In 1896 at the Reunion of United Confederate Veterans in New Orleans, Gen. Steven Dill Lee, the Commander of organization delivered his famous ‘charge’ speech where he laid out the goals of the UDC and the SCV, and also the goals for the surviving veterans. The first item on his list was the erection of public monuments to the Confederate Dead:
“In all human lot there has nothing better.. been found for man than to die for his country. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, this fate is to be preferred above all others. We feel it is well with those who have thus fulfilled the highest of all trusts.. the duty of a citizen to his native land, and whatever may have been their private faults, their public service on the field of battle has rightly given them a place with the immortals. Theirs was the martyr’s devotion… without the martyr’s hope.
Their generation and their country imposed upon them this high service. They fulfilled it without flinching. They felt that the issue of battle was with God; the issue of their duty was with…themselves..”
Gen. Lee urged monuments to the Confederate soldier first for the sake of the dead, but more importantly for living…..that in our busy lives the stones may stand like great question marks to the soul of each observer.
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