February 1, 1890
"Mr. Speaker! I have arisen here in my place to offer a few words on the bill. I have come from a sick bed...perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But, Sir, I could not rest quietly in my room without contributing a few remarks of my own. I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentleman from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier should go on record as having opposed the erection of a monument in honor of the brave dead. And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines and in the Seven Days' fighting around Richmond, the battlefield covered with the mangled forms of those who fought for their country and for their country's honor, he would not have made that speech.
"When the news came that the south had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and they made no requests for monuments.... But they died, and their virtues should be remembered. Sir, I went with them. I too, wore the gray, the same color my master wore. We stayed four long years, and if that war had gone on till now I would have been there yet. I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions. When my mother died I was a boy. Who, Sir, then acted the part of a mother to the orphaned slave boy, but my 'old missus'? Were she living now, or could speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill. And, Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it to be known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the bill to erect a monument to the Confederate dead."