Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 22.djvu/383

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spirits, whether they are found fighting by its side or levelling lance against it. It is the narrow, ungenerous, and selfish soul that can find nothing to admire in the courage, devotion, and heroism of its enemies. Hence the Northern writers who have disparaged and ridi- culed the valor and devotion of the Southern troops have shown them- selves to be wanting in true nobility. In vain have they sought to dim the fame of the Confederate warriors. That fame will emblaze the pages of history when they and all that they have written shall have perished from the memory of man.

" Though the earth

Forgets her empires with a just decay, The enslavers and the enslaved, their death and birth; The high, the mountain majesty of worth Should be, and shall, survivor of its woe, And from its immortality look forth Into the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow, Imperishably pure above all things below."

Yes, the high majestic worth of the Confederate soldiers and sailors shall be "survivor of its woe," and, surviving, shall help to lift the world into higher life. Although they were defeated, their struggle was not in vain. In the world's life, wrong has often triumphed for a season. There have been many times of oppression, when human rights were trampled in the dust by despotic power and the hopes of men seemed dead. But the student of history will find that every chaos has been followed by a cosmos. The agony and sweat and tears and blood of every age have brought forth a new and better era.

"Step by step since time began We see the steady gain of man."

And reasoning from what has been to what shall be, I believe that not in vain were the battles, and not in vain was the fall of those who battled and fell under the banner of the Confederacy. Having by their glorious deeds woven a crown of laurel for the brow of the South, that drew to her the admiring mind of the world, by their fall they entwined in that crown the cypress leaves that draw to her the sympathizing heart of the world. The land in which we live is dearer to our hearts since it has been hallowed by their sacrifices and watered with their blood. Though dead, they speak, admonishing us to prove ourselves worthy of kinship with them, by being heroes in peace, as they were heroes in war.