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[426] and aid given in every house to all professing to belong to the army, or to be on the way to join it. And this spirit continued not only after all hope of success had died, but after the final confession of defeat by their military commanders.

But, even if the men of the South had not been zealous in the cause, the patriotism of their mothers and wives and sisters would have inspired them with zeal or shamed them into its manifestation. The women of the South exhibited that feeling wherever it could be exercised: in the armies, by distributing clothing made with their own hands; at the railroad-stations and their own homes, by feeding the marching soldiers; and, above all, in the hospitals, where they rivaled Sisters of Charity. I am happy in the belief that their devoted patriotism and gentle charity are to be richly rewarded.

An error in relation to the state of preparation for war, of each of the two sections of the country, in the beginning of 1861, has prevailed in the North since then. I refer to the belief that, when the Southern Confederacy was formed, the arms that had been provided by the Government of the United States for the common defense were in the possession of the seceded States.

This belief was produced by the most malignant and industriously circulated slanders by which the reputation of any public man of the United States ever suffered — the accusation against John B. Floyd, of Virginia, that while Secretary of War he had all the public arms removed from Northern to Southern arsenals; to disarm the North and arm the South for the impending war. This accusation was

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