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‘After all—one country’

Here in Charleston, under the sunlight of a cloudless April day, rest the Parrott guns that from Morris Island pulverized the walls of Sumter, that hurled shot and shell across the bay—now silent, ‘after all.’ Flecks of shade from the live-oak leaves fall upon the polished barrels that for eighteen months had roared upon the distant foe. Now the silence is broken only by the rustle of the foliage above. Below, the daisies are beginning to hide the newly springing grass. The Stars and Stripes draped above the nearest gun-carriage is once more the flag of the whole American people. Peace has indeed come, and all over the land thanksgiving is ascending like an incense from hearts that have known the anguish of endless separation and the bitterness of unavailing sorrow—thanksgiving, too, for the issue of the conflict, which determined that America should forever wear the coronal of freedom and lead in the vanguard of human liberty.

Charleston: the Parrott guns that from Morris Island pulverized the walls of Sumter.


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