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[307] people whose men were knightly soldiers, and whose women were as heroic as they were lovely.

Shoulder to shoulder with such soldiers, in the midst of such a people, and catching the inspiration of the majestic mountains, lovely valleys, beautiful rivers, sparkling brooks and crystal springs which Washington, Jackson and Lee loved so well, is it strange that we were incited to high resolves, and that honor perched upon our banners wherever our guns were heard?

Soon the fortunes of war cut us off from our Louisiana homes, and the heart of Old Virginia grew all the warmer toward us. Every home was open to us, and Virginia mothers became mothers to us; and when want and famine came, the homeless men of the far South were still remembered with even greater tenderness by a people who forgot their own wants to supply ours.

When the years of cruel war were at last ended; when many of those Virginia homes were in ashes; when the few which were spared sheltered those to whom little was left save honor, and when our guns were buried at Appomattox, and our tattered banners were reverently furled, we left Virginia with heavy hearts, sorrowing mostly for the people we were leaving in sore distress—a people the most unselfish the world ever saw.

Long years have passed—‘Old Virginia never tires’—her homes are rebuilt and are as happy as of yore, the land again flows with milk and honey, Richmond has risen from her ashes and is more beautiful than ever, and Virginia is preparing to honor the immortal Lee whom she and we loved so well.

Our dear old comrades-in-arms, the gallant Richmond Howitzers, say to us: ‘You were with us and of us long ago, and you must come to us again; the tents are pitched, the canteens and pipes are filled, the camp fires are burning brightly and the rations are cooking; if you don't come promptly Fitz. Lee will go after you with the cavalry, and you know what that means.’

We remember the way the cavalry had of bringing the boys into camp, but we thought they had a habit of keeping them out of Richmond. Things have changed, however. We have yearned for Virginia and Richmond many years, and ‘on to Richmond’ is again the watchword. The old flag we furled at Appomattox is again unfurled to the breeze, the bands are playing ‘Carry Me Back to Old Virginia,’ and we are again marching between long lines of friends—there are some tearful eyes among them, but they are those of veteran comrades whose hearts are heavy because they cannot be with us

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