Their warrior banner take its flightThe world remembers, and you and I who saw its meteor rise, its. magnificent development, and its tearful fall, can never forget that there was once a great Confederate South that played no mean nor insignificant part in the wonderful drama of the ages. We acknowledged its laws, we honored its civil rulers, we loved its military heroes, and we followed its blood-baptized flag — emblem to us of a cause that was right and just; and I see nothing inconsistent with our obligations to the present in assembling here to-night to strengthen the friendships, to revive the memories, and renew the associations of the past. It is, indeed, meet and right that we should sometimes turn aside from the bustle and turmoil of business, and the selfish struggle for wealth and power and place, which tend to dwarf our affections and repress the better feelings of our nature, and from the contemplation and the study of the noble examples and the worthy deeds of those who have made the past illustrious, draw lessons which may enable us to meet with braver spirits and more trustful hearts the responsibilities of the present and the trials of the future. And where, search all the pages of history, call over the names which have shed such imperishable lustre on the magnificent empires and the great republics of ancient times; go to Santa Croce and Westminster Abbey, where rest the mightiest kings of thought and action, poets, painters and philosophers, statesmen, orators and heroes, and tell me where you can find exemplars more worthy of imitation than Stonewall Jackson and Robert Lee? But it is not of the great leaders of that splendid infantry of whom General Lee once said that, “the stragglers of the Army of Northern Virginia are better than the best troops of the enemy,” that I desire alone, or chiefly to speak. They have written their names with their swords high on the Roll of Fame, and though no lofty monuments be reared to bear their virtues to the ages yet to come, they will be remembered as long as the recital of great deeds grandly done, awakens a responsive throb in the hearts of men. I prefer to remind you of the private soldiers and the subordinate officers; the men who, without the
To greet the warrior's soul.
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