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[224] own diffidence had not allowed him to anticipate, seemed to be accepted by him as a sufficient compensation for all he had done, and touched him, perhaps, as no other event of his life had done.

And now, the one object, for the accomplishment of which he had so earnestly hoped almost against hope that his life might be spared, having been attained—the stimulant which had sustained him during years of racking pain being withdrawn—his mortal part began to succumb to the malady of which he was a victim, and he gradually yielded to its assaults until the 2d day of April, 1891, when he ‘fell on sleep,’ and the weary soul found rest.

Sweet be his rest, and glorious his awaking! And may the State whose honor was the object nearest his heart bear him in remermbrance as a mother her offspring!

No thought of impending evil to her disturbed his last hours. The morning sun whose beams first fell upon his new-made grave, journeying westward, looked down upon her broad domain and found there only peace, fraternity and good government—those blessings for which, in her behalf, he strove with single-minded devotion. In the brief year that has since elapsed she has been again encompassed with danger and threatened with disaster—disaster which, if it had come, would not have been the work of alien hands, as before, but would have added the sting of being wrought by her own sons. As his living presence would have been most potent to avert it, so—now that the peril seems happily passed—none can more heartily rejoice than would he at her escape, for not dearer to the Psalmist was the peace of Jerusalem than to his heart the welfare of his native State.

Recently I stood, at night, on the narrow peninsula where twenty-seven years ago fleet and fort proclaimed in thunder the fame of Fort Fisher. To the eastward heaved the sea, on whose rolling billows the rising moon poured a flood of silvery light, while opposite, and hanging low above the shining river in the limitless depths of the western heavens, glowed the serene orb of the evening planet, whose glories heightened as it neared the horizon. Between lay the long line of ragged mounds over which the tide of battle ebbed and flowed when the expiring hopes of a brave people were forever extinguished. Beneath wave and earth mound alike patriot bones were bleaching, mute witnesses of the horrors of civil strife and of the emptiness of human ambition. Higher rose the goddess of the night, wider grew the sheen upon the waters, lower and more luminous

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April 2nd, 1891 AD (1)
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