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If I be asked, as is possible, why do you wish to perpetuate these bitter memories? I say, in no spirit of vengeance, with no desire for vainglory, with no wish for sectional exaltation, but that the posterity of men such as I have described, may rise equal to their parents, higher if possible, and that the South may exhibit for all time to come the noble qualities which her sons have heretofore manifested. [Applause.]

Examples to posterity of the cardinal virtues of mankind they lived for humanity, and it is only by preserving your records, by gathering those incidents which are apt to be forgotten, that you can hope to convey to future generations an exact idea of the men who served through our struggle. It is not enough to say that some General won a battle; that don't teach you his character. It is not enough to say where some army displayed great valor, stormed a work or defended one. Show the character of the men, how they behaved in the field and in the camp. For this you should collect and collate such evidence as our worthy riend, General Nicholls, has said it was the object of this Society to gather.

The highest quality of man is self-sacrifice.

The man who gives his life for another, who surrenders all his earthly prospects that his fellow men may be benefitted, has most followed that grand exemplar who was given as a model for weak humanity. That we had many men in the Confederate service who forgot self in the defence of right, it is the purpose of this Society, by collecting the evidence, to show to the world.

I constantly find myself impelled to drift into comparative narration, which I wish to avoid. Let it suffice to say that I would have our children's children to know not only that our cause was just, (that may be historically established), but to have them know that the men who sustained it were worthy of the cause for which they fought. These are the great objects for which your co-operation is invoked.

The other side has written, and is writing, their statement of the case. We wish to present ours also, that the future historian by considering both may deduce the unbiased statement, which no contemporary could make.

I will frankly acknowledge that I would distrust the man who served the Confederate cause and was capable of giving a disinterested account of it. [Applause.] If he bad any heart it must be on his own side. I would not give twopence for a man whose heart was so cold that he could be quite impartial. You remember the fable of the lion who, seeing a statue which represented a lion prostrate, and a man victorious, bending over him, said that if a lion had made the statue,

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Francis T. Nicholls (1)
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