Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/41

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purity, piety and patriotism, and his cause as the cause of humanity, patriotism and righteousness, whilst Mr. Davis was the Arch traitor and felon, our cause that of treason, rebellion and inhumanity, our people are denominated a "slave oligarchy," and their only reason for going to war was to prolong their "slave power," with no higher motive than to save the money value of their slaves. As an illustration of the way our people have been misrepresented and maligned, we need only refer to the fact that such a Northern writer as James Russell Lowell has preserved in his most permanent form of literature statements that during the war our Southern women "wore personal ornaments made of the bones of their unburied foes"; that we wilfully "starved prisoners," "took scalps for trophies," and we are called "rebels" and "traitors," deserving punishment for our crimes as such, when we were only defending our homes against ruthless invasion. In a word, that we are a bad people, led by those who were worse, whilst they are all good people, led by those who did and could do no wrong. These things are taught to our children by the literature to which we have referred, and the effect of such teaching must in the end make them deplore, if they do not come to despise, the cause and conduct of their fathers.

It is proper to say that there are some fair-minded and truthful Northern writers, who, whilst differing from us as to the justice of our cause, have had the manliness and candor to say that we were honest and patriotic in the course we pursued, and these have written kindly and considerately about us, our cause and some of our leaders, and to all such we express our appreciation and gratitude. But the great mass of Northern histories and literature is such as we have described them, and especially is this true of the biographies and literature concerning the life, the conduct and character of Mr. Lincoln, the writers of these, as a rule, apparently seeming to think they could only exalt their subject by belittling and belying us, our cause and our leaders.

The members of this Camp are all ex-Confederate soldiers; they loved the Confederate cause, and they love it still; they believed it was right when they enlisted in its defence, and they believe so now; they gave their young manhood, they suffered, they made sacrifices; many of them shed their blood, and have seen thousands of their comrades die on the field, in hospitals and in prisons in defence