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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 9. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The courage of the Confederate soldier. (search)
Amid the hurtling hail of death he bore it, till he received the mortal wound. He was then taken to the rear, and as his eyes were closing calmly, as if for a night's repose, he said to a friend: Tell my father that I died at my post, and in hope of a peaceful future. Again and again had that soldier expressed to me the conviction that the defeat of the South would be the downfall of republican liberty. We cannot lift the curtain which veils the future and see to what extent this prophecy was true, but whether true or false, it was that conviction that fired his heart and nerved his arm to the last. He, sirs, was a specimen of our Southern soldiery. Like him were the men whose deeds of daring and patriotism have rendered immortal the name of this old battalion of artillery. Like him were Brown, Watson, McCarthy and the men who sank with them in a burial of blood. Like him were thousands who fell beneath our flag-- With their backs to the field, And their feet to the foe.