of our people, and of our armies, upon the testimony of the same witnesses and on these alone. Let us leave the praise that ever waits on noble deeds to be fashioned
By some yet unmoulded tongueDuring his first campaign in Italy Napoleon, in writing of his soldiers, uses this language, which to my mind strikingly describes the soldiers which composed our Southern armies. He says:
Far on in summers that we shall not see.
They jest with danger and laugh at death; and if anything can equal their intrepidity it is the gaiety with which, singing alternately songs of love and patriotism, they accomplish the most severe forced marches. When they arrive in their bivouac it is not to take their repose, as might be expected, but to tell each his story of the battle of the day and produce his plan for that of to-morrow; and many of them think with great correctness on military subjects. The other day I was inspecting a demibrigade, and as it filed past me, a common Chasseur approached my horse and said, “General, you ought to do so and so.” “Hold your peace, you rogue,” I replied. He disappeared immediately, nor have I since been able to find him out. But the manoeuvre which he recommended was the very same which I had privately resolved to carry into execution.And so I heard a distinguished Confederate soldier say that a private in the Army of Northern Virginia, sitting on the side of the mountain, outlined to him one evening the whole plan of the battle which was executed by the commanding general on the following day. One by one the soldiers of the Confederate armies are passing into history. Whilst they go, not like those of the 10th Legion or the Phalanx, the representatives of victorious warfare; yet they will go as the defenders of a cause, which not only unprejudiced foreigners, but many of their former enemies, both during and since the conflict, have pronounced just and right; as soldiers who did their duty and whose defence of that cause was such as to challenge the admiration of the world. I thank God that there is not linked with the names of these men, the crimes of vandalism, which so often brought forth the ‘widow's wail and the orphan's cry,’ and which so marked the desolated track of those against whom they fought. I thank God too, that no pension scandal has ever linked its corrupt and corrupting touch to the name of the Confederate soldier;