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[188] soldiers, many of them still bearing the scars of hard-fought battles, who, holding with the majority of American people the doctrine of State sovereignty, committed no treason, being guilty of no rebellion, who yielded only to superior numbers and resources, beaten but not disgraced, proving themselves in war and defeat what they are—real Americans! May their deeds of valor be ever held as the most precious inheritance of our reunited country!

I thank thee, O God, who teaches mercy and forgiveness, that thou hast given us, the survivors of a just though lost cause, greatness of mind and generosity of heart—such as to enable us to fold tenderly in the bosom of our consecrated soil the mortal remains of our conquerors, who now lie side by side with our conquered fathers and sons, the Mississippi river chanting a peaceful though solemn requiem over both.

Under the sod and the dew,
     Waiting the judgment day,
Under the laurel the blue,
     Under the willow the gray.

I thank thee, O God of might, that thou hast also given us the grace and the strength, if not to forget, at least to forgive the wrongs done to us! I bless the God of peace for that boon, that in brotherly love we now clasp each other's hands across the dark chasm of an unfortunate past, and the same dear old flag floats over our heads, Confederates and Federals paying a common homage to its sacred folds! I thank the God of mercy that his holy angels have stolen the bitterness of defeat from the vanquished and the memory of victory from the conquerors!

I pray thee, O Almighty God, who, through Jesus Christ, hast revealed thy glory to all nations to preserve forever the unity of our country! I pray thee, O God of wisdom and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered and laws enacted, assist, with thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude, our beloved President Cleveland, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to the people over whom he presides. May the light of thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, and may perpetuate the blessings of equal liberty!

Finally, I pray thee, O God of goodness, bless, oh bless with a bountiful hand the patriotic and devoted women of Vicksburg, who,

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