Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 21.djvu/110
102 Southern Historical Society Papers.
modern shore batteries, or that railroads could be effectually operated through hostile country.
At last it was the power of the iron-clad steamer and the success- ful use of the railroad in maintaining long lines of communication the first then unknown, and the latter then untested in war com- bined with the control of the seaboard, which under Providence compassed our overthrow. Without the iron-clad steamer, Grant could not have brought or subsisted his army before Vicksburg. The historic ten months' seige, which resulted in the fall of Rich- mond, would not have been written. The march to the sea and through the Carolinas could never have been undertaken if a hostile navy had not controlled the coast. Without the railroad Sherman could not have reached Atlanta, nor Rosencrans have ob- tained a foothold at Chattanooga.
Who so impeaches the wisdom of our countrymen for engaging in unequal war, " may equally denounce Hancock and Adams and Washington and Jefferson, who declared the infant colonies indepen- dent States, and defied the power of the greatest military govern- ment then on the globe."
THE PRIVATE SOLDIER OF THE A. N. V.
Who that looked on the private soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia can ever forget his bright face, his tattered jacket, and crownless hat his jests, which tickled the very ribs of death his weary marches in cold and heat and storm his pangs of hunger, his parching fevers, his wounds his passing away in woods or roadside when the weak body freed the dauntless soul his bare feet tracking the rugged fields of Virginia and Maryland and Pennsylvania, some- times with stains like those that reddened the snow at Valley Forge his clinging to his colors while wife and child at home clutched at his courage with cries for bread his hope and faith and patience to the end his love of home deference to woman and trust in God his courage, which sounded all the depths and shoals of misfortune, and for a time throttled fate itself or the ringing yell of his onset, his battle anthem for native land, rising Heavenwards above the roar of an hundred stormy fields.
Who can forget his homeward march, after the end came, un- stained by violence or wrong, and how the paroled prisoner became the citizen who won the admiration and wonder of the world ? Let