of all the social and civil virtues and sacrifices which make life beauteous and government strong — the love of our country because it holds our home!
For us and for these our comrades — the Confederate
dead — the late war was emphatically a war for home.
Even the slaves understood it, and to their undying honor, acted on it. To us the war shambles of the world were closed.
No bounty enticed recruits.
No emigrant ships flocked to our shores, burdened with patriots.
It was La Vendee
on the theatre of a continent.
These twin sentiments, fellow citizens, love of State and love of home, were the giant arms, compensating for poverty, weakness, starvation, disaster, wounds and death, which for four immortal years bore aloft that tattered standard, which flashed athwart the pathway of the nations like a hot meteor across the tranquil courses of the stars — which floated over Stuart
's knightly plume — which fell in folds of woe on Stonewall Jackson
's bier, and whose last furling broke the heart of Lee
Great and powerful as our Republic is, it cannot afford to despise the strength born of these influences, or dispense with the aid of those who honor and yield to them.
And let us never forget that naught but manly justice — the American
love of fair play — is needed to yoke these influences, powerful and pervasive, to the burdened car of the common progress.
These Southern Commonwealths have never, indeed, been famous as money-getters, or inventors, or manufacturers; but we claim, with some pardonable pride, that they have never been laggards in patriotism.
Whether in the first rebellion, when they camped by colonies in Massachusetts
for her defence; or in 1812, when, without a sailor or a ship, they enlisted under the banner of “Free trade and sailor's rights” ; or in 1846, when they bore off their full share of the laurels of the Mexican
war — the trumpet has never summoned them in vain.
And whenever this Government again becomes to them a symbol and surety of justice, and the phrase “equal, sovereign and independent States” ceases to be a mockery; when those who rule a powerful party in this country no longer regard the South
as an Ireland to be insulted, or an India to be robbed — then again will these Commonwealths prove as of old a powerful factor in the advancement of the safety, honor and interests of the Union
, and, most of all, in the scrupulous maintenance of its muniments of liberty.
How strongly all things tend to summon us to such generous oblivion of our late antagonisms!