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Again we are assembled in this beautiful city of the dead to testify our respect and veneration for the brave men whose last resting places fair hands have strewn with flowers, while in tearful contemplation we recall their heroic deeds and unflinching devotion to duty and principle.

Forty years ago our country was torn with the dissensions incident to civil strife, and from the North went forth its hosts to battle for the Union, while the South gave up the very flower of its manhood, who responded to their conception of patriotic defense of home and fireside. This appeal to arms was followed by a conflict which has passed into history as one of the mightiest in deeds and in result ever chronicled. For four years was illustrated, as only American courage and devotion can illustrate, the valor of our people. The end came only when the material resources of the South were exhausted, its defenders reduced by the casualties of a protracted war, its ports in the hands of its antagonists, its fields devastated and unproductive, while the unlimited supplies of the North, with the markets of the world at command, were comparatively unaffected. The story of Appomattox, when the remnant of the once proud army of Northern Virginia yielded its eight thousand muskets to the encircling hosts of its persistent foe, speaks in no equivocal manner of the straits to which the Confederacy had been reduced.

The starry cross, the banner of Lee and Jackson, of Johnston and Beauregard, of Stuart, Hampton and Forrest, was laid away. Time is the great physician. The passions of the past have been measurably stilled, and out of a great evil and trial we can appropriate and secure lessons of good.

While the cause of these dear comrades failed in the purpose for which they and we gave our best efforts and prayers, yet the memories of their valiant struggle, the gallantry and undaunted courage with which they asserted their manhood, the fortitude with which they endured privation and suffering, sanctify and illumine a principle which we then believed, and in the light of after years of sad experiences still believe, to have been the noblest to which man could dedicate his effort, and, if need be, surrender his life. From these silent graves comes forth in terms most eloquent the appeal to the young of our country to revere and cherish its fundamental laws, to respect the liberties of the people, and to maintain its institutions as a refuge for the oppressed and its mission as a protector against the oppressor. But these fallen heroes are not alone in their

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Appomattox (Virginia, United States) (2)

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J. E. B. Stuart (2)
Robert Edward Lee (2)
Joseph E. Johnston (2)
Andrew Jackson (2)
Wade Hampton (2)
Nathan Bedford Forrest (2)
G. T. Beauregard (2)
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