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[187] youth, whose bright and gracious figure sweeps athwart our troubled story ‘wearing his wounds like stars.’

But on such an occasion as this, we do not think so much of the battalion, the regiment, the brigade, or the division, to which each of us belonged, but rather recall, with common pride, that it was given us in those heroic days to stand shoulder to shoulder in the grand old Third Corps, whose name, despite the malice of fortune, has been writ for all time in crimson letters in the very ‘Temple of Victory.’

Here we gather to-night, our hearts stirred by countless proud memories of hardships shared together as good soldiers in a good cause, of disaster met with quiet constancy, of glorious victory wrested time and again from cruel odds by skill and daring—here, we gather to-night in the temper that becomes brave men to do honor to the memory of the brave—that beloved commander, whose character was as stainless as that of knightly Galahad, whose patriotism was of the same stern fibre as that of the old champions of freedom, and whose valor was as tried and true as that of any Paladin, who died in Roncevalle's Pass.

Aye! as England's greatest singer sang of England's greatest soldier, such our proud claim for A. P. Hill:

Whatever record leaps to light,
He never shall be shamed.

And cold, indeed, must be the heart of him who can look upon this calm, majestic countenance, untouched by any shadow of ignoble thought, and not be stirred with a very passion of pride that it was allowed him, no matter how humble his rank—that it was allowed him, when all the land was girdled with steel and fire, to follow the tattered battle flags of such a brilliant and dauntless soldier.

As we gaze upon the familiar face, fashioned with such cunning by the sculptor's art, that we almost listen to catch from the bearded mouth the sharp, stern word of command, it seems but yesterday that we greeted him with our hoarse cheering, as clad, not, indeed, in such garb as this, but in his simple ‘fighting jacket,’ and old slouch hat, with no badge of rank save that which God had written on his noble face, he rode amid the dust and sweat of battle down the thin gray lines, or drew rein in the centre of the blackened guns amid ‘the fiery pang of shell,’ and marked with the fierce joy of victorious fight how the serried columns of blue melted away under the pitiless iron sleet.

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Ambrose Powell Hill (1)
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