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[322] may perpetuate itself? Will she withhold, save in strained courtesy, the hand which straight from his soldier's heart Grant offered to Lee at Appomattox? Will she make the vision of a restored and happy people, which gathered above the couch of your dying captain, filling his heart with grace, touching his lips with praise, and glorifying his path to the grave,—will she make this vision on which the last sight of his expiring soul breathed a benediction, a cheat and delusion? If she does, the South, never abject in asking for comradeship, must accept with dignity its refusal; but if she does not,—if she accepts in frankness and sincerity this message of goodwill and friendship, then will the prophecy of Webster, delivered in this very society forty years ago amid tremendous applause, be verified in its fullest and final sense, when he said: ‘Standing hand to hand and clasping hands, we should remain united as we have been for sixty years, citizens of the same country, members of the same government, united all, united now, and united forever.’ There have been difficulties, contentions, and controversies, but I tell you that in my judgment
Those opposed eyes,
Which like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in th' intestine shock,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way.

Joined the blues

The poem was greatly liked by General ‘Joe’ Wheeler, and won for the author his close friendship.

Says Stonewall Jackson to ‘Little Phil’: “Phil, have you heard the news?
Why, our ‘Joe’ Wheeler— ‘ Fighting Joe’ —has gone and joined the blues.

“Ay, no mistake—I saw him come — I heard the oath he took—
And you'll find it duly entered up in yon great Record Book.

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