cities Fame challenges, in vain, a response from their past.
Over the continents and the isles of the sea the story runs.
The whole world is tumultuous with applause.
A new generation has heard the story with undiminished admiration and praise.
It is making its way up through the opening years to the opening centuries.
The posterities of all the living will gladly hear and treasure it, and will hand it down to the end of time as an inspiration and example of courage to all who shall hereafter take up arms.
The intrinsic merit of the charge of Pickett
's men at Gettysburg
, is too great, too broad, too immortal for the limitations of sections, of states, or of local pride.
The people of this great and growing republic, now so happily reunited, have and feel a common kinship and a common heritage in this peerless example of American courage and American heroism.
But let us return to the battlefield to view our dead, our dying and our wounded.
Here they lie scattered over the line of their march; here at the stone wall they lie in solid heaps along its foot; and here within the Federal
lines they are as autumnal leaves—each and all precious heroes—each the loved one of some home in dear, dear Virginia
Now we seem to catch the sound of another strain.
It is more human; it touches pathetically more closely human hearts.
It is the wailing voice of afflicted love.
It is the sobbing outburst of the sorrow of bereavement coming up from so many homes and families, from so many kinsmen and friends; and with it comes the mournful lamentations of Virginia
herself, the mother of us all, over the loss of so many of her bravest and best sons.
Of her generals Garnett
is dead, Armistead
is dying; and Kemper
Of her colonels of regiments six are killed on the field, Hodges
, and Owen
is dying and Stuart
are killed, Calcutt, Wade
Five colonels, Hunton
, are wounded.
commanding regiments, Martin
Of the whole compliment of field officers in fifteen regiments only one escaped unhurt, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph C. Cabell
The loss of company officers are in equal proportion.
It is a sad, mournful summing up. Let the curtain fall on the tragic scene.
But there are some of those who fell on that field whom I cannot pass by with a mere enumeration.