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 Atlanta, Mobile, Charleston, Savannah fall—the Confederacy is cut to pieces. Its fragments become countries with frontiers on skirmish lines and capitals on horseback. Ports are sealed—the world and the South are parted. All the dearer seems the scant sky that hangs over her bleeding children. On and on and on come the thickening masses of the North— brave men, bravely led, and ably commanded; and as those of the South grow thinner, theirs grow stronger. Hope sinks; despair stiffens courage. Everything fails but manhood and womanhood. The woman cooks and weaves and works, nurses the stricken and buries her dead and cheers her living. The man stands to his gun behind Johnston, behind Lee. Petersburg and Richmond starve and bleed, and yet stand dauntless. And here amongst you—while the thunders shake the capitol and the window-panes of his home and the earth tremble— shere stands Jefferson Davis, unshaken, untrembling, toiling to give bread to his armies and their kindred, toiling to hold up the failing arms of his veterans, unbelieving that Heaven could decree the fall of such a people. At last the very fountains of nature fail. The exhausted South falls prone upon its shield.
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