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Nothing can be more noble than the conduct of the Women of the Confederacy during this war. Always giving them credit for the highest womanly virtues and graces, for refinement of manners, and purity and warmth of heart, we had not been prepared for the exhibition of such qualities as the mothers and wives of this people have displayed under the most terrible ordeal to which civilized and Christian humanity was ever subjected. Even the glories of our victorious battle-fields are surpassed by the moral sublimity of the self-sacrifice which has been quietly made in every Southern home when the mother placed upon the altar of battle the dearest object of her heart. Man may fight from the belligerent instincts of manhood, from ambition and love of excitement, as well as patriotism, but when the mother, gentle and unambitious, gives up her child to the privations and perils of war, it is such a sacrifice of all maternal instincts at the shrine of duty that we can only liken it to the supernatural faith of the patriarch Abraham; and every Southern home, where such a scene has been witnessed, to that Mount Moriah, where, rather than to the long line of Judah's heroes, every son of Israel's looks, as to that which gave birth and immortality to the chosen people of God. No greater miracle has this war presented than the Gentle Doves of our summer land, seemingly only fitted for summer scenes, transformed into eagles,"queens of the cliff and the wave, flapping the wild wing in the winter sky," and teaching their young to battle with the thunder and the storm. Nor is it to their own sons alone that the overflowing devotion of their nature has been manifested. What house is there in all the land which has not sheltered the sick and wounded soldier? In the poor stranger at the gate, dusty, battle-worn and bleeding, the Southern matron has seen the representative of her own absent son.--In the hospital she has been an angel of light and mercy. Who can tell the anguish of that weary place,--the anguish of body and mind,--where the only sights the sufferer sees are sights of misery like his own, and the only sounds he bears are moans of pain and dying prayers? The taper that sheds its feeble ray upon the midnight darkness is a type of the fainting hope within his heart. What a sense of utter desolation and loneliness hangs like a funeral pall over every couch. The pangs of the maimed and wounded body can be surmounted by the soul, but when the soul itself is maimed and wounded, when the eyes of strangers pierce it with cold, indifferent glances, and the fountains of sympathy that welled up so bright and clear at home are cut off, what earthly power can minister to that mind diseased? It is there that Woman, with her gentle hand upon the cold brow, and her looks of compassion, comes, like a messenger from the Courts above, to bind up the broken heart or to plume the pinions of the fainting spirit for a flight to a better world.

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