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 theme shall be, How Hood's Brigade Won Its Spurs in Virginia. To tell all of its achievements would make a book, and would worry your patience. I shall, therefore, undertake a glimpse of the campaign of 1862—the first real campaign of the war, and one in which that band of heroes carved for themselves and their State immortal fame. Had I the gift of genius or the skill of the literary artist, I might weave a romance that would set at nought the march of Xenophon and his Grecian band into the heart of Asia, or that would pale into insignificance the deeds of chivalry and valor which characterized the days of knight errantry, when Richard the Lion Hearted led the chivalry of Europe against Salladin and his hordes of Moslems in the Holy Land. But, as it is, I must content myself with cold facts, and let history speak for itself. Some of you here remember the Texas of 1861. The Lone Star State was then a marvel of beauty, interspersed here and there with farms and hamlets, and towns and villages, the cheerful homes of men. The hand of civilization had as yet scarcely marred the fair face of this Empire State. Only one or two short lines of railway were then in existence. Beyond these the stage coach was the public conveyance between places, while in all our borders we only had 600,000 or 700,000 people, one-fourth of whom were negroes. But our white population constituted a robust and vigorous race—an honest yeomanry, the sons of pioneers, the progeny of the early settlers of this vast domain. But to-day how changed! The beauty of the wilderness has given place to the wonders of civilization. The whole country is dotted with farms and ranches, towns and cities have sprung up on every hand, and more than 10,000 miles of railway form a network of travel and communication between our most distant points, while an enterprising population of three and a half million souls indicate the material progress we have accomplished. When the call to arms was sounded the authorities at Richmond were appealed to, and Texas was grudgingly allowed to send three regiments to Virginia, the anticipated arena of the contending armies. These were raised in an incredibly short space of time, the counties vieing with each other in an effort to get into the regiments. As fast as they were ready they were
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