From the 19 January 1908 issue of The New York Times.


Americans’ Fighting Spirit Strong as Ever, Says John Temple Graves.

John Temple Graves told the members of the Confederate Veterans, Camp 305, at a “campfire” held in the wine vaults of the Hotel Astor last night to commemorate the 101st birthday of Robert E. Lee, that he did not believe the warlike spirit among Americans was dying out, and the gray-bearded old soldiers applauded the sentiment.

“We have of late,” said Mr. Graves, “heard many rumors of war, and with them expressions of apprehension that the Americans of to-day, if called upon to defend their country’s integrity and rights on the battlefield, would not be equal to the task. It has been said that we of to-day are so immersed in pursuit fo the dollar that we would not respond to the call to arms with the readiness of our fathers.

“But, my friends, I believe that the same spirit that stirred the breasts of our forefathers moves us to-day, and when the country’s danger or need arrives, if it does come, we will respond just as bravely as did the men of a hundred years ago.”

Mr. Graves devoted the rest of his speech to a laudation of Gen. Lee, saying “he lived like a benediction and died like a sunset.” With Lee he mentioned as the great characters of American history Washington, Lincoln, Davis, and Grant.

Major Edward Owen, commander of the camp, presided. Comrade J. E. Graybill read the farewell address of Lee to his army, characterizing it, with Washington’s farewell address and Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg, as a masterpiece of American literature.

Mrs. Berta England sang several wartime songs.