From the 19 January 1896 issue of The New York Times.


Confederate Veterans Celebrate Gen. R. E. Lee’s Birthday.


Annual Dinner at Which Southern Love for the Country and the Monroe Doctrine Was Displayed

Rebel yells and Yankee cheers were mingled for the old flag, one country, and the enforcement of the Monroe doctrine at the dinner of the Confederate Veteran Camp of New-York last night, in the Colonial dining room of the St. Denis Hotel, in honor of the anniversary of the birth of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The room was decorated with flags and pictures of Gen. Lee hung about the walls.

Col. A. G. Dickinson,commander of the camp, presided, and with him at the table were Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, Col. John R. Fellows, Henry C. Miner, C. C. Baldwin, Admiral Samuel Amman, the Rev. George S. Baker, Gen. Anson G. McCook, Gen. Daniel Butterfield, Gen. Fitz John Porter, John R. Abney, Amos J. Cummings, Col. C. E. Thorburn, Col. Fred D. Grant, Ashbel P. Fitch.

Among the others who were present were James Swan, Orme Wilson, J. C. Latham, Jr., Marion J. Verdery, John Ingram, G. P. Tobey, Dr. J. H. Parker, Charles G. Wilson, C. H. T. Collis, John S. WIse, Henry A. Wise, Lieut. Hugh D. Wisse, William A. Townes, Lorenzo Semple, George Gordon Battle, Clarence Cary, Seth S. Terry, Charles A. Deshon, A. C. Bage, Adjt. G. H. Wyatt, B. S. Brooks, John H. Inman, R. T. Wilson, J. M. Edwards, R. T. Wilson, Jr., Hugh L. Cole, Dr. W. A. Ewing, Dr. J. Harvie Dew, Dr. Simon Baruch, Dr. R. C. M. Page, Dr. W. A. Hawes, W. B. Williams, Jr., A. R. Blount, John C. Calhoun, Clifford H. Smith, W. B. Williams, William Blake, Col. A. C. Dunn, Dr. G. H. Winkler, Rodney S. Dennis, Hugh R. Garden, William R. Worrall, Edward Owen, and J. T. Dickson.

The first toast was: “The President and the Army and Navy of the United States—The chosen ruler by the people of a people, divided in politics, but a unit in preserving the dignity of the Commonwealth.”

This was drunk standing, the band meanwhile playing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the words of which the diner sang.

William S. Keiley responded to the next toast, “The Memory of Robert E. Lee—More enduring than lasting bronze or marble bust; no less renowned in peace than war.”

He said:

In this, the cosmopolis of the Western Hemisphere, it is not as a Southerner, as a Virginian that we speak of Lee. Time was, when such might be, but to-day, his memory is the common heritage of mankind, and one and all are glad to claim him as a brother in that broad and glorious brotherhood of admiration and affection.

To speak of him as a man, as men speak of their fellow men, is but to tell of a life full of those homely deeds of kindness which win the broad and enduring homage of mankind.

To speak of him as a soldier is but to tear the brightest page from the history of chivalry, and em[b]lazoned though it be with the most beautiful imagery of the poets fancy, there were yet much left to add to the glowing tribute.

To us be the sweet obligation of keeping alive the memories that cling around his name. And, in the presence of the son of him, who at Appomatox, refused to accept the sword of lee, and bade him tell his battle-scarred veterans to go in peace, it is fitting that we, remnants of that raid, should proclaim in no unvertain tones, that affection and veneration which we offer up in common with the boys in blue to the memory of him, than whom none braver ever buckled belt or savre—the immortal Ulysses S. Grant.

Mr. Keiley was cheered again and again, and his references to Gen. Grant and Col. Grant were loudly applauded.

Controller Fitch responded to the toast, “Our Metropolis,” and in doing so paid tribute to the dominating charactristics of the Southern people, and then facetiously told of the many times that this city has been taken by different peoples.

He began with the Dutch, and said that the English, the Continentals under Washington, the Irish, the Germans, and then the Southerners, after the war, had, respectively, taken this city, and all wanted it because it was the best place to come to and stay in.

“Now that we have the town,” he said, “let us make it the most advanced in civilization of any city in the history of the world.”

Gen. Daniel E. Sickles spoke to “1865–1895—the furling of the Stars and Bars was but the awakening of a new era of prosperity and patriotism.”

After speaking of the country’s prosperity, he referred to the Monroe doctrine, and said:

“No man here wants war, and we would do everything consistent with honor to avert it, but let every one concerned take notice that whenever the North and South shall unite to maintain the dignity of the country there will be a war the like of which the world has never seen.

Hi-yi’s and cries of “We’ll be there, Gen. Sickles,” came from all parts of the room.

“In the heart of every Union soldier,” he said, “there is nothing so pleasing to know as that the South of ’96 is so prosperous that the traces of the havoc of ’65 are disappearing, and that the South of to-day is a strong rival of the North.”

“Our Country—Independent as our forefathers made it, avoiding entangling alliances, the spirit of 1896 does not forget the doctrine of Monroe,” was responded to by Col. John R. Fellows. He made one of his characteristic speeches and aroused his hearers to cheers and yells of approval many times; but his greatest ovation was when he assured all men that if there were a war the boys in blue would find the boys in gray at the point of attack when they got there.

Hugh R. Garden and others were called upon and addressed the diners after Col. Fellows had finished the last toast.