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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.1 (search)
tion of this monument by the people of North Carolina in their organic capacity, for these men died at the command of their State, and it was exceedingly proper that she should thus honor them. The heroic in history but seldom occurs. It is not often that the life of nations rises above the monotonous level which characterizes the daily routine of duty. When such periods do occur they are usually as a part of some great national uprising like the leve en masse in France under the first Napoleon, or the Landsturm in Germany in 1813. Of the American States, none can show a fairer record in this respect than North Carolina. There is little in the Colonial or State history of North Carolina that is discreditable. The key-note to the whole of her Colonial history is unending opposition to unjust and illegal government, by whom or whenever exercised. Before the colony was well in its teens it had expelled one of its governors from office, and a better man, one who was more in sympat
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.3 (search)
as those who made name and tame for Texas across the Mississippi. Fathers serving in Tennessee had sons here with Green, Walker or Polignac; one brother would be marching and fighting, ragged and barefooted, in Virginia, while another followed the flag through the swamps of Louisiana. They were of the same blood and of the same families with those who composed Hood's brigade and Terry's rangers, which organizations deserve to rank in valor with the legions of Caesar and the battalions of Napoleon. The disbanding of the troops began about the middle of May, and up to the 31st there were men under arms in isolated commands or where remnants of regiments still devoted to the cause kept together and refused to accept the inevitable; but the forces continued to be depleted day by day. On May 21st part of a regiment still remained at Corpus Christi; on the 29th the force at Galveston was scarcely sufficient to man the forts, and by the 1st of June, with the exception of scattered de
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.50 (search)
an adept in all physical equipment or martial exercises. Long before the event, he wrote an editorial for me in an Augusta paper, predicting the downfall of Louis Napoleon, and reciting analytically the causes of that memorable overthrow. He showed, with mastery and seership, that this monarch was, when advancing to Italian victory, also marching to Sedan, and Parisian revolution, as Mr. Ropes demonstrates, long after the event, that the First Napoleon, when progressing towards Austerlitz, was none the less moving fatally to Waterloo and St. Helena. Colonel Schaffer did not, as some of us thought, get the reward in proportion that he deserved, but I caim, without seeking to injure his superiors or compeers, and nothing so became him as his heroic end, which was peaceful, resigned, and pathetically courageous. Napoleon said at St. Helena, that the misfortunes he finally encountered were necessary to give sublimity and roundness to his character. Relatively, we may say the same
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The laying of the corner-stone of the monument to President Jefferson Davis, (search)
ep Hannibal or Napoleon from defeat; heroism went with Joan of Arc to the stake, and Emmett to the scaffold. The eloquence of Demosthenes did not save Greece, or Cato's virtue Rome. The courage of Kosciusko availed naught for Poland, and Hungary went down for all the patriotism of Kossuth. Sometimes defeat gives a tragic pathos which lifts the commonplace into the immortal, and tenderly preserves the memory of the vanquished long after the victor has been forgotten. Since the death of Napoleon there has been no career which illustrates so dramatically the vicissitudes of fortune as that of Jefferson Davis. Born amid the rugged surroundings of a frontier State, he lived to win the triple glory of the soldier, the orator, and the statesman. He became the ruler of 7,000,000 of people. His government was overwhelmed, his fortune swept away. He was bound as a criminal and prosecuted for his life. He became an exile. He was denied the rights of citizenship. He was defamed, denou