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[150] then nursing was not an episode. It was grave duty, grim labor; heartbreaking endurance—all self-imposed, and lasting for years, yet shirked and relinquished only for cause.

But the dainty little hands that tied the red bandage, or ‘held the artery,’ unflinching; the nimble feet that wearied not by fever cot, or operating table, the active months of war, grew nimbler still on bridle, or in the dance when ‘the boys’ came home. This was sometimes on ‘flying furlough,’ or when an aid, or courier, with dispatches, was told to wait. Then ‘The One Girl’ was mounted on anything that could carry her; and the party would ride far to the front, in full view of the enemy, and often in pointblank range. Or, it was when frozen ruts made roads impassable, for invader and fender; and the furlough was perhaps easier, and longer. Then came those now historic dances, the starvation parties, where rank told nothing, and where the only refreshment that came in, that intoxicant — a woman's voice and eyes.

Then came the ‘Dies Irae,’ when the Southern Rachel sat in the ashes of her desolation and her homespun was sackcloth. And even then she rose supreme. By her desolate hearth, with her larder empty, and only her aching heart full, she still forced a smile for the home coming ‘boy,’ through the repressed tears for the one left-somewhere in the fight.

In Richmond, Atlanta, Charleston and elsewhere was she bitter and unforgiving? If she drew her faded skirt-ever a black one, in that case — from the passing blue, was it ‘treason,’ or human nature? Thinkers, who wore the blue, have time and oft declared the latter. Was she ‘unreconstructed?’ Her wounds were great and wondrous sore. She was true then to her faith. That she is so to-day to the reunited land, let the fathers of Spanish war heroes tell. She needs no monument; it is reared in the hearts of true men, North and South.

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