Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/145
Report of History Committee of Grand Camp C. V. 129
less people. In doing this, we believe we have done only what was just to ourselves and our children.
It must be remembered, too, that a large number of persons at the North still delight to speak of that war as a " Rebellion " and of us as "Rebels" and "Traitors." We have shown by the testimony of their own people, not only that they rebelled against, but over- threw the Constitution to make 2var on us, and that when they did go to war, they violated every rule they had laid down for the govern- ment of their armies, and waged it with a savage cruelty unknown in the history of civilization.
The late commander-in-chtef of the British armies has recently written of our great leader, that " in a long and varied life of wan- dering, I have" (he says) "only met two men whom I prized as being above all the world I have ever known, and the greater of these two was General Lee, America's greatest man, as I understand history."
The present Chief Magistrate of this country wrote twelve years ago, that " the world has never seen better soldiers than those who followed Lee, and that their leader will undoubtedly rank as, without any exception, the very greatest of all great captains that English- speaking people have brought forth." (See Life of Benton, page 38 )
Is it a matter of surprise, then, that the same hand should have recently written:
" I am extremely proud of the fact that one of my uncles was an admiral in the Confederate navy, and that another fired the last gun fired aboard the Alabama. I think " (he says) " the time has now come when we can, all of us, be proud of the valor shown on both sides in the civil war."
If President Roosevelt really believed that his uncles were ever rebels" and "traitors," would he be " extremely proud" of that fact? Would he be proud to be the ne.)hew of Benedict Arnold? No; and no man at the North who knows anvthing of the foundation of this government believes for a moment that any Confederate sol- dier was a " rebel " or " traitor," or that the war on our part was a " Rebellion." Even Goldwin Smith, the harshest and most unjust historian to the South, who has ever written about the war (as demonstrated by our distinguished Past Grand Commander, Captain Cussons), says:
"The Southern leaders ought not to have been treated as rebels," for, says he, "Secession was not rebellion."