Zzzthe spirit of Gentlemen.
And they acted like gentlemen, not merely because the order of their commanding general required them so to act, but because the spirit within themselves was in harmony with and responded to that order.
In the ranks of the Southern
army, uncomplainingly and cheerfully performing the duties of the humble soldier, with little hope of promotion, where intelligence, ability and daring were so common, were men
True as the knights of story,
Sir Launcelot and his peers.
And these humble privates, no less than their leaders, deserve to be honored.
It was Jackson
's line of Virginians
, rather than Jackson
himself, that resembled a stone wall standing on the plains of Manassas
, while the storm of battle hissed and hurled and thundered around them; and, if I mention the name of Jackson
rather than that of the ruddy-faced boy who fell, pierced through the brain, and was buried, on one of Virginia
's hills, in a lonely grave, over which to-day the tangled, wild weeds are growing, it is not because the one was more heroic than the other, but because Jackson
, by his great prominence, more fully embodies before the eyes of the world the patriotism and courage and heroism that glowed no less brightly and steadily in the heart of the beardless boy. These noble qualities, possessed by both and displayed by each as his ability and position permitted, bind them together in my thought, not as officer and private, but as fellow-soldiers and brother patriots.
Exalted virtue, like deepest shame, ever obliterates rank, and brings men into a common brotherhood.