Let this monument teach that heroism derives its lustre from the justice of the cause in which it is displayed, and let it mark the difference between a war waged for the robber-like purpose of conquest and one to repel invasion — to defend a people's hearths and altars, and to maintain their laws and liberties. Such was the war in which our heroes fell, and theirs is the crown which sparkles with the gems of patriotism and righteousness, with a glory undimmed by any motive of aggrandizement or intent to inflict ruin on others. We present them to posterity as examples to be followed, and wait securely for the verdict of mankind when knowledge shall have dispelled misrepresentation and delusion. Is it unreasonable to hope that mature reflection and a closer study of the political history of the Union may yet restore the rights prostrated by the passions developed in our long and bloody war? If, however, it should be otherwise, then from our heroes' graves shall come in mournful tones the
And if our children must obey,
They must, but thinking on our day,
'Twill less debase them to submit.
Yours faithfully, Jefferson Davis.