,,/ tin >'.-///-' I/ 'int.
which has nut buried kin slain in tiattlc. ( )l all tin- examples of that heroic time; of all figures that will live in the music of the poet or tin pictures of the painter, the one that stands in the foreground, the one that will he glorified with the halo of the heroine, is the woman, mother, sister, lover who gave her life and heart to tin- cause. And the woman who attracts my sympathy most and to whom my heart melts hottest, is the plain, simple, country woman and girl, remote from cities and towns, back in the woods, away from railways or telegraph.
Thomas Nelson Page has given us a picture of her in his story of " Darby." I thank him for " Darby Stanly." I knew the boy and loved him well, for I have seen him and his cousins on the march, in camp, and on the battle-field, lying in ranks, stark, with his face to the foe and his musket grasped in his cold hands. I can recall what talk there was at " meetin' " about the " Black Republicans" coming down here to interfere with us, and how we warn't goin' to " 'low it," and how the boys would square their shoulders to see if the girls were looking at 'em, and how the girls would preen their new muslins and calicoes, and see if the boys were "noticen," and how by Tuesday news came that Captain Thornton was forming his company at the court-house, and how the mother packed up his lit- tle "duds" in her boy's school satchel and tied it on his back, and kissed him and bade him good-by, and watched him, as well as she could see, as he went down the walk to the front gate, and as he turned into the "big road," and as he got to the corner, turned round and took off his hat and swung it around his head, and then disappeared out of her life forever. For, after Cold Harbor, his body could never be found nor his grave identified, though a dozen saw him die.
And then, for days and for weeks and for months, alone, the mother lived this lonely life, waiting for news. The war had taken her only son, and she was a widow; but from that day to this, no human being has ever heard a word of repining from her lips. Those who suffer most complain least.
ANOTHER PATHETIC STORY.
Or, I recall that story of Bishop-General Polk about the woman
in the mountains of Tennessee, with six sons. Five of them were
in the army, and when it was announced to her that her eldest born
had been killed in battle, the mother simply said: " The Lord's will