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[226] promoted on the field to the highest grade in the Confederate army. Such was your Beauregard. [Applause.]

It would consume the whole evening were I to attempt to enumerate the list. You have seen standing before you here to introduce me one who went forth to the battle in the vigor of manhood, who lost a limb, and waited but for convalescence,1 when he again hastened to the field, and sacrificed another limb. [Applause.] What is left of him is more precious to you still, like Sibylline leaves, growing in value as they were reduced in bulk.

But when the war was over, then the fair daughters of Louisiana (it is always the women who are first in good work), originated that plan of decorating the graves of the Confederate dead, paying to them annually a tribute of flowers, which, in their beauty and recurring vitality, best express the everlasting love you bear toward the dead.

Then here, in New Orleans, was organized the Historical Society, with a view to preserving the records of the Confederate war. That Society has been removed, but still looks back to this the place of its birth. Here, where more than in any other city, you had been swept by the besom of desolation — where you had been more terribly pillaged than any other town that had been overrun — here have arisen more monuments to the Confederate heroes than in any other city of the South. Glorious New Orleans! You have the right to be proud of the past, and we have the right to be expectant of you in the future, for there is yet a higher and more immediate duty to perform. Monuments may crumble, their inscriptions may be defaced by time, but the records, the little slips of paper which contain the memorial of what is past will live forever. To collect and preserve these records is, therefore, our highest duty. They are said to be in danger. The Southern Historical Society appeals to you now. They appeal to you in the midst of your disaster, when your country has been overwhelmed by a flood, and when there is a want of means to supply the necessities of your people. Still the Historical Society comes to Louisiana as the first place, in which they ask that the Confederate records should be perfected and protected. I do not doubt that you will respond to the extent of your ability; that you will here inaugurate a movement which, growing and extending from city to city and year to year, will render certain the preservation of those archives, the value of which it is impossible to compute. It is a duty we owe to the dead — the dead who died for us, but whose memories can never die. It is a duty we owe to

1 Reference here was to General Nicholls, subsequently Governor of Louisiana.

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