This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 The soldier who stands for duty, for law, for his State, is a high type. Forrest, at Memphis, in the midst of the mob, outraged by the murderer's savage wrongs, when he stood for law, was a very high type. A grand example it was, as it comes freighted from the past, in these latter days, when the sad influences of a severe war had broken up the foundations of the social fabric, and society needed great men to stay the passions of mankind. Let us, then, see if Perryville has any types worthy of treasuring up. No fairer land can be found than that area of Kentucky that centers around the triangular space marked by Harrodsburg, Danville and Perryville. The substantial elements of peaceful homes and prosperous conditions now distinguish it. It was not so thirty-nine years ago. Then armed soldiers traversed this once beautiful land. The sound of the drum, the roar of artillery were heard everywhere. The two great sections of the country were arrayed in hostile conflict. The South then, perhaps more than now, resolutely insisted upon the Constitution of the country in all its integrity. Mob violence was a rare thing. Her sons were trained to love the State; her statesmen were noted as defenders of the Constitution. Perhaps it is a tendency on the part of majorities to wield its power without regarding sacredly the limitations and principles that at an earlier date in national life were deemed fundamental. Majorities are like floods of a river—they overflow the channel. In that day the North, conscious of its power, stopped not to consider constitutional limitations. Had wiser counsels prevailed and constitutional limitations been regarded, doubtless the beneficent results, in some respects, of the great struggle would have been attained without so great a sacrifice of life and treasure. Providence did not so order. There was chivalry, intelligence and love of State in the Southern youth. They did not dislike the flag, but they loved the Constitution. The stories of the revolution were to them household tales. So, when the gleam of the bayonet and the flash of the sword appeared upon Southern hills, they sent their electric effect across Southern valleys, and those who bore them were deemed invaders; so the young men of the South rushed to arms. The South had drawn great inspiration, too, from Northern youth and Northern manhood. Many of her illustrious men had taught the Southern youth, men who afterwards became famous in American history. Seward and Douglas and Blaine and many others had instructed Southern youth, in Southern States. The South's roster of famous names gave their birthplaces to many in Northern States;
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.