the American Union, that when the Southern States, deeming the Constitutional compact broken, and their own safety and happiness in imminent danger in the Union, withdrew therefrom and organized their new Confederacy, they but asserted, in the language of Mr. Davis, “the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence, which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever,” and it was in defence of this high and sacred cause that the Confederate soldiers sacrificed their lives.
There was no need of war. The action of the Southern States was legal and Constitutional, and history will attest that it was reluctantly taken in the last extremity.
He now goes on to show how Mr. Lincoln
precipitated the war, and describes the unequal struggle in which the South
was engaged in these words:
After a glorious four years struggle against such odds as have been depicted, during which independence was often almost secured, where successive levies of armies, amounting in all to nearly three millions of men, had been hurled against her, the South, shut off from all the world, wasted, rent and desolate, bruised and bleeding, was at last overpowered by main strength; out-fought, never; for from first to last, she everywhere out-fought the foe. The Confederacy fell, but she fell not until she had achieved immortal fame.
Few great established nations in all time have ever exhibited capacity and direction in government equal to hers, sustained as she was by the iron will and fixed persistence of the extraordinary man who was her chief; and few have ever won such a series of brilliant victories as that which illuminates forever the annals of her splendid armies, while the fortitude and patience of her people, and particularly of her noble women, under almost incredible trials and sufferings, have never been surpassed in the history of the world.
And he then adds:
‘Such exalted character and achievement are not all in vain.
Though the Confederacy
fell, as an actual physical power, she lives illustrated by them, eternally in her just cause—the cause of constitutional liberty
Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge
, one of the present Senators
, in his life of Webster
When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of the States at Philadelphia, and accepted by the States in popular conventions,