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[41] it best admired it most. But most of all, as the son and biographer of one of your leaders, whom it has pleased you to honor, I feel a fraternal sympathy with you in every pulsation of my heart. I have, therefore, much to bind me to you, and anywhere else could proudly recount the famous deeds you have done, as one who had a common interest with you. But here, among the very actors of the most terrific tragedy of modern times—here, face to face with heroes who I know wrought such miracles of valor, I confess I stand abashed. But your kindness and your magnanimity reassure me.

But, soldiers, I do not accept the honor done me to-day as personal to myself. I recognize in it a tribute to the memory of my beloved father, whom Louisiana always treated as a favored child. Louisiana was the State which gave him his military education and toward which his kindliest feelings always flowed forth. And this city of New OrleansQueen of the Southern Waters, the Venice of the West—was the city of all cities pre-eminently dear to his heart. Here he numbered many of his choicest friends. Here he was most cherished in life and most honored in death. I can never forget that New Orleans received his mortal remains into her bosom as he was borne from the battle upon his shield, and that her mourning mingled the antique grandeur and tearful tenderness of the Spartan mother. I remember how your women made constant and solemn decoration of his tomb in the years it was with you, and until it was borne away to his adopted State of Texas.

It is needless, then, to dwell upon the fraternal ties which bind me to you. Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee, we know that we are brothers.

How then, am I coldly and critically to measure your worth, to weigh your acts and to enumerate your services? I cannot do it. It is useless to try, and I will not attempt it. From Bowling Green and Columbus, where, with a skirmish line, you held at bay the hesitating hosts of the North through all the eventful contests of the mightiest struggle of modern times, your army so bore itself as to win an imperishable renown.

It has been my privilege to write a history of the opening scenes of the war in the west; and I believe I have so written it that the tongues of the combatants will attest its truth. It has been questioned whether on Sunday evening at Shiloh—twenty years ago today—you were able to grasp the results of victory. I appeal to the men who were at the front; and on this issue I challenge all comers to abide by your verdict.

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