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[44] day of May, should have been selected by almost unanimous consent as the great memorial day of the South. For it was on this day seven years ago that the greatest and most illustrious of our dead fellow-soldiers yielded up his spirit to his Maker, and left his country to mourn the irreparable loss of Stonewall Jackson!

To-day all nature smiles genially around us. The forest and the field lie all glowing beneath the spring sunlight. The gentle breeze that fans our brows brings naught but the perfumes of sweet flowers and the songs of joyous birds. In this tranquil and beauteous resting place of the dead all speaks of calmness and peace. The busy hum of the distant city scarce penetrates this placid retreat, while the mellow sounds of the church bells faintly ring in melancholy chimes, like a sad, yet soothing requiem.

But seven years ago this day!

Shall I retrace before your eyes the picture that memory brings to mind?

A scrubby growth of dwarf oaks, so dense as to be almost impenetrable, blasted and scorched by the fires kindled by bursting shells, and still concealing within its gloomy depths the half calcined corpses of those hapless wounded too feeble to escape the fearful conflagration. As far as the eye can reach nothing to be seen but that dreary region of the Wilderness in which nature herself looks frowning, even in the jocund days of spring. Blackened ruins, tottering chimneys, crumbling fortifications and shattered cannon-wheels alone mark the site where once stood the quiet hamlet of Chancellorsville. Trees riven and shorn a few feet about the ground as if by some gigantic scythe, bushes showing in every twig the fractures caused by some monstrous hail exhibit the terrible traces of artillery and musketry. No sweet perfumes of spring flowers here. To that peculiar acrid smell of the battle-field, never to be forgotten or mistaken by those who have once breathed it; to that mingled odor of burning leaves, fresh blood, and powder smoke has succeeded the far more repulsive scent of corruption and decay. The whole atmosphere is reeking with the putrid emanations from hundreds of dead horses and from thousands of shallow graves; for, as we ride this Sunday morning over that wasted battle-field of a week ago, at every step we see the skeleton hands and feet washed out by the recent rains and already blackened and fleshless. And for fitting music in this Golgotha, not the tuneful song of summer birds, but the pestiferous humming of carrion flies. Not the pensive sound of holy bells on this Sabbath morning, but the sullen roar of the still unextinguished


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