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Orations at the unveiling of the statue of Stonewall Jackson, Richmond, Va., October 26th, 1875.

[We have had frequent calls for the address of Governor James L. Kemper and the oration of Rev. Dr. M. D. Hoge, on the occasion of the unveiling of the statue of Stonewall Jackson, presented by English admirers, and we have only delayed their publication because of the constant pressure upon our pages. But we are sure that our members will thank us for now giving them, in permanent form, these splendid tributes to our great chieftain.]

Governor Kemper's address.

My Countrymen,—The oldest of the States has called together this great concourse of her sons and her daughters, with honored representatives of both the late contending sections of our common country. On this day, abounding with stern memories of the past and great auguries of the future, I come to greet you; and, in the name and by authority of Virginia, I bid you all and each welcome, a heart-warm welcome, to her Capitol. [312]

With a mother's tears and love, with ceremonies to be chronicled in her archives and transmitted to the latest posterity, the Commonwealth this day emblazons the virtues, and consecrates in enduring bronze the image of her mighty dead. Not for herself alone, but for the sister States whose sons he led in war, Virginia accepts, and she will proudly preserve, the sacred trust now consigned to her perpet ual custody. Not for the Southern people only, but for every citizen of whatever section of the American Republic, this tribute to illustrious virtue and genius is transmitted to the coming ages, to be cherished, as it will be, with national pride as one of the noblest memorials of a common heritage of glory. Nay, in every country and for all mankind Stonewall Jackson's career of unconscious heroism will go down as an inspiration, teaching the power of courage, and conscience, and faith, directed to the glory of God.

As this tribute has sprung from the admiration and sympathy of kindred hearts in another continent; as the eyes of Christendom have been turned to behold the achievements of the man, so will the heroic life here enshrined radiate back, to the remotest bounds of the world, the lessons its example has taught

It speaks to our fellow-citizens of the North, and, reviving no animosities of the bloody past, it commands their respect for the valor, the manhood, the integrity, and honor of the people of whom this Christian warrior was a representative type and champion.

It speaks to our stricken brethren of the South, bringing back his sublime simplicity and faith, his knightly and incorruptible fidelity to each engagement of duty; and it stands an enduring admonition and guarantee, that sooner shall the sun reverse its course in the heavens than his comrades and his compatriot people shall prove recreant to the parole and contract of honor which binds them, in the fealty of freedom, to the Constitution and Union of the States. It speaks with equal voice to every portion of the reunited common country, warning all that impartial justice and impartial right, to the North and to the South, are the only pillars on which the arch of the Federal Union can securely rest.

It represents that unbought spirit of honor which prefers death to degradation, and more feels a stain than a wound, which is the stern nurse of freemen, the avenging genius of liberty, and which teaches and proclaims that the free consent of the governed is at once the strength and the glory of the government.

It stands forth a mute protest before the world against that rule of tyrants which, wanting faith in the instincts of honor, would distrust [313] and degrade a brave and proud but unfortunate people, which would bid them repent, in order to be forgiven, of such deeds and achievements as heroes rejoice to perform, and such as the admiration of mankind in every age has covered with glory.

Let the spirit and design with which we erect this memorial to-day, admonish our whole country that the actual reconciliation of the States must come, and, so far as honorably in us lies, shall come; but that its work will never be complete until the equal honor and equal liberties of each section shall be acknowledged, vindicated, and maintained by both. We have buried the strifes and passions of the past; we now perpetuate impartial honor to whom honor is due, and, stooping to resent no criticism, we stand with composure and trust, ready to greet every token of just and constitutional pacification.

Then let this statue endure, attesting to the world for us and our children, honor, homage, reverence for the heroism of our past, and at the same time the knightliest fidelity to our obligations of the present and the future.

Let it endure as a symbol of the respect which both the sections will accord to the illustrious dead of each, signifying, not that either will ever be prepared to apologize to the other, but that, while calmly differing as to the past, neither will defile its record, each will assert its manhood, its rectitude and honor, and both will equally and jointly strive to consolidate the liberty and the peace, the strength and the glory, of a common and indissoluble country.

Let it endure as a perpetual expression of that world-wide sympathy with true greatness which prompted so noble a gift from Great Britain to Virginia, and let its preservation attest the gratitude of the Commonwealth to those great-hearted gentlemen of England who originated and procured it as a tribute to the memory of her son.

Let this statue stand, with its mute eloquence to inspire our children with patriotic fervor, and to maintain the prolific power of the Commonwealth in bringing forth men as of old. Let Virginia, beholding her past in the light of this event, take heart and rejoice in her future. Mother of States and sages and heroes! bowed in sorrow, with bosom bruised and wounded, with garments rent and rolled in blood, arise and dash away all tears! No stain dims your glittering escutcheon! Let your brow be lifted up with the glad consciousness of unbroken pride and unsullied honor! Demand and resume complete possession of your ancient place in the sisterhood of States, [314] and go forward to the great destiny which, in virtue of the older and the later days, belongs to the co-sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia.

It is in no spirit of mourning, it is with the stern joy and pride befitting this day of heroic memories, that I inaugurate these ceremonies in the name of the people.

The eulogist of the dead, the orator of the day, now claims your attention. He needs no encomium from me. I present him, the companion and friend of Jackson, the reverend man of God—Moses D. Hoge.

Oration by Rev. Moses D. Hoge, D. D.

Were I permitted at this moment to consult my own wishes, I would bid the thunder of the cannon and the acclamations of the people announce the unveiling of the statue; and then, when with hearts beating with commingled emotions of love and grief and admiration, we had contemplated this last and noblest creation of the great sculptor, the ceremonies of this august hour should end.

In attempting to commence my oration, I am forcibly reminded of the faltering words with which Bossuet began his splendid eulogy on the Prince of Conde. Said he: ‘At the moment I open my lips to celebrate the immortal glory of the Prince of Conde I find myself equally overwhelmed by the greatness of the theme and the needlessness of the task. What part of the habitable world has not heard of his victories and the wonders of his life? Everywhere they are rehearsed. His own countrymen in extolling them can give no information even to the stranger. And although I may remind you of them, yet everything I could say would be anticipated by your thoughts, and I should suffer the reproach of falling far below them.’

How true is all this to-day! Not only is every important event in the life of our illustrious chieftain familiar to you all, but what lesson to be derived from his example has not already been impressively enforced by those whose genius, patriotism and piety have qualified them to speak in terms worthy of their noble theme? And now that the statesman and soldier, who well represents the honor of Virginia as its chief magistrate, has given his warm and earnest welcome to our distinguished guests from other States and from other lands who honor this occasion by their presence, I would not venture to proceed, had not the Commonwealth laid on me its command to utter [315] some words of greeting to my fellow-countrymen, who this day do honor to themselves in rendering homage to the memory of Virginia's illustrious son.

I cannot repress an emotion of awe as I vainly attempt to overlook the mighty throng, extending as it does beyond the limits of these Capitol grounds, and covering spaces which cannot even be reached by the eye of the speaker. More impressive is this assemblage of citizens and representatives from all parts of our own and of foreign lands, than ever gathered on the banks of the ancient Alpheus at one of the solemnities which united the men of all the Grecian states and attracted strangers from the most distant countries. There was indeed one pleasing feature in the old Hellenic festivals. The entire territory around Olmypia was consecrated to peace during their celebration, and there even enemies might meet as friends and brothers and in harmony rejoice in their ancestral glories and national renown. It is so with us to-day. But how deficient in moral interest was the old Olympiad, and how wanting in one feature which gives grace to our solemnity. No citizen, no stranger, however honored, was permitted to bring with him either mother, wife, or daughter; but here to-day how many of the noble women of the land, of whom the fabled Alcestis, Antigone, and Iphigenia were but the imperfect types, lend the charm of their presence to the scene—Christian women of a nobler civilization than Pagan antiquity even knew.

We have come from the seashore, the mountains and the valleys of our South-land, not only to inaugurate a statue, but a new era in our history. Here on this Capitoline Hill, on this 26th day of October, 1875, and in the one hundredth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in sight of that historic river that more than two centuries and a half ago bore on its bosom the bark freighted with the civilization of the North American Continent, on whose banks Powhatan wielded his sceptre and Pocahontas launched her skiff, under the shadow of that Capitol whose foundations were laid before the present Federal Constitution was framed, and from which the edicts of Virginia went forth over her realm that stretched from the Atlantic to the Mississippi—edicts framed by some of the patriots whose manly forms on yonder monument still gather around him whose name is the purest in human history—we have met to inaugurate a new Pantheon to the glory of our common mother.

In the story of the empires of the earth some crisis often occurs which develops the genius of the era, and impresses the imperishable stamp on the character of a whole people. [316]

Such a crisis was the Revolution of 1776, when thirteen thinly-settled and widely-separated colonies dared to offer the gage of battle to the greatest military and naval power on the globe.

The story of that struggle is the most familiar in American annals. After innumerable reverses, and incredible sufferings and sacrifices, our fathers came forth from the ordeal victorious. And though during the progress of the strife, before calm reflection had quieted the violence of inflamed passion, they were branded by opprobrious names and their revolt denounced as rebellion and treason, the justice of their cause, and the wisdom, the valor and the determination with which they vindicated it, were quickly recognized and generously acknowledged by the bravest and purest of British soldiers and statesmen; so that now, when we seek the noblest eulogies of the founders of American republicanism, we find them in the writings of the essayists and historians of the mother-country. We honor ourselves and do homage to virtue, when we hallow the names of those who in the council and in the field achieved such victories. We bequeath an influence which will bless coming generations, when with the brush and the chisel we perpetuate the images of our fathers and the founders of the State. Already has the noble office been begun. Here on this hill the forms of Washington, and Henry, and Lewis, and Mason, and Nelson, and Jefferson, and Marshall, arrest our eyes and make their silent but salutary and stirring appeals to our hearts. Nor are these all who merit eternal commemoration. As I look on that monument, I miss James Madison and others of venerable and illustrious name. Let us not cease our patriotic work until we have reared a Pantheon worthy of the undying glory of the past.

But this day we inaugurate a new era. We lay the corner-stone of a new Pantheon in commemoration of our country's fame. We come to honor the memory of one who was the impersonation of our Confederate cause, and whose genius illumined the great contest which has recently ended, and which made an epoch not only in our own history, but in that of the age.

We assert no monopoly in the glory of that leader. It was his happy lot to command, even while he lived, the respect and admiration of right-minded and right-hearted men in every part of this land, and in all lands. It is now his rare distinction to receive the homage of those who most differed with him on the questions which lately rent this republic in twain from ocean to ocean. From the North and from the South, from the East and from the West, men have gathered on these grounds to-day, widely divergent in their [317] views on social, political and religious topics; and yet they find in the attraction which concentrates their regard upon one name, a place where their hearts unexpectedly touch each other and beat in strange unison.

It was this attractive moral excellence which, winning the love and admiration of the brave and pure on the other side of the sea, prompted them to enlist the genius of one of the greatest of modern sculptors in fashioning the statue we have met to inaugurate this day.

It is a singular and striking illustration of the world-wide appreciation of his character that the first statue of Jackson comes from abroad, and that while the monument to our own Washington, and the effigies of those who surround him, were erected by order of the Commonwealth, this memorial is the tribute of the admiration and love of those who never saw his face, and who were bound to him by no ties save those which a common sympathy for exalted worth establishes between the souls of magnanimous and heroic men. We accept this noble gift all the more gratefully because it comes from men of kindred race and kindred heart, as the expression of their good — will and sympathy for pur people as well as of their admiration for the genius and character of our illustrious hero.

We accept it as the visible symbol of the ancient friendship which existed in colonial times between Virginia and the mother country. We accept it as a prophecy of the incoming of British settlers to our sparsely populated territory, and hail it as a pleasing omen for the future that the rebuilding of our shattered fortunes should be aided by the descendants of the men who laid the foundations of this Commonwealth. We accept it as a pledge of the peaceful relations which we trust will ever exist between Great Britain and the confederated empire formed by the United States of America.

In the first memorial discourse that was delivered after his lamented death, the question was asked, ‘How did it happen that a man who so recently was known to but a small circle, and to them only as a laborious, punctilious, humble-minded Professor in a Military Institute, in so brief a space of time gathered around his name so much of the glory which encircles the name of Napoleon, and so much of the love that enshrines the memory of Washington?’ And soon after, in the memoir which will go down to coming generations as the most faithful portraiture of its subject and an enduring monument of the genius of its author, the inquiry was resumed, ‘How is it that this man, of all others least accustomed to exercise his own fancy or address that of others, has stimulated the imagination not only of his [318] own countrymen, but that of the civilized world? How has he, the most unromantic of great men, become the hero of a living romance, the ideal of an inflamed fancy, even before his life has been invested with the mystery of distance?’ From that day to this these inquiries have been propounded in every variety of form, and with an ever-increasing interest.

To answer these questions will be one object of this discourse; and yet the public will not expect me, in so doing, to furnish a new delineation of the life of Jackson, or a rehearsal of the story of his campaigns. Time does not permit this, neither does the occasion demand it. By a brief series of ascending propositions do I seek to furnish the solution. I find an explanation of the regard in which the memory of Jackson is cherished—

1st. In the fact that he was the incarnation of those heroic qualities which fit their possessor to lead and command men, and which, therefore, always attract the admiration, kindle the imagination and arouse the enthusiasm of the people.

There is a natural element in humanity which constrains it to honor that which is strong, and adventurous, and indomitable. Decision, fortitude, inflexibility, intrepidity, determination, when consecrated to noble ends, and especially when associated with a gentleness which throws a softened charm over these sterner attributes, ever win and lead captive the popular heart.

The masses who compose the commonalty, consciously weak and irresolute, instinctively gather around the men of loftier stature in whom they find the great forces wanting in themselves, and spontaneously follow the call of those whom they think competent to redress their wrongs and vindicate their rights.

These are the leaders who are welcomed by the people with open arms, and elevated to the high places of the earth, to become the regents of society—to develop the history of the age in which they live, and to impress upon it the noble image of their own personality.

As discoverers love to trace great rivers to their sources, so in our studies of the characters of those who have filled large spaces in the public eye, it interests us to go backward in search of the rudimentary germs which afterwards developed into the great qualities which commanded the admiration of the world.

Never was the adage, ‘the child is the father of the man,’ more strikingly illustrated than in the early history of the orphan boy whose name subsequently became a tower of strength to the armies [319] he commanded, and to the eleven sovereign States banded and battling together for a separate national life.

There is no more graphic picture in the pages of Macauly than that of Warren Hastings, at the age of seven lying on the bank of a rivulet which flowed through the broad lands which were once the property of his ancestors, and there forming the resolve that all that domain should one day be his, and never abandoning his purpose through all the vicissitudes of his stormy life, until, as the ‘Hastings of Daylesford,’ he tasted a joy which his heart never knew in the command of the millions over whom he ruled in the Indian empire.

But stranger still was it to see a pensive, delicate orphan-child of the same age, the inheritor of a feeble constitution, yet with a will even more indomitable than that of Warren Hastings, renouncing his home with a relative, who, mistaking his disposition, had attempted to govern him by force, and alone and on foot performing a journey of eighteen miles to the house of another kinsman, where he suddenly presented himself, announcing his unalterable resolve never to return to his former home—a decision which no remonstrances or persuasions could induce him to revoke; and stranger still to see him, the year after, on a lonely island of the Mississippi river, in company with another child a few years his senior, maintaining himself by his own labor, until driven by malaria from the desolate spot where beneath the dreary forests and beside the angry floods of the father of waters he had displayed the self-reliance and hardihood of a man, at a period of life when children are ordinarily scarcely out of the nursery. This inflexibility of purpose and defiance of hardship and danger in the determination to succeed, was displayed in all his subsequent career—whether we see him at West Point, overcoming the disadvantages of a deficient preliminary education by a severity of application almost unparalleled, in accordance with the motto he inscribed in bold characters on a page in his commonplace book, ‘You may be whatever you resolve to be’—or whether we follow him through the Mexican campaign, winning his first laurels at Churubusco, and at Chapultepec, where he received his second promotion—or whether we accompany him to his quiet retreat in Lexington, where, after the termination of the Mexican war, he filled the post of Professor in the Military Institute, and there affording a new exhibition of his determination in overcoming obstacles more formidable than those encountered in the field, in the persistent discharge of every duty in spite of feeble health and threatened loss of sight. [320]

I know of no picture in his life more impressive than that which presents him as he sat in his study during the still hours of the night, unable to use book or lamp—with only a mental view of diagrams and models, and the artificial signs required in abstruse calculations, holding long and intricate processes of mathematical reasoning with the steady grasp of thought, his face turned to the blank, dark wall, until he mastered every difficulty and made complete preparations for the instructions of the succeeding day.

These years of self-discipline and self-enforced severity of regimen, maintained with rigid austerity, through years of seclusion from public life, constituted the propitious season for the full maturing of those faculties whose energy was so soon to be displayed on a field which attracted the attention of the world.

When his native State, which had long stood in the attitude of magnanimous mediation between the hostile sections, in the hope of preserving the Union which she had assisted in forming, and to whose glory she had made such contributions, was menaced by the rod of coercion, and compelled to decide between submission or separation, then Jackson, who would have cheerfully laid down his life to avert the disruption, in accordance with the principles of the political school in which he had been trained, and which commanded his conscientious assent, hesitated no longer, but went straight to his decision as the beam of light goes from its God to the object it illumines. Simultaneously with the striking of the clock which announced the hour of his departure with his cadets for the Camp of Instruction in this city, the command to march was given. Never was there a home dearer than his own; but he left it, never again to cross its threshold. From that time as we are told, he never asked nor received a furlough—was never absent from duty for a day, whether sick or well, and never slept one night outside the lines of his own command. And passing over a thousand occasions which the war afforded for the exercise of his unconquerable will, there is something impressive in the fact that in the very last order which ever fell from his lips, was a revelation of its unabated force. After he had received his fatal wound, while pale with anguish, and faint with loss of blood, he was informed by one of his generals that the men under his command had been thrown into such confusion that he feared he could not hold his ground, the voice which was growing tremulous and low, thrilled the heart of that officer with the old authoritative tone, as he uttered his final order, ‘General, you must keep your men together and hold your ground.’ [321]

These were the elements which shaped Jackson's distinctive characteristics as a soldier and commander which may be most concisely stated: a natural genius for the art of war, without which no professional training will ever develop the highest order of military talent; a power of abstraction and self-concentration which enabled him to determine every proper combination and disposition of his forces, without the slightest mental confusion—even in those supreme moments when his face and form underwent a sort of transfiguration amid the flame and thunder of battle; a conviction of the moral superiority of aggressive over defensive warfare in elevating the courage of his own men and in depressing that of the enemy; an almost intuitive insight into the plans of the enemy, and an immediate perception of the time to strike the most stunning blow, from the most unlooked — for quarter; a conviction of the necessity of following every such blow with another, and more terrible, so as to make every success a victory, and every victory so complete as to compel the speedy termination of the war.

In the county where all that is mortal of this great hero sleeps, there is a natural bridge of rock whose massive arch, fashioned with grace by the hand of God, springs lightly toward the sky, spanning a chasm into whose awful depth the beholder looks down bewildered and awe-struck. That bridge is among the cliffs what Niagara is among the waters—a visible expression of sublimity, a glimpse of God's great strength and power.

But its grandeur is not diminished because tender vines clamber over its gigantic piers, or because sweet scented flowers nestle in its crevices and warmly color its cold gray columns. Nor is the granite strength of our dead chieftain's character weakened because in every throb of his heart there was a pulsation so ineffably and exquisitely tender, as to liken him, even amidst the horrors of war, to the altar of pity which ancient mythology reared among the shrines of strong and avenging deities.

This admirable commingling of strength and tenderness in his nature is touchingly illustrated by a letter, now for the first time made public.

An officer under his command had obtained leave of absence to visit a stricken household. A beloved member of his family had just died, another was seriously ill, and he applied for an extension of his furlough. This is the reply:

My Dear Major,—I have received your sad letter, and wish I [322] could relieve your sorrowing heart, but human aid cannot heal the wound.

From me you have a friend's sympathy, and I wish the suffering condition of our country permitted me to show it. But we must think of the living and of those who are to come after us, and see that, with God's blessing, we transmit to them the freedom we have enjoyed. What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death. It is necessary that you should be at your post immediately. Join me to-morrow morning.

Your sympathizing friend,

Not only was he sensitive to every touch of human sorrow, but no man was ever more susceptible to impressions from the physical world. The hum of bees, the fragrance of clover fields, the tender streaks of dawn, the dewy brightness of the early spring, the mellow glories of matured autumn, all by turns charmed and tranquillized him. The eye that so often sent its lightning through the smoke of battle, grew soft in contemplating the beauty of a flower. The ear that thrilled with the thunder of the cannonade, drank in with innocent delight the song of birds and the prattle of children's voices. The hand which guided the rush of battle on the plains of Manassas and the Malvern hills, was equally ready to adjust the covering around the tender frame of a motherless babe, when at midnight he rose to see if it was comfortable and warm, though its own father was a guest under his roof. The voice whose sharp and ringing tones had so often uttered the command, ‘Give them the bayonet!’ culled even from foreign tongues terms of endearment for those he loved, which his own language did not adequately supply; and the man who filled two hemispheres with the story of his fame, was never so happy as when he was telling the colored children of his Sabbath-school the story of the Cross.

2. Another explanation of the universal regard with which his memory is hallowed, conducts to a higher plane, and enables us to contemplate a still nobler phase of his character. His was the greatness which comes without being sought for its own sake—the unconscious greatness which results from self-sacrifice and supreme devotion to duty. Duty is an altar from which a vestal flame is ever ascending to the skies, and he who stands nearest that flame catches [323] most of its radiance, and in that light is himself made luminous forever.

The day after the first battle of Manassas, and before the history of that victory had reached Lexington in authentic form, rumor, preceding any accurate account of that event, had gathered a crowd around the postoffice awaiting with intensest interest the opening of the mail. In its distribution, the first letter was handed to the Rev. Dr. White. It was from General Jackson. Recognizing at a glance the well-known superscription, the Doctor exclaimed to those around him, ‘Now we shall know all the facts!’

This was the bulletin:

My Dear Pastor,—In my tent last night, after a fatiguing day's service, I remembered that I had failed to send you my contribution for our colored Sunday-school. Enclosed you will find my check for that object, which please acknowledge at your earliest convenience and oblige

Yours, faithfully,

Not a word about a conflict which electrified a nation! Not an allusion to the splendid part he had taken in it; not a reference to himself, beyond the fact that it had been a fatiguing day's service. And yet that was the day ever memorable in his history—memorable in all history—when he received the name which is destined to supplant the name his parents gave him—Stonewall Jackson. When his brigade of twenty-six hundred men had for hours withstood the iron tempest which broke upon it without causing a waver in its line, and when, on his right, the forces under the command of the gallant General Bee had been overwhelmed in the rush of resistless numbers, then was it that the event occurred which cannot be more graphically described than in the burning words of his biographer:

‘It was then that Bee rode up to Jackson, and with despairing bitterness exclaimed, “General, they are beating us back.” “Then,” said Jackson, calm and curt, “we will give them the bayonet.” Bee seemed to catch the inspiration of his determined will, and, galloping back to the broken fragments of his overtaxed command, exclaimed, “There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!” At this trumpet-call a few score of his men reformed their ranks. Placing himself at the head, he charged the dense mass of the enemy, and in a moment fell dead with his face to the foe. [324] From that time, Jackson's was known as the Stonewall Brigade—a name henceforth immortal, and belonging to all the ages; for the christening was baptized in the blood of its author; and that wall of brave hearts was on every battlefield, a steadfast bulwark of their country.’

The letter written to his pastor in Lexington on the day following that battle gives the key-note to his character. Nor on any occasion was he the herald of his own fame; never save by the conscientious discharge of duty, did he aid in the dissemination of that fame. Never did he perform an act for the sake of what men might say of it; and while he felt all the respect for public opinion to which it is justly entitled, he was not thinking of what the public verdict might be, but of what it was right to do. The attainment of no personal ends could satisfy aspirations like his. To ascertain what was true, to do what was best, to fill up the narrow measure of life with the largest posssible usefulness, was his single-hearted purpose. In such a career, if enjoyment should come, or well-earned fame, or augmented influence, or the power which accompanies promotion, they must all come as incidents by the way, as satellites which gather around a central orb, and not as the consummation toward which he ever tended. This singleness of aim was inseparable from a soul so sincere. A nature like his was incapable of employing the meretricious aids by which some men seek to heighten or advance their reputation.

Hence he never affected mystery. His reticence was not the assumption of impenetrability of purpose. His reserve was not the artifice of one who seeks to awe by making himself unapproachable. He hedged himself about with no barrier of exclusiveness. He assumed no airs of portentous dignity. He studied no dramatic effects. On the field, so far from condescending to those histrionic displays of person, or theatrical arts of speech, by which some commanders have sought to excite the enthusiasm of their armies, when his troops caught the sight of his faded uniform and sun-burnt cap, and shook the air with their shouts as he rode along the lines, he quickened his gallop and escaped from view. When among the mountain pyramids, older than those to which the first Napoleon pointed, he did not remind his men that the centuries were looking down on them. When on the plain, he drilled no eagles to perch on his banners, as the third Napoleon was said to have done. But one thing he did, he impressed his men with such an intense conviction of his unselfish and supreme consecration to the cause for which he [325] had perilled all, and so kindled them with his own magnetic fire, as to fuse them into one articulated body—one heart throbbing through all the members, one spirit animating the entire frame—that heart, that spirit, his own. It was his sublime indifference to personal danger, to personal comfort and personal aggrandizement, that gave him such power over the armies he commanded, and such a place in the hearts of the people of the Confederate States.

The true test of attachment to any cause is what one is willing to suffer for its advancement, and it is the spectacle of disinterested devotion to the right and true at the cost of toil, and travail, and blood, if need be, that captivates the popular heart and calls forth its admiration and sweetest affection. He who exhibits most of this spirit is the man who unconsciously wins for himself enduring fame. When he passes from earth to a higher and diviner sphere his influence does not perish. It is not the transient brilliance of the meteor, but the calm radiance of a star, whose light, undimmed and undiminished, comes down to kindle all true and brave souls through immeasurable time. Exalted by the disinterested works he has wrought, by his example he elevates others, and thus becomes the trellis, strong and high, on which other souls may stretch themselves in the pursuit of whatsoever is excellent in human character and achievement.

Such a man was Jackson. Such is the recognition of him beyond the sea of which this statue is a token. Such is our appreciation of his claim upon our gratitude, upon our undying love, in testimony of which we gather around this statue to-day, and crown it with the laurel, first moistened by our tears.

3. But this universal sentiment of regard for his memory rests upon foundations which lie still deeper in the human heart. At the mention of his name, another idea inseparably associated with it invariably asserts its place in the mental portraiture which all men acquainted with his history have formed of him; and so I announce as the third and last explanation of the homage awarded him, the sincerity, the purity, and the elevation of his character as a servant of the Most High God.

No one acquainted with the moral history of the world can for a moment doubt that religious veneration is at once the profoundest and most universal of human instincts; and however individual men may chafe at the restraints which piety imposes, or be indifferent to its obligations, yet there is a sentiment in the popular heart which compels its homage for those whose character and lives most faithfully reflect the beauty of the Divine Image. [326]

When a man already eminent by great virtues and services, attains great eminence in piety and wears the coronal of Heaven on his brow, because the spirit of Heaven has found its home in his heart, then the world, involuntarily, or with hearty readiness, places him on a higher pedestal, because with their love and admiration for the attractive qualities of the man, there is mingled a veneration for the ennobling graces of the Christian.

I do not agree with those who ascribe all that was admirable in the character of Jackson and all that was splendid in his career, to his religious faith. He was distinguished before faith became an element in his life; and even after his faith attained its fullest development, it did not secure the triumph of the cause to which his life was a sacrifice.

But this I say, that his piety heightened every virtue, gave direction and force to every blow it struck for that cause, and then consecration to the sacrifice when he laid down his life on the altar of his country's liberties. He was purer, stronger, more courageous, more efficient because of his piety; purer, because penitence strains the soul of the corruptions which defile it; stronger, because faith nerves the arm that takes hold on omnipotence; more courageous, because hope gives exaltation to the heroism of one who fights with the crown of life ever in view; more efficient, because religion, which is but another name for the right use of one's own faculties, preserves them all in harmonious balance, develops all in symmetrical proportion, and by freeing them from the warping power of prejudice, the blinding power of passion, and the debasing slavery of evil habits, gives them all wholesome exercise, trains them all to keep step to the music of duty, and inspires them with an energy which is both intense and rightly directed.

It was thus that he gave to the world an illustration of the power which results from the union of the loftiest human attributes and unfaltering faith in God.

To attempt, therefore, to portray the life of Jackson while leaving out the religious element, would be like undertaking ‘to describe Switzerland without making mention of the Alps,’ or to explain the fertility of the land of the Pharaohs without taking into account the enriching Nile.

If what comes from the speaker to-day on this subject loses aught of its force because it is regarded as professional, he will deeply regret it. The same testimony might have more weight from the lips of many a statesman or soldier on these grounds to-day, but it would [327] not be a whit more true. Sturdy old Thomas Carlyle, at all events, was not speaking professionally when he said: ‘A man's religion is the chief fact with regard to him.’ ‘The thing a man does practically lay to heart concerning his vital relation to this mysterious universe, and his duty and destiny there, that is in all cases the primary thing for him, and determines all the rest.’

It was surely the primary fact, the supreme fact in the history of General Jackson, and I cannot leave the subject without adding that those who confound his faith in Providence with fatalism, mistake both the spiritual history of the man and the meaning of the very words they employ.

Those who imagine that his faith savored of bigotry do not know that one characteristic of his religion was its generous catholicity, as might well be inferred from the fact that the first spiritual guides whose instructions he sought were members of communions widely different in doctrine and polity; that when he connected himself with the church of his choice, it was with doubts of the truth of some of its articles of doctrine—doubts ultimately and utterly removed, indeed, but openly avowed while they possessed him; that nothing so rejoiced his heart, during the progress of the war, as the harmony existing between the various denominations represented in the army; that in selecting his personal staff, and in recommending men for promotion, merit was the sole ground, and their ecclesiastical relations were never even considered; that with a charity which embraced all who held the cardinal truths of revelation, he ardently desired such a unity of feeling and concert of action among all the followers of the same Divine Leader as would constitute one spiritual army glorious and invincible.

It is refreshing, too, to note, that at this day, when political economists abandon the weaker races to the law of natural selection, and contemplate with complacency the process by which the dominant races extirpate the less capable, he sought to place the gentle but strong and sustaining hand of Christianity beneath the African population of the South, and so arrest the operation of that law by developing them, if possible, into a self-sustaining people.

It is still more refreshing to note, that at this day, when scientific men assert such an unvarying uniformity in the operations of the laws of nature as to discredit prophecy, and deny miracle and silence prayer, that he whose studies had lain almost exclusively in the realm of the exact sciences, was a firm believer in the supernatural. Well did this humble pupil in the school of the Great Teacher—this diligent [328] student in the school of physical science—know that true progress was not mere advance in inventions and in arts, or in subsidizing the forces of nature to human uses, but that true progress was the progress of man himself—man, as distinct from anything external to himself. Well did he know that there is a celestial as well as a terrestrial side to man's nature, and that although the temple of the body has its foundation in the dust, it is a temple covered by a dome which opens upward to the air and the sunlight of heaven, through which the Creator discloses Himself as the goal of the soul's aspirations, as the ultimate and imperishable good which satisfies its infinite desires. Those were true and brave words of the British Premier when he said, ‘Society has a soul as well as a body; the traditions of a nation are a part of its existence; its valor and its discipline, its religious faith, its venerable laws, its science and its erudition, its poetry, its art, its eloquence and its scholarship, are as much a portion of its existence as its agriculture, its commerce, and its engineering skill.’

The death of every soldier who fell in our Confederate war is a protest against that base philosophy ‘which would make physical good man's highest good, and which would attempt to rear a noble commonwealth on mere material foundations.’ Every soldier who offers his life to his country demonstrates the superiority of the moral to the physical, and proclaims that truth, and right, and honor, and liberty are nobler than animal existence, and worth the sacrifice even when blood is the offering.

And now we recognize the Providence of God in giving to this faithful servant the illustrious name and fame as a leader of armies, which brought the very highest development of his character to the notice of the world. It was his renown as a soldier of the country which made him known to men as a soldier of the Cross. And since nothing so captivates the popular heart or so kindles its enthusiasm as military glory, Providence has made even that subservient to a higher purpose. Men cannot now think of Jackson without associating the prowess of the soldier with the piety of the man. Thus his great military renown is the golden candlestick holding high the celestial light which is seen from afar and cannot be hid.

Such was the man who was second in command in our Confederate armies, and whose success as a leader during the bright, brief career allotted to him was second to that of no one of his illustrious comrades-in-arms.

And yet the cause to which all this valor was consecrated, and for [329] which all these sacrifices were made, was not destined to triumph. And here, perhaps, we learn one of the most salutary lessons of this wonderful history.

Doubtless all men who have ever given their labors and affection to any cause fervently hope to be the witnesses of its assured triumph. Nor do I deny that success makes the pulses of enterprise beat faster and fuller. Like the touch of the goddess, it transforms the still marble into breathing life. But yet all history, sacred and profane, is filled with illustrations of the truth, that success, and especially contemporary success, is not the test of merit. Our own observation in the world in which we move proves the same truth. Has not popular applause ascended like incense before tyrants who surrendered their lives to the basest and most degrading passions? Have not reproach and persecution, and poverty and defeat, been the companions of noble men in all ages, who have given their toil and blood to great causes? Are they less noble because they were the victims of arbitrary power, or because an untoward generation would not appreciate the grand problems which they solved, or because they lived in a generation which was not worthy of them?

If we now call the roll of the worthies who have given to the world its valued treasures of thought or faith, or who have subdued nature or developed art, it will be found that nearly all of them were in a life-long grapple with defeat and disaster. Some, and amongst them those whose names shine the brightest, would have welcomed neglect as a boon, but instead, endured shame and martyrdom.

Other things being equal, the tribute of our admiration is more due to him who, in spite of disaster, pursues the cause which he has espoused, than to one who requires the stimulus of the applause of an admiring public. We are sure of a worthy object when we give our plaudits to the earnest soul who has followed his convictions in the midst of peril and disaster because of his faith in them.

It is well that even every honest effort in the cause of right and truth is not always crowned with success. Defeat is the discipline which trains the truly heroic soul to further and better endeavors. And if these last should fail, and he can do battle no more, he can lay down his armor with the assurance that others will put it on, and in God's good time vindicate the truth in whose behalf he had not vainly spent his life.

Our people since the termination of the war have illustrated the lessons learned in the school of adversity. Having vindicated their [330] valor and endurance during the conflict, they have since exhibited their patience and self-control under the most trying circumstances. Their dignity in the midst of poverty and reverses, their heroic resignation to what they could not avert, have shown that subjugation itself could not conquer true greatness of soul. And by none have these virtues been illustrated more impressively than by the veterans of the long conflict, who laid down their arms at its close and mingled again with their fellow-citizens, distinguished from the rest only by their superior reverence for law, their patient industry, their avoidance of all that might cause needless irritation and provoke new humiliations, and their readiness to regard as friends in peace those whom they had so recently resisted as enemies in war.

The tree is known by its fruits. Your Excellency has reminded us that our civilization should be judged by the character of the men it has produced. If our recent revolution had been irradiated by the lustre of but the two names—Lee and Jackson—it would still have illumined one of the brightest pages in history.

I have not spoken of the former to-day; not because my heart was not full of him, but because the occasion required me to speak of another, and because the day is not distant when one more competent to do justice to his great theme than I have been to mine, will address another assembly of the men of the South, and North, and West, upon these Capitol grounds, when our new Pantheon will be completed by the erection of another monument, and the inauguration of the statue of Lee, with his generals around him, amid the tears and gratulations of a countless multitude.

It was with matchless magnanimity that these two great chieftains delighted each to contribute to the glory of the other. Let us not dishonor ourselves by robbing either of one leaf in the chaplet which adorns their brows; but, catching the inspiration of their lofty example, let us thank God that he gave us two such names to shine as binary stars in the firmament above us.

It was in the noontide of Jackson's glory that he fell; but what a pall of darkness suddenly shrouded all the land in that hour! If any illustration were needed of the hold he had acquired on the hearts of our people, on the hearts of the good and brave and true throughout all the civilized world, it would be found in the universal lament which went up everywhere when it was announced that Jackson was dead—from the little girl at the Chandler House, who ‘wished that God would let her die in his stead, because then only her mother would cry; but if Jackson died, all the people of the [331] country would cry’—from this humble child up to the Commander-in-chief, who wept as only the strong and brave can weep, at the tidings of his fall; from the weather-beaten sea-captain, who had never seen his face, but who burst into loud uncontrollable grief, standing on the deck of his vessel, with his rugged sailors around him wondering what had happened to break that heart of oak, up to the English earl, honored on both sides of the Atlantic, who exclaimed, when the sad news came to him, ‘Jackson was in some respects the greatest man America ever produced.’

The impressive ceremonies of the hour will bring back to some here present the memories of that day of sorrow, when, at the firing of a gun at the base of yonder monument, a procession began to move to the solemn strains of the Dead March in Saul—the hearse on which the dead hero lay preceded by a portion of the command of General Pickett, whose funeral obsequies you have just celebrated, and followed by a mighty throng of weeping citizens, until, having made a detour of the city, it paused at the door of the Capitol, when the body was borne within by reverent hands and laid on an altar erected beneath the dome.

The Congress of the Confederate States had adopted a device for their flag, and one emblazoned with it had just been completed, which was intended to be unfurled from the roof of the Capitol. It never fluttered from the height it was intended to grace. It became Jackson's winding-sheet. Oh! mournful prophecy of the fate of the Confederacy itself!

The military authorities shrouded him in the white, red, and blue flag of the Confederacy. The citizens decked his bier with the white, red, and blue flowers of spring until they rose high above it, a soft floral pyramid; but the people everywhere embalmed him in their hearts with a love sweeter than all the fragrance of spring, and immortal as the verdure of the trees under which he now rests by the river of life.

And where, in all the annals of the world's sorrow for departed worth, was there such a pathetic impersonation of a nation's grief, as was embodied in the old mutilated veteran of Jackson's division, who, as the shades of evening fell, and when the hour for the closing of the doors of the Capitol came, and when the lingering throng was warned to retire, was seen anxiously pressing through the crowd to take his last look at the face of his beloved leader. ‘They told him he was too late; that they were closing up the coffin for the last time; that the order had been given to clear the hall. He still struggled [332] forward, refusing to take a denial, until one of the marshals of the day was about to exercise his authority to force him back; upon this the old soldier lifted the stump of his right arm toward the heavens, and with tears running down his bearded face, exclaimed, “By this arm, which I lost for my country, I demand the privilege of seeing my general once more!” Such an appeal was irresistible, and at the instance of the Governor of the Commonwealth, the pomp was arrested until this humble comrade had also dropped his tear upon the face of his dead leader.’

Your Excellency did well to make the path broad which leads through these Capitol grounds to this statue, for it will be trodden by the feet of all who visit this city, whether they come from the banks of the Hudson, the Mississippi, or the Sacramento; whether from the Tiber, the Rhine, or the Danube.

Tender though they be, cold and sad are the closing lines of Collins in his ode to the memory of the brave whose rest is hallowed by their country's benedictions, depicting as they do, Honor coming as ‘a pilgrim gray,’ and Freedom as a ‘weeping hermit’ repairing to the graves of departed heroes.

Not so will Honor come to this shrine; not as a worn and weary pilgrim, but as a generous youth with burnished shield and stainless sword, and heart beating high in sympathy for the right and true, to lay his mail-clad hand on this altar and swear eternal fealty to duty and to God.

Nor will Freedom for a time only repair to this hallowed spot, but here she will linger long and hopefully, not as a weeping hermit, but as a radiant divinity conscious of immortality.

It is true that memories unutterably sad have at times swept through this mighty throng to-day, but we are not here to indulge in reminiscences only, much less in vain regrets. We have a future to face, and in that future lies not only duty, and trials perhaps, but also hope.

For when we ask what has become of the principles in the defence of which Jackson imperilled and lost his life, then I answer: A form of government may change, a policy may perish, but a principle can never die. Circumstances may so change as to make the application of the principle no longer possible, but its innate vitality is not affected thereby. The conditions of society may be so altered as to make it idle to contend for a principle which no longer has any practical force, but these changed conditions of society have not annihilated one original truth. [333]

The application of these postulates to the present situation of our country is obvious. The people of the South maintained, as their fathers maintained before them, that certain principles were essential to the perpetuation of the Union according to its original constitution. Rather than surrender their convictions, they took up arms to defend them. The appeal was vain. Defeat came, and they accepted it, with its consequences, just as they would have accepted victory with its fruits. They have sworn to maintain the government as it is now constituted. They will not attempt again to assert their views of State sovereignty by an appeal to the sword. None feel this obligation to be more binding than the soldiers of the late Confederate armies. A soldier's parole is a sacred thing, and the men who are willing to die for a principle in time of war, are the men of all others most likely to maintain their personal honor in time of peace.

But it is idle to shut our eyes to the fact that this consolidated empire of States is not the Union established by our fathers. No intelligent European student of American institutions is deceived by any such assumption. We gain nothing by deceiving ourselves.

And if history teaches any lesson, it is this, that a nation cannot long survive when the fundamental principles which gave it life, originally, are subverted. It is true, republics have often degenerated into despotisms. It is also true that after such transformation they have for a time been characterized by a force, a prosperity, and a glory never known in their earlier annals, but it has always been a force which absorbed and obliterated the rights of the citizen, a prosperity which was gained by the sacrifice of individual independence, a glory which was ever the precursor of inevitable anarchy, disintegration, and ultimate extinction.

If then it be asked how are we to escape the catastrophe, I answer by a voluntary return to the fundamental principles upon which our republic was originally founded. And if it be objected that we have already entered upon one of those political revolutions which never go backward, then I ask, who gave to any one the authority to say so? or whence comes the infallibility which entitles any one to pronounce a judgment so overwhelming? Why may there not be a comprehension of what is truly politic, and what is grandly right, slumbering in the hearts of our American people—a people at once so practical and emotional, so capable of great enterprise and greater magnanimity — a patriotism which is yet to awake and announce [334] itself in a repudiation of all unconstitutional invasion of the liberties of the citizens of any portion of this broad Union? When we remember the awful strain to which the principles of other constitutional governments have been subjected in the excitement of revolutionary epochs, and how, when seemingly submerged by the tempest, they have risen again and reasserted themselves in their original integrity, why should we despair of seeing the ark of our liberties again resting on the summit of the mount, and hallowed by the benediction of Him who said, ‘Behold, I do set my bow in the cloud?’

And now standing before this statue, and as in the living presence of the man it represents, cordially endorsing, as I do, the principles of the political school in which he was trained and in defence of which he died, and unable yet even to think of our dead Confederacy without memories unutterably tender, I speak not for myself, but for the South, when I say it is our interest, our duty and determination, to maintain the Union, and to make every possible contribution to its prosperity and glory, if all the States which compose it will unite in making it such a Union as our fathers framed, and in enthroning above it, not a Caesar, but the Constitution in its old supremacy.

If ever these States are welded together in one great fraternal, enduring Union, with one heart pulsating through the entire frame as the tides throb through the bosom of the sea, it will be when they all stand on the same level, with such a jealous regard for each other's rights that when the interests or honor of one is assailed, all the rest feeling the wound, even as the body feels the pain inflicted on one of its members, will kindle with just resentment at the outrage, because an injury done to a part is not only a wrong but an indignity offered to the whole. But if that cannot be, then I trust the day will never dawn when the Southern people will add degradation to defeat and hypocrisy to subjugation, by professing a love for the Union which denies to one of their States a single right accorded to Massachusetts or New York—to such a Union we will never be heartily loyal while that bronze hand grasps its sword—while yonder river chants the requiem of the sixteen thousand Confederate dead who, with Stuart among them, sleep on the hills of Hollywood.

But I will not end my oration with an anticipation so disheartening. I cannot so end it because I look forward to the future with more of hope than of despondency. I believe in the perpetuity of republican institutions, so far as any work of man may be said to [335] possess that attribute. The complete emancipation of our constitutional liberty must come from other quarters, but we have our part to perform, one requiring patience, prudence, fortitude, faith.

A cloud of witnesses encompass us. The bronze figures on these monuments seem for the moment to be replaced by the spirits of the immortal men whose names they bear.

As if an angel spoke their tones thrill our hearts.

First, it is the calm voice of Washington that we hear: ‘Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.’

Then, Henry's clarion notes arouse us: ‘Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings: give us that precious jewel, and you may take all the rest!’

Then Jefferson speaks: ‘Fellow-citizens, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of government. Equal and exact justice to all men of whatsoever state or persuasion, religious or political. The support of State governments in all their rights, as the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigor as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; the supremacy of the civil over military authority; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith. And should we wander from these principles in moments of error and alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps, and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.’

And last it is Jackson's clear ringing tone to which we listen:

‘What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death. We must think of the living and of those who are to come after us, and see that by God's blessing we transmit to them the freedom we have enjoyed.’

Heaven, hear the prayer of our dead, immortal hero!

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