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[363] brother in determining the domestic policy of the new State. The question was not whether the negro should be freed or held in servitude, but whether the white man of the South should have the same privileges enjoyed by the white man of the North. It was not the desire to hold others in bondage, but the desire to maintain their own rights that actuated the Southern people throughout the conflict; and it behooves us to insist on this, that the memory of those who ‘wore the gray’ may be handed down to posterity freed from the slanderous accusations that they were the enemies of liberty and champions of slavery, who plunged the country into a bloody war that they might the more firmly fasten fetters on human limbs.

And it also behooves us, in justice to the men who served under the banner of the Confederacy, to insist that they were not rebels, fighting against lawful authority and seeking to destroy the Union formed by our fathers of American Independence. That Union was dear to the hearts of the Southern people. They regarded it as a fraternal federation, founded in wisdom and patriotism, and in no case were they disloyal to the obligations which it imposed upon them.

The impartial student of American history will find that the sons of the South were always among the foremost in the battles of the Union against foreign foes, and that they were ever readiest to make sacrifices in the interest of harmony between the sections.

For the sake of maintaining the Union the South made concession after concession; surrendered right after right; submitted to unjust taxation; consented to compromises, every one of which tended to weaken herself and strengthen the North, and for more than forty years clung to the national compact, in spite of flagrant violations of its spirit and letter by Northern men.

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