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Editorial paragraphs.

Our Fifth volume closes with this number, and we think our readers will agree that we have redeemed our promise “to maintain the high character of our publications.”

We are constantly in receipt of assurances from every quarter that our Papers are not only deeply interesting, but indispensible to a full knowledge of the truth of Confederate history.

Our friends will be glad to learn that our subscription list is steadily increasing, and that we hope to report at the next annual meeting of the Society very much the best financial exhibit which we have ever made.

It is our purpose to exert every effort to increase the interest and value of our publications, and we feel assured that we can do so if our friends will continue to stand by us and help us.

We contemplate various improvements in our monthly so soon as our subscription list will justify the extra expense, and we beg our friends everywhere to exert themselves to extend our circulation. If each subscriber would forward us a new one by the 1st of July, we would at once increase the number of pages in each issue and make other contemplated improvements.

Shall we not have a number of earnest workers in this direction?

Photographs or Engravings of leading Confederates are a very desirable part of our material. We wish to hand down to posterity the features of the men who made our glorious history, and we should be under special obligations to friends who can make additions to our collection.

Mr. M. Miley, of Lexington, Va., has sent us a superb collection of his photographs, embracing the following: President Jefferson Davis, General R. E. Lee, Lieutenant-GeneralStonewallJackson, Lieutenant-General J. A. Early, Major-General John C. Breckinridge, Major-General Fitz. Lee, Major-General G. W. C. Lee, Major-General W. H. F. Lee, and Brigadier-General W. N. Pendleton.

For accuracy of likeness and beauty of execution these photographs are unsurpassed, and we would be very glad to see them in the homes of our people in place of the miserable daubs so frequently found.

And we, of course, feel none the less kindly towards Miley, the artist, because we remember that he was a gallant soldier in the famous old

Rockbridge Artillery.

[302] “Memorial day” has not been forgotten this year at the South, and we trust that the time is far distant when our women shall cease to deck with flowers the graves of the patriot heroes “who died for us,” or to teach our children to cherish their memories and emulate their virtues.

Our printers stopped work to-day (May the 22d) in order to join the throng that pressed through the avenues of beautiful “Hollywood” to deck the graves and honor the memories of the braves who sleep beneath its sod.

As we gazed on the silent “bivouack of the dead,” and noted that all (from every State of the Confederacy and of every rank) were remembered, and that at least some simple flower decorated the grave of each, we felt that it might be gratifying to loved ones far away to assure them that Richmond still cherishes in her heart of hearts the “boys who wore the gray” and freely gave their lives in her defence.

It was a sacred privilege to stand among the graves of these “unknown heroes” of the rank and file, or to linger around the resting-place of “JebStuart, whose stainless sword is sheathed forever; A. P. Hill, who gladly laid down his noble life at the call of duty; the gallant Pickett, who appropriately bivouacks among his boys on “Gettysburg” hill; Willie Pegram, “the boy artillerist,” whose record lives in the hearts of the whole army, and whose last words were: “I have done my duty, and now I turn to my Savior” ; John H. Pegram, whose brave young life was sacrificed at the post of duty he always coveted; General Ed. Johnson, who so loved to “go in with the boys,” musket in hand; General Henry A. Wise, “the fearless tribune of the people,” who claimed no exemption from hardship and danger on account of his age or long service; Colonel D. B. Harris, Beauregard's great engineer officer, “whose merit was only equalled by his modesty” ; Commodore Maury, whose brave devotion to the right was not eclipsed by his world-wide fame as a scientist, and many other men of mark whom we may not now even mention.

The following beautiful letter from ex-President Davis was read at the recent laying of the corner-stone of the Confederate monument at Macon, Ga., and so appropriately gives voice to the sentiments of the people of the South generally that we print it in full:

Mississippi City, Miss., April 11, 1878.
Gentlemen: I sincerely regret my inability to be present at the laying of the corner-stone of “a monument to be erected in Macon, Ga., in honor of our dead Confederate soldiers.”

The event possesses every attraction to me; it is inspired by the Ladies' Memorial Association; the monument is to be located in the keystone State of the Confederate arch, and to commemorate the sacrifices of those who died in the defence of our inherited and “inalienable” rights.

What though we were overborne by numbers and accessories not less efficient, truth is not to be measured by success in maintaining it against force; nor is the glory less of him who upholds it in the face of unequal [303] odds, but is it not rather more to his credit that he counted all else as dust in the balance when weighed with honor and duty? On many a stricken field our soldiers stood few and faint, but fearless still, for they wore the panoply of unquestioning confidence in the rectitude of their cause, and knew how to die but not to surrender. Let not any of their survivors impugn their faith by offering the penitential plea that “they believed they were right..”

It is meet that this monument should have originated with the ladies of the land, whose self-denial was conspicuous through all the tri'als and sufferings of war, whose gentle ministrations in the hospitals and at the wayside refectories so largely contributed to relieve the sick and the wounded, and whose unfaltering devotion to their country's cause in the darkest hours of our struggle illustrated the fidelity of the sex which was last at the cross and first at the sepulchre.

I am profoundly thankful to them for inviting me to represent them as their orator on the approaching occasion. Had it been practicable to accept, their request would have been to me a command, obeyed with no other reluctance than the consciousness of inability to do justice to the theme.

Thanks to the merits of our Confederate dead, they need neither orator nor bard to commend their deeds to the present generation of their countrymen. Many fell far from home and kindred, and sleep in unmarked graves, but all are gathered in the love of those for whom they died, and their memories are hallowed in the hearts of all true Confederates.

By the pious efforts of our people many humble cemeteries — such as, in their impoverishment, were possible — have been prepared, and the Confederate dead have been collected in them from neighboring battlefields. There annually, with reverential affection, the graves alike of the known and unknown are decked with vernal flowers, expressive of gratitude renewable forever, and typical of the hope of a resurrection and reunion “where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.”

To be remembered, honored, beloved by their people, is the reward bestowed on our Confederate dead. It is the highest which a good and purely patriotic man could desire. Should it be asked, Why, then, build this monument? the answer is, They do not need it, but posterity may. It is not their reward, but our debt. If the greatest gift a hero gives his race is to have been a hero in order that this gift may be utilized to coming generations, its appreciation by cotemporaries should be rendered as visible and enduring as possible. Let the monument, rising from earth toward heaven, lift the minds of those who come after us to a higher standard than the common test of success. Let it teach that man is born for duty, not for expediency; that when an attack is made on the community to which he belongs, by which he is protected, and to which his allegiance is due, his first obligation is to defend that community; and that under such conditions it is better to have “fought and lost than never to have fought at all.” Let posterity learn by this monument that you commemorate men who died in a defensive war; that they did not, as has been idly stated, submit to the arbitrament of arms the questions at issue-questions which involved the inalienable rights inherited from their ancestors and held in trust for their posterity; but that they strove to maintain the State sovereignty which their fathers left them, and which it was their duty, if possible, to transmit to their children.

Away, then, with such feeble excuses for the abandonment of principles which may be crushed for awhile, but which, possessing the eternal vitality of truth, must in its own good time prevail over perishable error. [304] Let this monument teach that heroism derives its lustre from the justice of the cause in which it is displayed, and let it mark the difference between a war waged for the robber-like purpose of conquest and one to repel invasion — to defend a people's hearths and altars, and to maintain their laws and liberties. Such was the war in which our heroes fell, and theirs is the crown which sparkles with the gems of patriotism and righteousness, with a glory undimmed by any motive of aggrandizement or intent to inflict ruin on others. We present them to posterity as examples to be followed, and wait securely for the verdict of mankind when knowledge shall have dispelled misrepresentation and delusion. Is it unreasonable to hope that mature reflection and a closer study of the political history of the Union may yet restore the rights prostrated by the passions developed in our long and bloody war? If, however, it should be otherwise, then from our heroes' graves shall come in mournful tones the

Answer fit:
And if our children must obey,
They must, but thinking on our day,
'Twill less debase them to submit.

Yours faithfully, Jefferson Davis.

Back volumes can be furnished now, but the supply is by no means inexhaustible, and we would advise those desiring to secure them to do so at once.

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