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[341] services and sacrifices, but have turned away baffled at the contemplation of the task. Poets who have sung the achievements of heroes and warriors have found verse all too feeble to translate their loving deeds into song, and minstrels with harps well-nigh attuned to suit the Angelic Choir, have before that theme stood hesitant and abashed, with nerveless fingers and silent strings. It has been proposed to rear a monument to these noble women. I would love to contribute my mite to this undertaking. But I know too well that the highest conception of artistic genius can never measure up to the task of fitly portraying to the world the patriotism, heroism, devotion, and sacrifices of the noble women of the Southland. They were and are, in the language of Wordsworth:

Perfect women, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort and command.

And what can I say of our leaders in that cause? It is no small thing to be able to say of them that they were cultivated men, without fear, and without reproach, and most of them the highest types of Christian gentlemen; that they were men whose characters have borne the inspection and commanded the respect of the world. Yes, the names of Davis, of Lee, of Jackson, the Johnstons, Beauregard, Ewell, Gordon, Early, Stuart, Hampton, Magruder, the Hills, Forrest, Cleburne, Polk, and a thousand others I could mention, will grow brighter and brighter, as the years roll on, because no stain of crime or vandalism is linked to those names; and because those men have performed deeds which deserve to live in history. And what shall I say of the men who followed these leaders? I will say this, without the slightest fear of contradiction from any source: They were the most unselfish and devoted patriots that ever marched to the tap of the drum, or stood on the bloody front of battle. The northern historian, Swinton, speaks of them as the ‘incomparable infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia.’ Colonel Dodge, a distinguished Federal officer, in his lecture on Chancellorsville, before the Lowell Institute in Boston, says:

The morale of the Confederate army could not have been finer.

* * * ‘Perhaps no infantry was ever, in its peculiar way, more permeated with the instinct of pure fighting—ever felt the gaudiam certaminis more than the Army of Northern Virginia.’

Another gallant Federal colonel thus wrote of them:

I take a just pride as an American citizen, a descendant on both

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