outbreak of the war until Palm Sunday in 1865, when the ragged regiments of the South
, torn by hostile shot and shell, stacked their guns, lowered their banners, and, broken-hearted, dispersed, to find ruined homes and a country girded with sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes.
This melancholy duty could not be performed on ground more fitting than this, hallowed as it is by the graves of our dead—footprints of angels-made memorable as it is by an assemblage of circumstances.
Eighteen miles away, as the ill-omened crow flies, are the remains of the last great artery which sustained the failing life of the Confederacy
, until cut by the cruel surgery of the sword in January of 1865.
The spirit of good or bad in men, while living and after death, is but the echo of their actions.
Those who served in the armies of the Confederacy
during its struggle with the Government
carry in their hearts an unwritten memorial of the courage, valor and deeds of their comrades who, less fortunate than themselves, perished in that struggle.
The feeling of comradeship, the sense of old help, of common peril—born only of the electric touch of elbows—will not suffer their memories to see corruption.
If we would transmit to other ages—to those who are to come after us—the precious remembrance of the men who fell under the Southern Cross
amid the splendid agony of battle, we must resort to material monuments—to brass or marble.
It is the irony of fortune that if we were to yield to the strong emotions which struggle for utterance and give rein to our enthusiasm, our sentiments, candidly expressed, would provoke criticism, and be imputed to our people as proof of insubordination.
Our lamentations must be expressed in sobs.
Pardon me, then, if I fail to touch the delicate nerve of sympathy in this concourse.
It is not probable that the historian will again chronicle the annals of a war in which the people crowded their leaders out of place and took the advance.
The tendency now is to turn everything to commercial account.
the votaries of law, medicine and philosophy, the artisans, the teeming thousands who work afield, moved by a common impulse, took up the line of march and poured a steady stream of patriotism to the scene of the conflict.
The bishop exchanged the Episcopal
mitre for the baton of a marshal; the men of God, whose province it is to inspire us with the sweet ideal of the Nazarene, joined the column of the march; and on the perilous edge