those, our Confederates in the ranks fought on, suffered on, endured on, with no expectation of promotion or preferment; with no hope of ultimate success, each knowing surely that the end must be, at best, life and unrecognized prowess; at worst, death and an unknown grave. We talk of the sufferings at Valley Forge, and the American people should hold them in everlasting remembrance. But what were the sufferings of Washington's men in comparison with the sufferings of Lee's men? Yes, I feel that it is presumptuous in me to try to eulogize with words these martyrs without hope of reward or success—the Confederate soldiers in the ranks; but I yield to no man in my love, respect, and reverence for them. And what shall be said of those unselfish patriots who were true to their colors to the last, when the ravages of armies had desolated their country, and the torches of bummers had left blackened chimneys as monuments over the buried treasures of a husband's and father's love? How can we sufficiently honor these men, who, knowing that their families, without food and without shelter, were starving to death or were living on the offal of the enemy's camps, who, knowing even this, yet still answered to roll call, yet still filled their places in the ranks, yet still faced death again and again, putting duty to country above duty to wife and children? Aye, how many of these poured out their heart's blood in that last despairing struggle, leaving those they loved more than life to the cold charities of a forgetful world? Hard must be the heart of that foeman which does not warm with a generous glow at this simple tale of sublime devotion to principle. And how should this story affect us, their comrades in danger and their partners in the same buoyant hopes and the same deep despair? May my arm be palsied by my side when it ceases to hold up the banner inscribed all over with their glorious deeds. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth when it ceases to pronounce the praises of such matchless courage, unrivalled fortitude, and unselfish patriotism. God bless the privates in the ranks now and forevermore! Having an unwavering faith in the wisdom, justice, and mercy of God, I bow with adoring reverence to his decree which destroyed our hopes of Southern independence. I would not reverse His decree if I could do so. That would be wicked and presumptuous. All honorable Confederates render the truest allegiance to the obligations imposed upon them by the surrender. I believe that the most uncompromising rebels, yea, the bitterest rebels, if you choose to call them so, would be the very first to rally round the old flag in any just and honorable
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
General Ewell at First Manassas .
Colonel Campbell Brown 's reply to General Beauregard .
The Merrimac and the Monitor ���Report of the Committee on Naval Affairs.
Report: [to accompany bill H. R. 244 .]
Official reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of Colonel Bryan Grimes , of Fourth North Carolina .
Operations of detachment from Cashtown to Williams -Port���report of Major Charles Richardson .
From the Rapidan to Spotsylvania Courthouse .
Report of General R. S. Ewell .
Report of General A. L. Long , from 4th to 31st of May , 1864 .
Evacuation of Richmond .
Reunion of the Virginia division Army of Northern Virginia Association.
Orations at the unveiling of the statue of Stonewall Jackson , Richmond, Va. , October 26th , 1875 .
Governor Kemper 's address.
The battle of Honey Hill .
Battle of Chickamauga .
Report of Brigadier-General B. R. Johnson .
Letter from General Hagood on recapture of a flag.
The cavalry affair at Waynesboro .
General Sherman 's method of making war.
Letter from Colonel Stone .
Gleanings from General Sherman 's despatches.
The Wee Nee Volunteers of Williamsburg District, South Carolina , in the First ( Gregg 's) Regiment���Siege and capture of Fort Sumter .
The Kilpatrick - Dahlgren raid against Richmond .
Statement of Lieutenant Bartley , of the United States signal corps .
The Confederate account.
Authenticity of the Dahlgren papers.
The opening of the lower Mississippi in April , 1862 -a reply to Admiral Porter .
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