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[185]

The monument. Description of the shaft that commemorates Southern valor.

The body of the monument is of white Italian marble, adorned with four reversed cannon, and as many piles of balls of Tennessee marble. The statue of a Confederate soldier which crowns its summit was carved at Carrara, Italy, and is singularly life-like in pose and feature. The hands rest on the old familiar rifle; the head is bent forward; the feet are placed somewhat apart, as if firmly planted on rugged surface. It is a typical figure, and such a one as might have been seen on a thousand battle-fields during the war. The statue faces the South.

On the disc of the monument appears the following inscription:

Front-In memory of the men from all States of the South who fell in defence of Vicksburg during a siege of forty-seven days—May 18 to July 3, 1863—a defence unsurpassed in the annals of war for heroism, endurance of hardships and patriotic devotion.

We care not whence they came,
     Dear in their lifeless clay,
Whether unknown or known to fame,
     They died, and they wore the gray.

Right—

Here rest some few of those who, vainly brave,
Died for the land they loved, but could not save.

Left—

Our dead are mourned forever!
     Through all the future ages, in history and in story,
Their fame shall shine, their name shall twine; they need no greater glory.
     Tenderly fall our tears over their lifeless clay:
Here lie the dead who fought and bled and fell in garbs of gray.
     Ours the fate of the vanished, whose heartaches never cease.
Ours regrets and tears; theirs the eternal peace.

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