge F. R. Farrar ("Johnny Reb"), about five feet six inches in height; but, as has been signally evinced, he is a little bundle of steel nerves, and as it were electrically charged.
Although General Wheeler did not retire Monday night until some time after the midnight hour, he sprang from his bed like a school-boy yesterday morning when Colonel John Murphy went to
.\liihuinii\s lln-'KS r,'lh'ini ninl \\'/ ,/,,-.
his room at 8:30 o'clock, looking as fresh as though he had had a liui'^ night's rot.
With his characteristic quickness, it was but a few moments before ( ii-neral Wheeler was dressed and down in the lobby, where he was ted by a number of persons who had gathered, eager to see the old hero.
Shortly after 9 o'clock the General sat down to an excellent breakfast, in company with Judge D. A. DeArmond, Hon. W. A. Jones, Captain John Lamb, and Mr. John Murphy.
The morning meal was dispatched quickly, and about 10 o'clock Captains' John Cussons, John E. Laughton, Jr., and Major T. A. Hrander appeared on the scene with three carriages to take the dis- tinguished guests around the city.
In the party were Captain Cussons, Major Brander, Judge De Armond, Captain Laughton, Captain Lamb, and Colonel W. E. Cutshaw. The drive was quite an extensive one, and the visitors were shown many of the historic places, monuments, and buildings around the city. The veteran warrior seemed to enjoy his trip heartily, and showed the liveliest interest in everything that was shown him. He entertained the party by a number of interesting reminiscences, and sustained the reputation which he bears of being one of the most unassuming and charming of companions.
VETERANS WELCOME HIM.
Just before 12 o'clock the party reached the Soldiers' Home, and as they drove up the broad carriage-way a salute of welcome was boomed forth by thirteen guns. The Soldiers' Home Band, headed by Major N. V. Randolph, greeted the party, and conducted its members into the mess hall, where, after the cheering had subsided Major Randolph introduced General Wheeler, who delivered an elo- juent address.
Judge DeArmond followed him in a speech abounding in good Deling, and the speech-making was closed by Captain Lamb.
The veterans then formed in line and General Wheeler shook lands with each one, after which he went through the hospital and reeled cheerily those who were confined to their beds. Many faint leers from the sufferers followed the active, wiry figure of the old ero, whose coming was a bright spot in the lives of the old sol- liers. 304 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Nearly an hour was spent at the Home, and the party returned to the city, driving at once to the Woman's Club.
From 2 to 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon General Wheeler was tendered a reception and luncheon by the Woman's Club, and prac- tically all the members embraced the opportunity to meet the old hero. It was thought that i o'clock was the hour set, and before that time the room began to fill. Upon General Wheeler's arrival with his escort Major Thomas Brander, Captains Laughton and Lamb, Colonels Cutshaw and Cussons, and Judge DeArmond they were crowded. Governor Tyler was the first to welcome him, and he was immediately conducted into the parlor, where the Reception Committee were in waiting. These were the officers of the club Mrs. L. L. Lev/is, Mrs. Thomas, Misses Guillaume, Jane Ruther- foord, and Mrs. J. B. Halyburton.
In a graceful speech Mrs. Lewis introduced the General, referring happily to the distinction which made the introduction unnecessary.
General Wheeler then in a brief address paid a fine tribute to woman. He had not anticipated that he would be asked to make a speech, but had thought he would simply have the pleasure of meet- ing the ladies of the club.
HIS TRIBUTE TO WOMAN.
He then referred to the effect of culture in women as greater or rather more subtle than in men, and said that perhaps it would con- vey his meaning more clearly, if he said that the difference seemed like the difference between the effect of the finest polish possible to marble, and that possible to common stone. He had no words in which to express his sense of women's power in the world. The press of the country in its kind and generous reference to the Amer- can soldiers, in the late war, has spoken of victory as attributable to " the men behind the guns." He wished to qualify that, and say that victory was due, in large measure, to the "women behind the men behind the guns. " (Loud applause.) He cited a number of instances to prove the courage of woman in times when death was the almost certain end. It remained a fact, said he, that men boasted of courage and women of cowardice, yet in time of peril the latter invariable proved their superiority in the former sterling virtue. (Applause.) He referred to the faithful and fearless ministry of women in times of fatal pestilence, and, in conclusion, said that in 's JItr<:-< I'tlliiiin mill \\'luJ,r.
his belief ^hr who was first in all that was noble on earth, would also be lir>t in the kingdom of God!
LUNCH 1.(>N SKKVED.
After the reception, General Wheeler and his party were con- ducted to the luncheon, under the escort of the Board of Directors, who are Mesdames Archer Anderson, L. L. Lewis, T. William Pem- berton, Miss Claire Guillaume, Miss Jane M. Rutherfoord, J. Arthur Lefroy, Reginald Gilham, Christopher Tompkins, John Hunter, William L. Sheppard, F. D. Williams, H. W. Hazard, Edmund Strudwick, Miss Margaret H. Lee and W. D. Thomas.
Here Mrs. William Sheppard and Mrs. A. E. Warren were on hospitable duty, and were assisted by Mrs. Thomas Jeffress. Choc- olate was served by Mrs. R. B. Munford, coffee by Mrs. John W. Harrison, meats by Mrs. Lewis Aylett, oysters by Mrs. Horace Hawes, Mrs. William Parrish and Misses Berta Wellford, Margaret Branch, Mary Lewis, Louise and Adele Williams.
The following gentlemen of the Advisory Board were present: Messrs. Virginius Newton, Peter H. Mayo, Colonel Archer Ander- son and Mr. Reginald Gilham. There were many callers. A recep- tion was held at the Confederate Museum from 4 to 8 o'clock, and many citizens and veterans availed themselves of the opportunity to greet the gallant hero. General Wheeler, with Mrs. Joseph Bryan, President of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, Mrs. James H. Dooley, and the ladies representative of the several State rooms the Advisory Board and representatives of the Veteran Camps and of that of the Sons received the admiring host which continually thronged the Museum building.
From the Museum, General Wheeler returned with his party to Murphy's Hotel, and after partaking of supper, drove to the Byrd- Street Station, whence he returned to Washington. To the gentle- men who accompanied him to the depot he expressed his pleasure at the ovation accorded him here, and said he hoped soon again to visit Richmond.