your past; thus pledged to a future of devotion to the Confederate cause and its rightfulness. Ladies of the New Orleans Chapter 72, United Daughters of the Confederacy, your decoration becomes an inestimable prize, a badge of knighthood, ennobling the Confederate veteran who receives it. Such will it ever be to me. And if my heart could be further moved in gratefulness, it would proceed from the appropriateness of the anniversary under celebration and the sacred precints you have chosen to make me presentation of this emblem of martial and patriotic services rendered the Confederacy and the South. You have conferred it on me, as it were, in the view of the whole Confederacy—under the auspices of its president, Jefferson Davis. For the Confederacy is here in this temple of its fame in all the intensity and dramatic action of its short-lived years. From these tattered and bloody flags its heroism speaks forth; from these weapons, these relics, these fragments, these documents, its spirits, its motives, its devotion, its rights are proclaimed; its great leaders, chieftains and immortal soldiers surround you, lending there Confederate days' appearance to these ceremonies; it is recalled in every article you touch or see; it permeates the air, and here to-day it stirs your Southern pulses as of yore. And above all others, one presence prevades this hall, one personality dominates its memories; it is that of the Confederacy's first and only president, Jefferson Davis. Follow it through, from the cradle in yonder corner, where, in Christian county, of the ‘dark and bloody ground,’ his infancy was rocked, 93 years ago, by sturdy southern parents, and then recall the day when, in state, his body lay under this beautiful roof, in the midst of these holy relics, surrounded by grieving hearts of a community he loved so much, and you have spanned his life. But, at every step herein, touching and precious mementos tell its story between, and mark the epochs of his illustrious career. 'Tis in his commission, signed by President Andrew Jackson, as lieutenant in the United States army, for gallantry in the Black Hawk war; 'tis in his watch, worn at the capture of Monterey, when commanding the First Mississippi Rifles; 'tis in the swords presented to him by a foreign minister, whilst Secretary of War of the United States; 'tis in that mass of his official papers, so clear and statesmanly; 'tis in those books of his masterly messages, and other State papers, when President of the Confederate States of America; 'tis in that picture and souvenirs of his white house, at Richmond, where he went, chosen by his people to guide their government through the storm
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