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 their fortunes wrecked and ruined, and the future stretched out hopelessly ‘like a dark and rainy sea’ before the young. Amid all this sorrow, all this horror, under the yoke, with the blackness of darkness gathering about them, these proud people, inspired and strengthened by the example of their brethren, who had died for duty, sternly withstood all, bravely endured all while they watched at the tomb and waited for the resurrection of their buried hopes. They could suffer, but they could not sell themselves—would not barter their principles for place nor power nor plunder. They clung to their honor and their self-respect. It was their Southern sentiment, ingrained, inherited, and intensified by trial, that saved and redeemed them. If you ask me if there is anything in the world's history like this, I tell you there is not. If you ask me if the courage and the constancy of the men and women of other blood or other clime could have passed through this furnace without melting in the fire, I proudly answer no! And for the security we now enjoy, for the signs of prosperity and contentment around us, and for the good government we live under in Mississippi to-day, we are indebted to that courage and pride, that instinct of honor in Southern men and women which force cannot conquer nor suffering subdue. Woe to us if we let that spirit die, for we need it here, no less than heretofore we need it now, all else aside, to maintain the status of our race while we keep up our patient struggle with that overshadowing problem which the war left us to solve—that awful problem which had its origin in the line of race and color drawn by that God who, for his own inscrutable purposes, as a great divine has said, first ‘shattered the unity of human speech’ and afterward ‘dispersed the human family in different grand divisions.’ I may not, without exceeding the limits proper to this address, pursue my subject further, and yet, in the performance of my sacred task, I feel that I have rendered but scant justice to the Southern soldier. He staked his life upon his own view of duty, and whether he sealed his devotion with his blood and died upon the battle-field, or was the victim of disease or cruelty, or lived to rescue his State from ruin as a citizen in peace, he has illustrated some quality in our people which makes them always, in responding to a principle or a sentiment, equal to any duty, any daring, any suffering, any sacrifice. There is some priceless element in Southern character that I cannot define, which makes our people at once practical and sentimental—makes them good soldiers and good citizens, sustains them in every
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