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[284]

When General Lee announced to the Army of Northern Virginia the death of General Jackson, he hit upon the two great qualities of the soldier which distinguished, with most peculiar emphasis, the dead captain—courage and confidence in God. ‘We feel,’ said General Lee, ‘that his spirit still lives, and will inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and unshaken confidence in God, as our hope and strength.’

‘A great captain,’ said Napoleon, ‘supplies all deficiencies by his courage.’ It was this courageous self-confidence, inspired by a higher confidence in God, which distinguished General Jackson.

But he was not more self-confident than modest. It is related that when General Lee's note of condolence, telling him that for the good of the country he had preferred being wounded himself was read to him, he exclaimed, ‘Better ten Jacksons than one Lee!’

Thus did these two great compeers vie in modesty, and unselfish admiration, each of the other. Two twin giants, to whom Virginia, a second Ilia, pregnant by Mars, had given birth; and who, though they failed to found an Empire, as did Romulus and Remus, will yet shine like Castor and Pollux as bright constellations in the firmament of history; but with this difference, that while the Sons of Ledd illumine the sky but one at a time, our Twins, sons of Virginia, transfixed, shining together, shall cosparkle in one equal splendor throughout all coming ages. These dead—these darling dead—they have not died in vain!

Not in vain, my countrymen, their courage and achievement; not in vain their highest virtue of fatigue-enduring fortitude; not in vain their unbought and unpaid services in the field; not in vain did the fathers die unbountied, as their children live unpensioned; not in vain did they walk through the tragedy of war, or do they now lie down in the dull pantomine of death; their deeds were not in vain, because we who survive shall teach them to our children, and thus preserve a heroic race of men capable of such self sacrifices as these men made, and equal to such heroism as may serve, when lapsed from virtue, ‘to recall us to ourselves, and join us to the eternal gods!’

The speeches were enthusiastically received, and the occasion one of great interest and pleasure.

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