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[185] local self-government, and in defense of the principles of the American Constitution.

Such sentiments are no detraction from the position of the Federal soldier—the differences are not under discussion now—much less are they disloyal to the sentiments of a restored union and to a common flag. That flag is now the flag of my country and your country, and beneath its shadow the interests and honor of all sections of this grand country repose in security.

This is not the superserviceable cant, that considers it necessary to degrade the memory of the Confederate States, in order to exalt the Union—or to deify the New by anathematizing the Old South; sentiments born of that inspiration that ‘crooks the pregnant hinges of the knee, that thrift may follow fawning.’

“The old South” needs no defense before a Southern audience. For more than a half century of the history of this government, the grand men of the Old South, on the battle-fields of chivalry, illustrated the loftiest valor, and in the parliamentary tourney they magnified statesmanship—while Southern women, worthy mates of splendid men, reigned with queenly dignity in Southern homes, and dispensed that royal hospitality that has been the theme of poesy and ‘the toast of history.’

To others more competent than I have been assigned the agreeable duty of speaking of the valor and virtues of the Confederate dead. They will tell of the splendid generalship of the chieftans of the South. How the names of her Lees, her Johnstons, of Davis, of Stonewall Jackson, of Gordon and a host of other great captains, by the blaze of battle were photographed on the fore-front leaf of fame. How Jeb Stuart and Forrest and Alabama's own gallant Wheeler and Clanton and others led their ‘rough riders’ into the very jaws of death and immortality.

But they will be neglectful if, in these memorable exercises, they forget him who carried the knapsack and musket, the bright boy who bowed his head for a father's blessing and took his shield from a loving mother's hand with the Spartan injunction: ‘With this when the battle's won, or on it from the field’—the young father, who gently unlocking loving arms of wife and weeping children, turned his back on the happy home, on the vine clad hills, and took up his steady, stately march down the road to duty and to death, and by his glorious courage made a faded ‘gray jacket’ a priceless heirloom in the homes of the South.

Yea, more, the tongues of Southern men will forget their cunning,

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