The close of the war, to be sure, was attended with a temporary widening of the breach between North and South. The destruction of a whole social order and the disfranchisement of the greater part of its best citizenship produced a depth of alienation which four years of armed conflict had only begun. In the North, a few politicians found it advantageous to foment as much hostility to the recently embattled section as possible. But even during this period the spirit of reconciliation was abroad. Those noble phrases, ‘with malice toward none, with charity for all,’ that closed Lincoln's Second inaugural expressed a very general attitude among the mass of the people. Several Decoration Day odes during the height of Reconstruction breathed the same spirit. Peterson's line, ‘Foes for a day and brothers for all time’ epitomized the calmer feeling of the victorious section, and Judge Finch's The blue and the gray so perfectly echoed the generosity of both North and South that it became a national classic. Appomattox was hardly a half-dozen years in the past when a bill of general amnesty was passed by Congress. Carl Schurz made a notable speech on the subject, and though his proposals were more liberal than the majority was willing to adopt, the debate showed that the political atmosphere was beginning to clear for a broader and more generous view of Reconstruction. That the leading spirits of the South were not behindhand in these sentiments was made abundantly evident by one of the most notable orations ever delivered in the House of Representatives. Charles Sumner, it will be remembered, had been foremost among the leaders in the negro legislation of Congress. Yet it was on the death of Charles Sumner that L. Q. C. Lamar, congressman from Mississippi, melted the members
Brigades from towns—each village sent its band,
German and Irish—every race and faith;
There was no question then of native land,
But—love the Flag and follow it to death.
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