left behind us at Seven Pines
, at Cold Harbor, at Malvern Hill
, at Second Manassas
, at Crampton's Gap, at Sharpsburg
, at Gettysburg
, at Chancellorsville
, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, at the Wilderness
, at Hatcher's Run
, in the gorged mouth of the Crater; if those men fell for nothing; if no God sits in the Heavens to judge their cause; if there be no reward for them, who seeing duty, did it, laying down life as a common thing in defence of kindred and home; then we have no future.
Let us patch up a treaty with the horrid Past, let us eat of the grovelling swine's food fed to rebels, let us spit upon the dust of our dishonored dead, and let us teach our children to despise their fathers as a robber band.
Is there one in all this audience who can believe and teach that creed?
No! no! I see before me women who sent out their husbands that came back no more when the soldiers returned from the war. I see before me mothers, fathers, who sent out their sons to do battle for the right, yonder where the battle was raging so fiercely, and they came back no more.
Think you there is any attaint of treason on those honored names which you hand down as a heritage to them who are to come after you?
Sits there a skulking figure of shame upon yonder green mound in the old church yard, where loving hands spread flowers year by year on the natal day of your soldiers' immortality?
No, comrades, cherish and honor and keep and defend their memories!
Away with the apologetic whine for the part we took in the war between the States, and the maudlin confession that we fought for what we thought was right!
We fought for what we knew
The issue of battle never yet established a principle
, it can only determine a policy
. We contended for the principle of State Sovereignty, as written in the Constitution
of our fathers, for the rights of the State
and for the liberty of the citizen.
tinkled his little bell at Washington
and notified the world that the laws were silent, and Mr. Greely
declared that the Constitution
was a ‘league with hell and a covenant with the devil.’
Congress ordained that the safety of the nation demanded such construction, and the sword established the new Policy of Central Power.
We yielded, not convinced, but conquered—and only after such contest, that the world looked and wondered how six millions of people could keep at bay for four long years, forty millions—with every government upon earth at their back.
We accepted the terms of the new government, not the old, we gave our fealty and we shall keep it to the new, as we kept it to the old, and we notify all peoples and nations that the Stars and Stripes are ours now, and hands