whom we should expect better things, to forget the debt of gratitude they owe these men.]
* * * * * * * * * *
There are among these infants not only orphans, orphans of the poor, female orphans, and orphans whose lot has been cast in dreary and desolate times; but some of these are the female orphans of deceased and disabled Confederate soldiers, privates in the rank which you embattled for your independence.
You failed only by the fall of such men. They fell for you, and you fell.
Are any afraid or ashamed to embrace them in the fall?
Listen, whilst I repeat truths which you must not try and must not dare to forget; truths which, if you do not gratefully recognize and openly avow and maintain at all hazards, without the fear of showing sympathy, if not without some reproach; shame!
shame! shame! shall so shout and hoot at shrimped, and shriveled, sordid, selfish souls as to shake them like miser's money-bags
, until with appalling jars their coin-idols shall be jostled out and scattered to street-beggars and vagrants of the “Arts of Industrie
” War itself appalled not the hearts of the Confederate
heroes who fell; and war is now over; the cloud has burst; the lightning hath done its scathing; the thunder hath ceased to mutter; in honor's name, then, let craven cringing cease!
The noblest bands of men who ever fought or who ever fell in the annals of war, whose glorious deeds history ever took pen to record, were, I exultingly claim, the private soldiers in the armies of the great Confederate cause.
Whether right or wrong in the cause which they espoused, they were earnest and honest patriots in their convictions, who thought that they were right to defend their own, their native land, its soil, its altars, and its honor.
They felt that they were no rebels, and no traitors in obeying their State sovereignties, and they thought that it was lawful to take up arms under their mandates, authorized expressly by the Federal Constitution
, to repel invasion or to suppress insurrection, when there was such “imminent danger as not to admit of delay
The only reason for the delay which could have been demanded of them was to have appealed to the invaders themselves for defense against their own invasion; and whether there was imminent danger or not, events have proved.
They have been invaded until every blade of grass has been trodden down, until every sanctuary of temple, and fame, and altar, and home has been profaned.
The most of these men had no stately mansions for their homes; no slaves to plow and plant any broad fields of theirs; no stocks or investments in interest bearing funds.
They were poor, but proudly patriotic and