Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/14
Southern Historical Society Papers.
and our children will rebound, Phoenix-like, to assert our equality. Her children, whether at home or wandering abroad, will remember with fondness the land of their nativity, and, remembering, cherish the cenotaphs erected to commemorate the deathless valor of the Confederate soldier, be he officer or be he private, who fell battling for her rights, and revere the tottering steps of the old man who in years to come will tell in nursery tales to his anxiously listening offspring of the hardships he endured and the dangers he braved in behalf of his country's honor. And none more than the one of whom I am immediately speaking can truthfully and proudly relate them of himself.
The writer will never forget the remark made by Hood the night after he crossed the Chattahoochie and had established headquarters with General W. H. Jackson, commanding the cavalry of his army, and on whose staff the writer at that time was A. A. General. It was a dark and rainy night, and when the courier came up and reported that the last of the army had crossed and the pontoons had been taken up, Hood remarked to the circle of officers present: "I once more feel glorious; I am north of the Chattahoochie." Then we lay down for the night, to resume on the next morning in good earnest the march into Tennessee which terminated so disastrously at Nashville.
In conclusion of this sketch, which is written purely from recollection, and partly from memoranda made at the time, I deem it not amiss to say in justification of General Bragg's discipline that it was simply the misfortune of the Confederacy that she had so few officers like him to carry out and enforce her laws, and thereby render her arms what they should have been, efficient and perfect.
Captious critics, the most of whom were in the rear, could not appreciate the vital importance of discipline in an army, nor did they stop to reflect that the very laws the operations of which they so much condemned were enacted by their Congressmen chosen by their suffrages, and some of whom, strange to say, united in the clamor. Like the President, Bragg was, in one sense of the term, an executive officer, and the law of Congress making it a death penalty to run cotton through the lines had by him, as a good and true officer, to be rigidly enforced, regardless of its propriety in the abstract.
When caught in the act the accused was given the benefit of a trial before a court-martial, and if found guilty, and the proceedings in