From the 20 January 1897 issue of The New York Times.



Many Union Soldiers at the New York Camp’s Celebration in Honor of Gen. R. E. Lee—”The American Soldier” One of the Toasts.

The seventh annual dinner of the Confederate Veteran Camp of New York, in memory of Gen. Robert E. Lee, was given last night at the St. Denis Hotel. The big banquet hall was decorated with the arms of the Southern States, grouped around the crest of the State of New York, and festoons of the American flag. On the wall behind the Chairman’s seat was a life-sized portrait of Gen. Lee, surrounded by the Camp flags and guidons.

Among the quests were Controller Fitch, Hugh S. Thompson, Gen. Howard Carroll, Major J. M. Edwards, Judge Van Hoesen, Col. C. G. Dickinson, Hugh L. Cole, John Ingram, Recorder Goff, Col. A. R. Chisolm, Prof. T. R. Price, Chief Conlin, J. C. Latham, Gen. Anson G. McCook, Richard H. Savage, Dr. J. H. Parker, C. C. Baldwin, Gen. M. T. McMahon, Commissioner Collis, Rodney S. Dennis, C. G. Wilson, Hugh R. Garden, Major T. E. Sloane, Robert P. Lyon, Capt. George H. Wyatt, Charles Broadway Rouss, Edward Owen, Major H. C. Cushing, George C. Clausen, Howard Saunders, W. J. McKelvey, W. C. Reddy, J. T. Dickson, Commissioner Kelly, H. C. Miner, Victor Smith, and T. L. Moore.

The toasts were “Gen. Robert E. Lee,” responded to by J. B. Wilkinson; “The American Soldier,” by Capt. W. H. White; “The Ex-Confederate,” by marion J. Verdery; “The Press,” by Joseph Howard, Jr., and “Women,” by the Rev. Dr. David H. Greer.

Commodore A. G. Dickinson acted as toastmaster, and made a brief address of welcome.

Edward W. Hoff sang “Drink To Me Only with Thine Eyes” and “Old Folks at Home” between the toasts.

Speaking to the toast of the evening, Mr. Wilkinson said that Gen. Lee as a private citizen, President of a struggling college, achieved greater victories than he had ever won with the sword.

For “The American Soldier,” Capt. White of the Old Guard said: “Is he not the greatest, the truest, the most terrible, and yet the most generous warrior of the world? He has fought almost continuously since America became known to the world, and the result has been always victory. And to Gen. Lee I wish to offer my humble praise. No greater General ever lived, and the Union soldier who fought against him and the Army of Northern Virginia had the greatest honor of the war.

“While the great chasm has been closed by mutual sacrifices and joined forever by the love of both sections for the institutions of the country, to-day we are inspired by the desire for peace. That we are approaching a day of peace for the world is shown in the arbitration treaty now pending between this country and England. I feel that all differences between the great nations are to be bridged forever by the asphodels of forgetfulness, and that the angel of peace guards the approaches to the bridge.”

In reply to the toast, drunk standing, “The ex-Confederate,” Marion J. Verderly said:

The ex-Confederate soldier should be proud of his past, satisfied with his present, and hopeful of his future. He has proved himself a hero in war, a nobleman in peace, and an honor at all times to the land of his birth. His record during the war was that of supreme courage, and his record since then has been that of heroic patience. Standing to-day in unimpeachable loyalty to our indissolubloe Union, and vying worthily with all others in upbuilding the strength and glory of our Republic, he is also the hero of a past for which he has neither shame nor regret, but which he holds as a hallowed memory, more precious than his birthright, and as sacred as his honor.

Since the war he has acquitted himself as a citizen with all the credit which his credit as a soldier demanded. He has trampled disaster under his feet, has made the devastation of his native land give place to new-born thrift and prosperity, he has rebuilded her destroyed cities and made the wide fields that drank the blook of her sons rich again with the beauty of ripening gruit and the harvests of golden grain. He has made his way to the front in every professional calling, and is to-day a factor in all the affairs of our common country, and can well afford to muster in dress parade before all the world.