of battle breathed into the year of the dying soldier the words of eternal life.
Our people encamped upon the field; our youth, mature manhood, and age with lengthening shadows, all were there.
And from home, woman—the best comfort of our imperfect condition—inspired us by her faith and trust in the justice of God and the righteousness of our cause.
It was the tempestuous march of a principle as old as the government and as irrepressible as thought.
Of such men were made the squadrons which under Stuart
, who deserves to take rank with Kellerman, forced the circuit of McClellan
's army while he thundered at the gates of Richmond
and scored the first great ride of the war.
Of such were composed the battalions which under Jackson
, who received his death wound a score of years ago in the tangled growth at Chancellorsville
, about the exultant hour of victory, made the first great march of the war in the shadow of South
mountain by the waters of the Shenandoah
, and hurled the forces of the Government
from the Valley
With these citizens Buchanan
drove the beak of the Merrimac
into the yielding timbers of the Congress
, and startled nations.
Time, the balm of wounded hearts, has softened the agony of the last months of the appalling struggles between the States, and converted the ravishing anguish of defeat, of deaths, of losses infinite, into submission to the inevitable.
We would not make those hearts bleed afresh by recounting the incidents which clothed our people with the weeds of mourning.
's account of the battle of Pharsalia, he says that Crastinus
, a centurion of the Tenth legion, already distinguished for his gallantry, called out:
Follow me, my comrades, and strike home for your general.
This one battle remains to be fought and he will have his rights and we our liberty.
‘General,’ he said, looking to Caesar, ‘I shall earn your thanks to-day, dead or alive.’
We have seen a ragged Southern soldier, all unknown to fame, amid the angry shouting of hosts, touch the poverty of his uniform, and with a gentle farewell, uttered as he essayed some doubly perilous feat, go out into the eternal beyond.
We await with the anguish of patience the coming historian who will do justice to these untitled dead.
With the world nothing succeeds like success, though attained in the subjugation of a free people, which we denounce here as the greatest crime of all the ages.