Our private soldiers.
No one can behold the achievements and the deportment of the private soldiers of the South
without a feeling of admiration skin to reverence.
They have performed deeds of valor which have startled the world, and which the leading journals of Europe
have pronounced unsurpassed by the most heroic days of Greece
And yet they are as modest and unassuming, as unconscious of doing anything remarkable, as if they had never encountered an hour of peril or a moment of privation.
Whatever treatment they may sometimes receive from vulgar insolence, the humblest hero in the ranks of the South
has a hold upon the hearts of the Southern
people not surpassed by that of our most illustrious officers, and not approached by that which is felt for mere embroidered officials, who have only entered the service to promote their own personal fortunes.
The vast popularity of the immortal Jackson
arose from the fact that he was the impersonation of the Southern
soldier; that he so thoroughly embodied the valor, the impetuosity, the self-devotion, and the humility of the men in the ranks.
Those qualities achieved his success, and the officer who expects to wear his mantle must emulate his virtues, and model his own heart after the unselfish and heroic spirit of the private soldier.