From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/4/1903, p. 8, c. 3
SENATE HONORS STUART
Votes to Give Site for His Monument.
ALSO AUGMENTS MONEY RAISED
…The Senate, by a rising, unanimous vote, passed the bill to dedicate a site on the Capitol Square for a monument to J. E. B. Stuart, and to appropriate $10,000 for the building of the same.
Eloquent speeches were made in favor of the bill by Messrs. Wickham, Gold, Sears, Halsey and others, and the bill was passed amid great enthusiasm.
…THE STUART MONUMENT.
The bill dedicating a site in the Capitol grounds for an equestrian statue of General J. E. B. Stuart, and carrying with it an appropriation of $10,000 came up. Mr. Sears made a most eloquent, a touching, a fervent and earnest appeal to his fellow Senators to pass this act. There was no sound in the Senate chamber while he was speaking except his own voice. He spoke as a son of a Confederate soldier, and told of how he had at the winter firesides in old Mathews county heard told the tales of the daring deeds of this great soldier, and how he had longed to contribute something to perpetuate the memory of “Jeb” Stuart.
In his speech, Mr. Sears briefly paid a beautiful and a most gracious tribute to the private soldier of the Confederate army. Many a tear trickled down the cheek of a grizzled veteran while the Mathews Senator poured out his praise to the man who had made such a sacrifice for the cause he believed and knew to be right.
The tribute to Lee was eloquent; to Stonewall Jackson it was grand, and capping the climax, Mr. Sears begged every Senator to pass this bill to honor the greatest cavalry leader the world has ever produced, and one who has been given no monument. His picture of Stuart, of the merry twinkle in his eye, of his love of music, of his fondness of social company, of his daring, his courage, his chivalry, was so splendidly drawn some of those who had followed Stuart were almost swept from their feet.
Mr. Sears said he wanted this monument to be built and unveiled while the Confederate soldiers live, in order that their sons and daughters may point to it with pride and say that our fathers would not have erected a monument to a traitor.
When he had concluded Mr. Sears was roundly applauded.
MR. HALSEY’S ADDRESS.
Mr. Halsey, the eloquent young Senator from Lynchburg, followed Mr. Sears. He was somewhat handicapped, he said, as Mr. Sears had so eloquently expressed his own views and left so little to be said. Mr. Halsey, however, measured up splendidly to the occasion, and he paid a glorious tribute to Stuart, the flower of cavaliers. Mr. Halsey’s picture of Stuart and his praise of his dashing military genius was received with tremendous applause.
Mr. Gold, a Confederate veteran, urged the passage of the bill. “I cannot be eloquent, but can only feel eloquent under such circumstances,” said Senator Gold. The speaker related some of the incidents of Stuart’s life which came to his personal notice during the war. While the gentleman from Clarke was not so flowery in his language as Messrs. Sears and Halsey, he was truly eloquent in the earnestness with which he urged the passage of this bill.
MR. WICKHAM’S ELOQUENCE.
Mr. Wickham regretted that he had not been able to prepare himself to say just what he wished and would like to say on such an occasion as this. The Hanover Senator related the history of this movement and told of what had been said before the join Finance Committees of the Senate and House by the men who had followed Stuart. He told of how Fitz Lee and others had been overcome with their emotions and could say but a few words when the ring of Stuart’s melodious voice came back to them.
Mr. Wickham rose to heights of true eloquence in picturing Stuart and paying tribute to his character as a soldier and man. Mr. Wickham agreed with General Lee that, if Stuart was not the greatest cavalry leader the world has ever produced, there was certainly none greater than Stuart, except, possibly, Hannibal and Alexander, while in some respects he was the equal of them, if not greater than those warriors of the olden time. Mr. Wickham classed Stuart’s ride around McClelland as the most daring and dashing and successful deed of a cavalry leader recorded in history.
Mr. Wickham’s recital of incidents in the last days of Stuart and of his sad and untimely, but brave, death, was graphic and pathetic, and brought forth many a tear.
BILL IS PASSED.
Mr. Anderson said he did not wish to make a speech, but as the representative of the beautiful city in whose defense Stuart died, he would move that every Senator stand upon his feet and vote for this bill. This was done, a thing without precedent in the legislative halls of Virginia. The bill was passed unanimously.