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[45] forest, and the irregular crash of bursting shells as the flames reach and explode them.

Such I remember this day seven years ago, on the banks of the Rappahannock, on the desolate field of the great battle.

And yet, you remember, comrades—for some of you are present here to-day who were with me there—you well remember that our veterans, inured to all the vicissitudes of a soldier's life, were enjoying the temporary rest after the fierce conflict. Our dead had been buried, our wounded transported to more remote hospitals. Our hopes were buoyant, for though our great leader was prostrated for the present by his wounds, we all looked forward to a time not far distant when he would again lead us to other victories, which would at last bring blessed peace to the land. In the camps of the division when evening came the usual song and jest were heard as before, exhibiting that careless gaiety so gratifying to behold, as indicating a cheerful readiness for all emergencies. Thus it was up to that Sunday, the 10th of May, seven years ago.

The sun rose cloudless on that Sabbath morning—obscured only by the smoke of the still smouldering woods. In most of our camps services were held by the chaplains, and attended by the troops in more than usual numbers. None but the Omniscient can tell what prayers arose that day—many from hearts and lips unused to pray for themselves—on behalf of the beloved chieftain who, at that very moment, was descending into the shadow of the dark valley. But death, which he had so often looked in the face, had no terrors for him. Both for this world and the next he had fought the good fight, he had won the victory; and when in the supreme hour his soul beheld the weird river of death, his last words were: ‘Let us cross over the river and rest under the trees.’ One minute more and the cold stream was passed, and he rests forever under those heavenly trees whose leaves are for the healing of nations.

Ah! my countrymen, could you have seen and felt as I did, the sudden change in those camps of the Wilderness, when the dread announcement came that evening, ‘Jackson is dead!’ it would be a memory never to be effaced from your hearts. The sounds of merriment died away as if the Angel of Death himself had flapped his muffled wings over the troops. A silence profound, mournful, stifling and oppressive as a funeral pall succeeded to the voices of cheerfulness, and many were the veterans who had followed him from Harper's Ferry to Manassas, from Winchester to Port Republic, from Cold Harbor to Fredericksburg, whose bronzed cheeks were now wet


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