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[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

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Thomas J. Jackson (1)
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