Table of Contents:
We submitted a few remarks the other day touching the best school that a boy can now be put in — the Confederate army. Next to Sidney Smith's inverted hogshead, there is no such place for keeping a youth out of mischief.--Long Tom Coffin used to say that he did not see the necessity of any land, except now and then a little to drop an anchor in. It is equally difficult to see the necessity, now, of anything that does not appertain to war. This is no time for much learning, and every one knows that a little is dangerous. Posterity will excuse the young men of this generation, if they are ignorant on all other points, so they know how to save their country. If they do not know that, it matters little on what other points they are enlightened or unenlightened; for people in that condition may as well be ignorant as educated, and as for the voice of Posterity, there is not likely to be, in that event, any posterity worth listening to. Our object in these reflections is to advise all parents whose sons will soon arrive at the military age not to be so anxious about their education as to smuggle them off to Europe, nor to entertain such contracted ideas of their real welfare as to lay cunning plans of any kind for keeping them out of the ranks. We have no allusions to any of the falling-back generals when we say that the safest place a youth can now be placed in is the army. Not the safest, perhaps, for his arms and legs, but for his manhood, his honor, his future estimation among men, and perhaps his morals and his soul. It is no longer a question with parents whether they can send their sons to colleges and universities. Colleges are broken up, universities turned into hospitals; or, if any are not, the few students have only to step out of doors to see a history enacting, which of course drives out of their heads the worm-eaten leaves that record the history of worm-eaten ages, long ago dead and buried.--You might as well ask them to pore over the wood cuts in a "natural history" when whole tribes of lions, elephants, grizzly bears, hippopotami, are roaring, growling, trumpeting, slaughtering and devouring under their windows. The best possible place for a young man's education is now the army. The choicest vintage of the nation's grapes, the purest wine of her life, is now in the field. If the coming generation cannot be sent to schools of intellectual training, let them at least be sent to schools of honor, generosity and patriotism.--Better have a son grow up with noble sentiments and a lofty sense of duty to principle and to country than to become a selfish, groveling, mercenary, money -making machine, which is all that any education outside the army is now likely to accomplish. Any man who takes an intelligent view of the welfare and happiness of a child would sooner see him dead and in a better world than to see him become a fattened swine in selfishness and extortion, and trained up only to accumulate Confederate notes and lose his soul. If we are to be subjugated, blessed, thrice blessed, are the dead, who have perished, or may perish, in endeavoring to prevent it, and who will not see the downfall of the Republic. If a Confederate parent now wishes to teach his son the way to live, and the way to die, let him send him, as soon as he reaches the military age, to the bronzed and battle-scarred veterans in the front.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.