The Old South. 423
The Old South.
[An address by Lieutenant-General D. H. Hill, on Memorial Day, June 6th, 1887, at Baltimore, before the Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in the State of Maryland.]
Comrades of the Society of the Army and Navy
of the Confederate States in the Stale of Maryland :
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN Years and years ago, "the time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary," I was a subaltern artillery officer in the United States army. There was great striving with the young lieutenants of that day to be stationed at Fort McHenry ; for they said that everybody in the world knew that the most beautiful and graceful ladies in the solar system were in the city near by. I give this as a reminiscence of the long ago, and not as a piece of flattery, or as an endorsement of the astronomi- cal opinions of the lieutenants of artillery of that pre-historic period.
But to-day, the battle-scarred veterans all over the South pay a higher and grander tribute than that to the mere beauty and grace of the ladies of the present generation, when they tell, with tearful eyes and husky voices, of the kindness and sympathy shown them while they were hungry, ragged, sick and suffering prisoners of war. In all ages of the world, poetry and song have embalmed the minis- trations of mercy of the beautiful to the brave ; but these offices of charity rise into the sublime, when the gentle ministrants receive scorn, contumely and contempt for their gracious deeds to the friendless, the hated and the despised. May God bless the noble women of Baltimore forever and forevermore.
But there came a time when my people owed a still deeper debt of gratitude to your generous city. It was the time of the gentle fanning of spring breezes, of the rustling of the new born leaves on the trees, of the wafting of perfumery from buds and flowers, of the busy humming of freshly-awakened insect life, of the gladsome singing and love-wooing of birds. The booming of cannon and the ringing of church bells told of the rejoicing of twenty- five millions of people over a restored Union. There was gladness everywhere but in the eleven States scorched and withered by the hot blasts of war. Lee had surrendered, and sorrow had filled the hearts of those stern warriors who had battled for four years with the world in arms. But the grief of surrender had turned into sullen despair, when they