In 1875, Rev. Moses Drury Hoge stood before 40,000 people in Richmond, Virginia, at the foot of the newly dedicated statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and delivered what one historian called the “noblest oration of his later life.”
He believed that in the future, the path to that statue would be “trodden” by the feet of travelers from “the banks of the Hudson, the Mississippi, [and] the Sacramento…from the Tiber, the Rhine, [and] the Danube.” They would be accompanied by “Honor” and “Freedom,” the twin principles by which Jackson lived and died and which these pilgrims would seek to celebrate. Jackson represented the best of American society and his memorial reminded not just America, but the world, of patriotism, heroism, and duty, the highest traits of Western Civilization and of all dead heroes.
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