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Why this? Was that fame an empty simulacrum, worthy only to be a nine-day's wonder, or was his devotion a blunder? Or are our people changed, so as to be no longer able to appreciate that devotion? We hope not, for it were a sad thing for them, betokening moral death, decay and putrescence, that they should become incapable of a heart homage to this name. We hope not.

But it is already antiquated; for the world moves fast in these times. Many things have happened in these times, to stir, to fatigue, to wring our hearts; great wrongs to be endured passively until endurance obtused the sensibility, multiplied tragical wails of friends sinking in the abyss of poverty and obscure despair; a social revolution; a veritable cataclysmus, which has swept away our old, fair, happy world, with its pleasant homes fragrant with ancestral virtues and graces, and has left us a new world, as yet chiefly a world of quicksand and slime; with no olive tree, alas, as yet growing. Yes; we have lived long in these nine evil years; to us they are a century of experiences. We are old, very old, superannuated perhaps, those of us who remember Jackson, and the days when he fought for freedom. Will you not then bear with our garrulity a little, should we even babble of our hero? For it is a pleasant thing to recall those old days of wearing the grey, with a Jackson to lead us to assured victory, when we were men as yet; with rights and freedom of our own, slipping then indeed from our too inept hands, yet enough our own still to fight for; when we had hope, and endeavour and high emprise, inspired by our leader's example; and hardship and danger for the cause, endured cheerily, as a sport; when we had a country, loved all the more proudly that she was insulted and bleeding. The memory of those days is bright; but it is attended by a contrast most black and grim. Over against that splendid past, there glooms the shadow of the Mammon Molock, named by mockery, “reconstruction,” with its most noisome scalawag odour reeking of the pit. The joy of this reminiscence must be then a mixed joy, and the duty assigned me, while sacred and not unpleasing—never shall it be unpleasing to us to celebrate the fame of Jackson; for him the shadow touches not—yet a duty difficult and sad.

I remember well, that naught except a circumstance is deemed by you to have endowed this hand with any fitness to refresh the characters of that fame; the circumstance of a brief association with his person during the most glorious part of his career. You would fain hear from me what manner of man he appeared to one who was next to him, the ordinary mouthpiece of his will, the sharer of his bivouac

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Stonewall Jackson (4)
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