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 It sweeps down the Atlantic shore and trembles among the leaves of the magnolia and the palm. It is borne on the breezes of the Mexican sea, bending the boughs of the cypress and the vine. It winds up the course of the great ‘father of waters’ till it meets and mingles with the notes of the challenger. And now the Southern bands are marshalling to accept the gage of battle. The oft and vainly repeated questions—where is the arbiter? and where the court of competent jurisdiction to adjust the federal relations of the States?—receive their final answer. Sabre, cannon and rifle are the arbiters, and the field of battle the court of last resort. War, that ‘terrible litigation of nations,’ rules the hour and the counsels of men, and for four fateful years of wounds and death, Eros is dethroned and Mars triumphant. Pass in review the marshaled legions of history, about whose banners song and story have enwreathed their richest garlands, and as they move by in stately procession, name the scenes of desperate battles, mark the instances of heroic courage and endurance even when hope had hid its face and turned its back, point examples of suffering borne with God-like patience and fortitude, single out individual acts of knightly heroism and devotion, and for them all you shall find counterparts in the scenes of the Confederate revolutionary drama. A drama which had a continent for its stage, armed millions for its actors and the world for spectators.
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