Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 11.djvu/298

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sections of the Union, whether by arbitration of council every issue might have been settled and a fratricidal war averted, there will be but one unalterable decree of history respecting the Confederate soldier. His deeds of heroism "are wreathed around with glory," and he will be ever honored, because he was not only brave and honorable, but true to his convictions. The sacrifices made by our loyal defenders and their glorious deeds shall not perish; but the pen of the historian shall hand them down through the ages—a proud heritage to our race and to all mankind. Now that the people who so grandly illustrated their loyalty to the Confederacy are passing away, the South claims from them a truthful, dispassionate history of the causes leading to their withdrawal from the Union, and the subsequent events when the tocsin of war sounded throughout the land. Religion and patriotism should dominate every human life, and as love of country comes next to our love and allegiance to God, it must follow that a people panoplied with righteousness must be a highly patriotic people. The memories of the heroic sufferings and sacrifices of the noble men and women throughout the land make a history that will shine with imperishable luster, " idealizing principle, strengthening character and intensifying love of country, proving to the world that

" Noble souls through dust and heat
Rise from disaster and defeat
The stronger."

The grandest vindication of the South will come when Truth, no longer crushed to earth through narrowmindedness and sectional prejudice, will write in golden characters a just tribute to every American soldier who fell on either side. Let the record be: "Here lies an American Hero, a Martyr to the Right as his Conscience conceived it.

In 1860 the storm of political strife that had been steadily gathering for many years culminated with the election