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Pensioning of the Confederate soldier by the United States.


Sound doctrine.

[The following ‘protest’ is simply the united sentiment of the Confederate soldier. He incited no populist partisan, and holds himself not at all responsible for any utterance the aim of which is palpable. He would accept nothing to his stultification. He may abide his time in restful sustenance. He simply pleads to be let alone. His own will care for and provide for him. So, leave the ‘dying lion’ in peace!]


[313]

Strong protest against pensions for Confederates.

At the annual meeting of the Pickett-Buchanan Camp of Confederate Veterans of Norfolk, Va., held January 24th last, the following resolutions were adopted:

Headquarters Pickett-Buchanan Camp, C. V., Norfolk, Va., January 24, 1899.,
Commander and Comrades.
Your committee appointed on the 19th instant to consider the subject to which the following resolutions relate, respectfully report as follows:

Pickett-Buchanan Camp, No. 3 of the Grand Camp, Confederate Veterans, Department of Virginia, has read with pleasure the speech made by the President of the United States at the Atlanta Peace Jubilee, on the 14th of December, 1898, on which occasion the President, addressing Confederate veterans, used the following language:

‘Every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor, and while when these graves were made we differed widely about the future of this government, the differences were long ago settled by the arbitrament of arms, and the time has now come in the evolution of sentiment and feeling, under the Providence of God, when in the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers.’

This camp cordially accepts the assurances thus given by the President in the same spirit which prompted its utterance, and honors the sincere purpose which actuated him in expressing this patriotic sentiment. But the incident at Atlanta has been used by some misguided persons to introduce into Federal politics two widely different questions: (i) The admission of Confederate veterans into National Soldiers' Homes and (2) the gift of pensions to Confederate soldiers.

It is against such mock humanity and false pretences that this camp desires to record its indignant protest. The Confederate soldier is unwilling to be placed on the pension rolls of the United States or to become the recipient of any of its bounties.

The time can never come when we would feel honored by any such [314] mistaken generosity, and no political art nor sophistry shall place him in this false position.

A generation has passed away since Confederate soldiers gave up the fight for separate independence as a nation, but death alone can take away their personal independence as brave and true men.

No prouder position has been held by any people on earth than the soldiers of the South have enjoyed since the surrender at Appomattox.

For three and thirty years they have held their way, not only unassisted by the United States government, but in spite of it, and now, towards the close of their earthly career, they look back upon their record, in war as well as in peace, as a precious heritage, not only to their children, but to all generations of those who love true liberty.

They cannot be induced by the power of money nor the patronage of goverment to become participants in the crowning iniquity of the war, the pension list of the United States.

We thank God that the sons of Confederate veterans, by the most conspicuous gallantry in the war with Spain of 1898, have proved that they are worthy descendants of the men who, in 1861, fought for Confederate independence; but the Confederate veteran will be content to remain forever the possessor of an independent spirit, convinced that a Federal pension is worse than Confederate poverty. Therefore, be it

Resolved, by Pickett-Buchanan Camp, Confederate Veterans, of Norfolk, Va.:

First. That the care of the graves of Confederate soldiers is a sacred duty which has been assumed by the men and women of the South, and while we appreciate and gratefully acknowledge the individual sympathy of all parts of our common country in doing honor to the Confederate dead, it is not our desire to accept any governmental aid for Confederate cemeteries.

Second. That we are opposed to any legislation or movement looking towards the admission of Confederate soldiers into the United States National Soldiers' Homes.

Third. That we here record our unanimous opposition against the bill now pending in Congress seeking to place Confederate veterans on the pension rolls of the United States; and to the end that such legislation may be defeated, we resolve that a copy of these [315] resolutions be immediately forwarded to the Senators and Representatives of Virginia in Congress, urging them to oppose by every means in their power the passage of any and all such bills.

(Signed)


On motion, the report of the committee and the resolutions offered were adopted by a unanimous rising vote.

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