This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 antagonized there are men cast by nature in so small a mould, with minds so contracted and hearts so mean, that they are still ready to cast a stone at the memory of the rebel Lee. Thank God, there are few, if any such, in the ranks of the brave soldiers who fought against him. But the passions and the prejudices which the war evoked will one day be buried in the grave of the long ago. The red rose and the white bloom side by side on fields once drenched with the blood of Lancaster and York; and though upon the return of the Stuart to the throne of his fathers the graves of the Puritans were despoiled of their dead, and the bodies of Pym and Blake dragged from Westminster Abbey and cast like rubbish into the church-yard of St. Margaret, yet to-day, could one produce but a link of the chain by which Cromwell's body was suspended from the gibbet on Tyburn Hill, it were prized as a precious relic worth a thousand times its weight in gold; for call him, as men may, rebel or lord protector, all England boasts of his name, his genius, and his glory, and her sons with equal pride trace their blood from the dashing cavaliers who rode with Essex and Prince Rupert at Edge Hill, and the God-fearing men who marched to victory with Cromwell at Marston Moor, or followed Hampden to death and defeat at Chalgrove. Thus it is that the ‘fashion of this world passeth away,’ and the fashion of senseless fanatics in the pulpit who have been preaching a crusade of hate in the place of that dear Gospel of peace, which the blessed Saviour preached; the fashion of selfish politicians, who have pained the ears and vexed the hearts of all true patriots with their hypocritical rantings about ‘rebel brigadiers’ and ‘southern traitors’ and ‘broken oaths’; the fashion of miserable tricksters, who for their own base ends have so long distorted truth and lived on lies. Be sure all this shall pass away and Americans everywhere accept the judgment the world has already rendered: that of all who played their parts on the great stage of our great civil war the greatest, the wisest, and the best was Robert Edward Lee. [Great applause.] Thrice brevetted in Mexico—at Cerro Gordo, at Cherubusco, and at Chapultepec—he proved himself a soldier with courage as dauntless as Ney's, and always and everywhere bore himself with a dignity, courtesy, and knightly chivalry, which lose nothing by comparison with Sydney or Bayard. He loved his old commander on those glorious fields, he loved the flag for which he had fought and bled, he loved the Union itself with all its glorious associations, and a terrible struggle rent his noble heart in twain when, after Lincoln's
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.