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 The Confederate cause had a place in the hearts of the women of the South, where no doubt could find a lodgment. When the dearest ties were severed in that cause they suffered the bereavement in silent, uncomplaining grief, feeling sustained by the purest and highest motives, as they bore upon their bleeding hearts a rich sacrifice of love to the altars of their country. For the same reasons that inspired our soldiers, the wives and mothers of the country were as willing to give their loved ones to their country as they were to die in its service. When the battle was over, and the faithful and true one was lost to his loved ones at home, the life of the husband and the love of the wife, blended in a sweet incense of free-offering, ascended together to Heaven. Did not you, my comrades, act worthily, according to your most sincere and solemn sense of duty, when you entered the field to sustain convictions and defend rights which were thus felt and understood by the mothers, wives and daughters of the land? Was not their honor, their future welfare, their safety against evils which seemed to threaten the sacred things of your home circles the decisive influence which called you to arm for the defence of your country? Not a selfish thought of personal aggrandizement influenced you, not a doubt disturbed your reflections as to the merits of the controversy that commanded your devotion. No lingering apprehensions of mistaken duty hung upon your resolution to impede your progress, or to cause you to falter in your course. Under the guide of your own convictions, after having reflected maturely and voted with unconstrained freedom, you felt that the ballot-box could not protect your rights, and you grasped your musket. You stood on the defensive, feeling that you had no responsibilities then, or in the past, for the spirit of aggression which had set itself to the abolishing of slavery. This you believed would overwhelm the South with ruin, degrade it to a political vassalage, deprave it to a social position which you could not contemplate without abhorrence. When they left their homes to join the army, whether their feet pressed for the last time the marble threshold of palace or the rude door-sill of a log cabin, the soldiers of the Confederacy went forth with equal alacrity. Their purposes, hopes, and resolves were the same. Their cause was one, and without any distinctions or jealousies they united in its defence; poured out their blood in a common libation beneath its banners; fell side by side; their ashes mingle in undistinguishable brotherhood, and their fame is one common legacy to their country. No more unjust or disparaging misrepresentation was ever made than that which imputed to the non-slaveholders, or the poor man of the
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