the spirit of some had had full swing the passions of the civil war would have been not only perpetuated but increased, and have gone down as an inheritance of bitterness from generation to generation. This stormy sea of passion but one man could control. He had no official position, civil or military. But he was the representative of the Lost Cause. He had led the Southern armies to battle, and he still had the unbounded confidence of millions, and it was his attitude and his words of conciliation that did more than anything else to still the angry tempest that the war had left behind. It was the sight of their great chieftain—so calm in defeat, so ready to bear the burden of his people—that soothed their anger and their pride, and made the old soldiers of the Confederacy feel that they could accept what had been accepted by their leader, and that as he had set the example it was no unworthy sacrifice for them to become loyal supporters of the restored American Union. It is therefore not too much to say that it is owing in great measure to General Lee that the civil war has not left a lasting division between the North and the South and that they form to day one united country. These are grateful memories to be recalled now that he who was so mighty in war and so gentle in peace has passed beyond the reach of praise or blame. Do you tell me he was ‘an enemy,’ and that by as much as we love our country we ought to hate its ‘enemies?’ But there are no enemies among the dead. When the grave closes over those with whom we have been at strife we can drop our hatreds and judge of them without passion, and even kindly, as we wish those who come after us to judge of us. In a few years all of the contempararies of General Lee will be dead and gone; the great soldiers that fought with him and that fought against him will alike have passed to the grave, and then, perhaps, there will be a nearer approach of feeling between friend and foe.1 ‘Ah, yes,’ say some who admit his greatness as a soldier and leader, ‘if it were not for his ambition that stopped not at the ruin of his country!’ Such is the fatal accusation:
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The race problem in the South —Was the Fifteenth Amendment a mistake?
Times have changed.
A list of Confederate officers, prisoners, who were held by Federal authority on Morris Island, S. C. , under Confederate fire from September 7th to October 21st , 1864 .
Annual Reunion of the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia .
Oration of the evening.
Life, services and character of Jefferson Davis .
He truly represented the South in not Negotiating for peace on other terms than independence.
Two revolutions rising on parallel lines—the Revolution of the North against the Constitution .
Secession preached and threatened in all sections—the Northern record for it and against extension of the Union .
The United States treated secession as a political question and met it by Revolution.
The Twelfth Georgia Infantry .
List of casualties in the Twelfth Georgia regiment in the battle of Gettysburg , July 1st , 1863 .
The Monument to General Robert E. Lee .
The unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee , at Richmond, Va. , May 29th , 1890 .
Testimonials from visiting soldiers.
Robert Edward Lee .
Letters of R. E. Lee .
At Lee 's tomb.
Lee 's Birthday: eminent men of the United States send sentiments for the day—ministers, soldiers, statesmen and scholars each bring an offering.
Lee as an educator.
Robert E. Lee .
Prisoners of the civil war.
Andersonville prison .
The unveiling. [ Richmond Dispatch , June 10 , 1890 .]
Valuable war relic.
Casualties in the old First at Gettysburg : two out of every three men who were carried into the charge shot down.
Lee 's Lieutenants.
Names of surviving Generals of the Confederate Army —a valuable Roster. [ Richmond Dispatch , May 29 , 1890 .]
1 How the feeling at the North has softened is indicated by many utterances like this in the New York Tribune of last week (August 23d):‘The virtues of Lee have always found as frank and hearty recognition in the North as in the South. The men of the South can say nothing of the beauty of his personal character, his courage, his devotion to his idea of duty, that will not find a ready echo among those he fought against and by whom he was conquered.’
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