a great deal for which to forgive the North for the four years since the war
And yet, despite all of these temptations to a different course, I affirm (from a full knowledge of the facts, for important duties have required me to travel extensively in all of the Southern States
and to see and know the Confederate
soldiers), that, as a a rule, these men, instead of idly sitting down to rake in the ashes of destroyed hopes and ruined fortunes, have taken off their coats and gone to work in the corn, cotton and tobacco fields; in the offices, shops, stores, founderies and factories; on the railways, in the mines, and in every place where honest toil can earn a support.
I know scores of young men who were raised in the lap of affluence, and had hardly ever done a day's work, whom the war found idling their time in dressing-gown and velvet slippers, the pets of ‘society,’ but who made brave, patient soldiers, and who since the war have shown their manhood by honest, manly work.
A great deal has been written about ‘the New South’ and its wonderful prosperity, and surely it is a cause of devout thankfulness to know that at last large sections of our once desolated Southern land are beginning to ‘bloom and blossom as the rose.’
But it is due alike to the truth of history and to these men to say that this prosperity has been brought about, not so much by foreign immigration or foreign capital (though we cheerfully acknowledge what these have done), as by the pluck, energy, skill and patient industry—the brains and brawn—of the ‘Men in Gray
’ and the boys they have reared.
The men who have managed our railways, mines, furnaces, founderies, factories and great business enterprises—who have filled our offices, State and Federal, since they have been allowed to do so—who have been our leading lawyers, physicians, professors, engineers
, editors, preachers, mechanics, etc., etc.—have been the ‘men who wore the gray.’
There are eighty-three Confederate soldiers in the United States Senate and House of Representatives to-day, and every gubernatorial chair from Maryland
, and from Virginia
, has been, as a rule, filled by a Confederate soldier.
I have been struck with the fact that, in attending Confederate reunions in all of the States of the late Confederacy, I have found these men the leaders of the States in politics, business, social and religious movements.
It is a significant fact that not only the leading pulpits of the