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[384] to be ‘disloyal’ to the existing Constitution, laws and government of our Union, and your ‘protest’ seems, therefore, not only unnecessary, but very uncalled for, albeit made ‘in the name of the fallen of both sides.’

There were indeed two sides to that great question, which you say, and we fully admit, had its ‘final settlement’ at Appomattox. But Appomattox was a battle-field, not a judicial forum, and that settlement, final and complete as we acknowledge it to have been, was made by weight of numbers and force of arms, and not by reason, judgment, or law. Physical might cannot determine the question of legal or moral right, and whether the North or the South had right and law and justice on its side is still a disputed point, which can only be settled by the impartial judgment of posterity, when we who took part in that great contest, which cost so much of blood and treasure, and gave to the world such splendid examplars of the dignity, the worth, and the grandeur of man, have joined our comrades who now sleep in their honored graves.

“A decent respect to the opinions of mankind” has impelled both sides, the North and the South as well, to set forth in historic records, in memorial orations, in song and story, the reasons which controlled their action; and both, to their honor, be it said, have reared monuments of bronze and marble to perpetuate the memory and deeds of those who nobly died for the cause they believed to be just.

We acknowledge with pleasure the generous action of Columbia and other Illinois Posts in uniting with the Confederate veterans now living in Chicago in decorating on last Memorial-Day the graves of their dead in Oakwood cemetery. In like manner, as you know, Confederate veterans here and throughout the South have often laid their floral wreaths on the grass-grown mounds which mark the last resting-places of the brave soldiers who fought against them.

On such occasions we, too, but pay ‘a willing tribute to the memory of brave men, in no wise referring to the cause for which they fell.’

But we must remind you that Mr. Cave did not speak on any such occasion. His oration was delivered at the unveiling of a monument to the private soldiers and sailors who died in behalf of the Southern cause, in resistance to an armed invasion of their native land, and in defence, as they honestly believed, of their personal liberties and constitutional rights.

He spoke almost in sight of the graves of some 7,000 of those heroic men, almost in sight of the battle-fields once drenched with

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