Lift^ Services and Character of Jefferson Davis. 125
kind, reproach, derision and contempt, feud, faction and recrimination would have brought an aftermath of disorder and terror ; and had it been based on such terms as those which critics have suggested, a glorious revolution would have been snuffed out like a farthing candle in a miserable barter about the ransom of slaves.
It was well for all that it was fought to the finish without compro- mise either tendered or entertained. The fact that it was so fought out gave finality to its result and well-nigh extinguished its embers with its flames. No drop of blood between Petersburg and Appo- mattox — not one in the last charge — was shed in vain. Peace with honor must pay its price, even if that price be life itself, and it is because the South paid that price with no miser's hand that her sur- viving soldiers carried home with them the ** consciousness of duty faithfully performed.'* ^iVe should rejoice that if weak men wavered before the end, neither Jefferson Davis, nor Robert E. Lee, nor Joseph E. Johnston wavered. Though they and their compeers could not achieve the independence of the Confederacy, they did preserve the independent and unshamed spirit of their people, y And it is in that spirit now that men of the South find their shield against calumny, their title to respect, their welcome to the brotherhood of noble men, and their incentive to noble and unselfish deeds.
- If you would know why Rome was great,*' says a student of her
history, " consider that Roman soldier whose armed skeleton was found in a recess near the gate of Pompeii. When burst the sulphu- rous storm, the undaunted hero dropped the visor of his helmet and stood there to die.**
Would you know why the South is great ? Look on the new-made grave in Louisiana, and consider the ragged soldier of Bentonville and Appomattox.
EARLY DAYS—DAVIS AND LINCOLN.
After the Revolutionary war Samuel Davis, who had served in it as one of the mounted men of Georgia, settled in Kentucky. Pend- ing the war, in 1782 (the very year that George Rogers Clarke cap- tured Kaskaskia), Thomas Lincoln, of Rockingham county, Virginia, removed to the same State. Jefferson Davis, the son of the first- named settler, was born on June 3, 1808, and on February 12, 1809, was born the son of the other — Abraham Lincoln. Samuel Davis moved to Mississippi. His son became a cadet at West Point under appointment from President Monroe, and soon, commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States army, appeared in the service fighting