THE CHARACTER OF THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER. 231
Permit me to remind you that as an honorable death in an indi- vidual is preferable to an ignoble life, so in nations \ve find that war is the foundation of many of the high virtues and facul- ties of men; while nations that practice too long the arts of peace become enfeebled and oftentimes corrupt. Peace and the virtues of civil life do not always flourish together. We, too, often find peace and selfishness ; peace and corruption ; peace and death. It can be clearly shown that the heroic periods in the world's history have been the fruits of war. We point you to Rome and Athens, in ancient times ; to France. England and America in modern. What were the compensations to us of our own War Between the States?
It helped to educate a body of citizen soldiery, who were to teach mankind a needed lesson, that humatn endurance could equal human misfortune. Our people were thoroughly aroused and rushed into the army from all ranks of society v They were citizen soldiers ; homogenious, united, patriotic to a degree. The army contained every class of believers, from the bishop to the neophite students of divinity Sunday School teachers, dea- cons, vestrymen, class leaders, exhorters, men from all denomi- nations of Christians in the land. This constituted a tremen- dous moral force, supplying men brave enough to face the dan- gers nature shrinks from, and humane enough to treat with courtesy and kindness any foe temporarily in their power.
To the citizen of the Old World our conflict was a sub- ject of intense interest and wonder. The transformation of citizens into soldiers surprised, if it did not alarm them. The skill displayed in the preparation of war material, the revolu- tionizing of naval warfare in Hampton Roads, the steady valor of many battlefields, convinced them that the American soldier of twelve months was not inferior to the European soldier of twelve years. The atrocities of one side shocked them im- mensely, while the patient endurance of hardship, and all man- ner of provocation by a people whom they had been taught to look upon as tyranical and effeminate, by reasons of their pecu- liar institutions, filled them with the greatest admiration.
A leading public journal of the world thus describes the