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He had enlisted as a private, he fought as a private, he surrendered as a private, and then he returned to private life to battle for bread. His country was lost, but a dauntless spirit directed him in the evolution to another citizenship. He guided the plow, wielded the axe, and did whatever his hand found to do, with the same unassuming fortitude which marked his career in the army.

He inspired courage in the young. He gave life to the weak, and grappled the new order of things with masterly mind.

Napoleon said: ‘True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life in whatever shape they may challenge him to combat.’

The infantryman not only felt as the illustrious warrior when he uttered this sublime sentiment, but he has demonstrated its truth by rising superior to all the evils of disaster, imbuing his associates with that resolute endurance which made him the breakwater of the Confederacy, and has made the bone and sinew of the progress and prosperity of the New South.

As his is the glory of the past, so his is the strength of the present. Whenever you find him, whether laboring on your streets, building your ships or tilling your fields, pause and lift your hat, for the Confederate private infantryman is the typical hero of the South.

He is entitled to the absolute respect of the grandest in the land. Already many stately granite shafts commemorate our hero leaders, but shall there not be one higher by an hundredfold and a thousand times more beautiful in design than any of these dedicated to the infantry privates of the South?

Aye! I wish a shaft of burnished gold could lift its head from Virginia's valley, in which sleep the remains of Lee and Jackson, in memory of the private infantrymen of the Confederacy, emblazoning their glory to coming generations, for their heroism is the grandest type of all the thousand bloody fields which heralded Southern valor.

The private infantrymen were lowest in rank, yet highest in their loyalty to the finest sense of honor the human mind can conceive—grandest in humility, greatest in sincerity, purest in purpose; and never can temples of fame enshrine the memory of knightlier souls!

William H. Stewart, Late Lt.-Col. 61st Va. Infantry, C. S. A., Portsmouth, Va.

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