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[287]

With these, since June 10, 1889, the United Confederate Veterans were organized for purposes ‘strictly social, literary, historical and benevolent.’ Gen. John B. Gordon, of Georgia, who was the first commander of the new organization, is still happily in command. Since his appointment, the Louisiana division of the order has elected each year a major-general for the State. The list has been W. J. Behan (twice), John Glynn, Jr., John O. Watts, B. F. Eshleman, W. G. Vincent, John McGrath, E. H. Lombard.

Each year the sturdy tree of ex-Confederates rises higher and broader in the city's sky. In its tinier upper branches we recognize hopefully the ‘Sons of Veterans,’ who are proud of what their fathers did. These lads, clear-eyed and cheery-voiced, will keep that tree fresh while loving ‘Old Glory’ with ardent young heart. Nor will they fail to recall, with a subtle feeling of blood-ownership, that battleflag which in days of storm fluttered, star-crossed, over charging lines sweeping to victory; or, nailed to the masthead, went down in the bloody waves with the Alabama, off Cherbourg. It went down not in shame, but in honor, broad as the world which had looked on amazed. In birth, a foundling; in age, a child; in strength, a giant greater than Pantagruel; in glory, it was what the gray-coats who died where it floated had, full of love for it, made it. ‘It hath no speech nor language,’ but, had either been given to it, it would thus speak to the world:

Not long unfurled was I known,
     For Fate was against me;
But I flashed over a Pure Cause,
     And on Land and Sea
So fired the hearts of Men into Heroism
     That the World honored me.
Within my folds the Dead who died under them
     Lie fitly shrouded;
And my tattered Colors,
     Crowded with a thousand shining Victories,
Have become,
     For the People who love me,
A Glorified Memory.

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