I will recall one or two instances to show the spirit of those women: I had a friend, a widow, who had only two sons; both enlisted for the war. The first was killed at Fredericksburg; the other was killed by the same volley that laid low our immortal Jackson, and this heroic boy, with his life-blood ebbing fast, had only breath to gasp, ‘Is the General hurt?’ When I was weeping with that poor mother, comfort I could not give, she said: ‘Both of my boys are gone, but if I had to do all this over again, I would not act differently.’ I knew a boy who belonged to the company that was organized in the village where I am now living. When he had been in Virginia more than two years, and had been in many battles, his mother wrote to President Davis, and in her letter used these words: ‘I notice that General Lee has gone into winter quarters, and there will be no fighting for several weeks. So, if my boy has done his duty, I respectfully beg that he be granted a furlough to come home to see me, for I greatly long to see him.’ Mark the simplicity and sublimity of that mother's words: ‘If my boy has done his duty.’ Bishop Polk gives an instance of sublime devotion of a Tennessee mother, who gave five sons to the Confederacy. When the first one was killed, and the Bishop was trying to say some words of comfort, she said: ‘My son Billy will be old enough next spring to take his brother's place.’ The only idea of duty that this heroic mother had was to give her boys to the cause she loved as soon as they were old enough to bear a musket. Such was the spirit of your mothers and your grandmothers. I will tell you of two funerals I attended—one in 1861, the other in 1865. In the early summer of 1861 I witnessed the funeral of the gallant Colonel Charley Dreaux, who was killed in Virginia in a skirmish before any of the great battles had been fought. Colonel Dreaux was the first Louisianian who sealed his devotion to the cause with his blood, and one of the very first from any State. When he was borne to his last resting place, he was followed by a vast concourse of people with drooping flags, muffled drums, the tolling of all the church bells and the bands playing the dead march. It was a funeral that befitted a hero who had died for his country. Very different was it later on. In the spring of 1865, I was in
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The battlefields of Virginia .
The address of Hon. John Lamb .
Historical memorial of the Charlotte Cavalry .
Some war history never published.
Mr. Davis 's Version of it.
Yankee gunboat Smith Briggs. from the Times-dispatch, March 18 , 1906 , and July 15 , 1906 .
First battle of Manassas .
Mrs. Eggleston 's address.
William Smith , Governor of Virginia , and Major-General C. S. Army , hero and patriot.
Fellow-citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia .
Roll of brave men.
List of Virginia chaplains, Army of Northern Virginia .
Location of the guns.
The Berkeley brothers from the Richmond News-leader, January 21 , 1907 .
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.