Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/441
The Old South.
" Don't Give up the Ship " of dying Lawrence is a precious legacy to the whole American people.
But the unmaritime South claims, among the naval heroes of that period, Decatur, of Maryland ; MacDonough, of Delaware ; Jacob Jones, of same State; the two Shubricks, of South Carolina; Jesse D. Elliott, of Maryland ; Blakely, of North Carolina, etc. A very large proportion of the naval heroes of the war of 1812 came from Maryland.
In the Mexican war, the commanders-in-chief on both lines were born in Virginia, one of whom became President for his exploits, and the other an unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency. This war was unpopular in the North, and hence the South furnished the troops to carry it on, out of all proportion to her population. The Old South, out of a population of 9,521,437, gave 48,649 volunteers for the Mexican war, and gave also the rifle regiment, recruited within her borders, making in all 50,000 soldiers. The North, out of a population of 13,676,439, gave but 24,698 volunteers. All New England gave 1,057 volunteers. (I use the American Almanac for these figures, and the census report of 1850).
It will be admitted, without question, that Butler's South Caro- lina regiment and Davis' Mississippi regiment gained more reputa- tion than the other volunteer regiments. I think it will be equally admitted that Quitman's Southern division of volunteers had the confidence of General Scott, next to his two divisions of regulars. Scott's chief engineers on that wonderful march from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico were Swift, of North Carolina, and R. E. Lee, of Virginia. His chief of ordnance was Huger, of South Carolina.
The most brilliant exploit of that war was the attack of Tatnall, of Georgia, in a little gunboat, upon the castle of San Juan D'Ulloa and the land batteries at Vera Cruz. If there was anything more daring in that war, so full of great deeds, my eyes were not so fortu- nate as to behold it.
The bold, bluff tar of that day had a gentle, loving heart, full of kindly sympathy with his own race and lineage, as shown by rowing through shot and shell to offer such assistance as international law permitted to the British Admiral suffering under the murderous fire of the Peiho forts in China. " Blood is thicker than water " was the grand sentiment of the grand sailor, as he hurried to the rescue of the sufferers of his own race and blood. These things don't pay; nevertheless, it would be a cold, miserable, selfish world without them.