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[320] all his affection. He, better than most men, knew the great resources of the North and West. He had sojourned and labored in every part of the land, and could appreciate the arguments drawn from its physical characteristics, from its great river systems and mountain ranges, for an indissoluble union. He knew Northern men in their homes; he knew the bravery of the Northern soldiers who filled our regular regiments in Mexico. He was above the predjudices and taunts of the day, which belittled Northern virtue and courage. He knew that, with slight external differences, there was a substantial identity of the American race in all the States, North and South. He was equally above the weak and passionate view of slavery as good in itself, into which the fanatical and unconstitutional agitation of the Abolition party had driven many strong minds in the South. He regarded slavery as an evil which the South had inherited, and must be left to mitigate and, if possible, extirpate by wise and gradual measures. He, if any man of that time, was capable of weighing with calmness the duty of the hour. With him the only question then, as at every moment of his spotless life, was to find out which way duty pointed.

Against the urgent solicitations of General Scott, in defiance of the temptations of ambition—for the evidence is complete that the command of the United States Army was offered to him—in manifest sacrifice of all his pecuniary interests, he determined that duty bade him side with his beloved Virginia. He laid down his commission, and solemnly declared his purpose never to draw his sword save in behalf of his native State.

And what was that native State to whose defence he henceforth devoted his matchless sword?

It was a Commonwealth older than the Union of the States; it was the first abode of English freedom in the Western World; it was the scene of the earliest organized legislative resistance to the encroachments of the mother country; it was the birthplace of the immortal leader of our Revolutionary armies, and of many of the architects of the Federal Constitution; it was the central seat of that doctrine of State sovereignty sanctioned by the great names of Jefferson and Madison; it was a land rich in every gift of the earth and sky—richer still in its race of men, brave, frugal, pious, loving honor, but fearing God; it was a land hallowed then by memories of an almost unbroken series of patriotic triumphs, but now after the wreck and ruin of four years of unsuccessful war, consecrated anew by deeds of heroism and devotion, whose increasing lustre will borrow

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