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[47] dispersed, persecuted, banished, nothing has ever made him forget or neglect the tradition of his race.

Well, my fellow-citizens, oppressed and impoverished as we are, it is in our power to establish for ourselves and our posterity forever as unfading and significant a memorial. Let this day become the national Holy day of the South. Let it be celebrated each returning year by the prayers of the church for the prosperity of the land for which these martyrs gave their lives, and by the tribute of praise paid by eloquent lips. Let young and old repair to these consecrated graves to decorate them with the graceful floral offerings of spring. Let these pious and touching ceremonies be so engrafted upon our nation's customs that when our descendants shall ask, like the Hebrew children of old, ‘What mean ye by this service?’ they shall be answered: ‘In memory of those devoted men who fought and died to secure to our land the blessings of liberty and self-government.’ Let these solemn observances be sacredly transmitted from generation to generation, and they will remain a monument in the hearts of our posterity which shall endure as long as our language and our race—long after the proudest trophies erected to the triumphs of our adversaries shall have crumbled into dust.

And full well do they, whose hallowed dust lies entombed under our feet, deserve all the respect and veneration we can render to their memories. Those whose scattered remains have been collected here by our Memorial Association belonged mainly to the rank and file of the Confederate armies. Ah! whenever I think of them, the suffering and devoted soldiers of our army, my heart swells with tender and mournful emotions. I have lived with them and known them so well.

It was my fortune during the war to command at various times, troops from no less than nine States of our late Confederacy, and in all of them, I recognized the same noble characteristics. So intrepid in danger, and yet so gentle, so obedient to those who know how to command them—so patriotic, so constant and enduring under hardships that can never be adequately described; and I feel a just pride in being able to say that, although always strict in my discipline, never was a single one of our valiant soldiers subjected by any order of mine to a cruel or degrading punishment. Yes, while yielding heartily the full meed of glory due to those chiefs whose genius crowned our arms with so many splendid victories, and to that illustrious body of gallant officers whose position and education made it their duty to command, as it was the duty of others to obey, I


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