Page:Confederate Veteran volume 01.djvu/12

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Public and grateful acknowledgment is made for favors from many railroad and navigation corporations. In the list is the Atlantic Coast Line, the Richmond & Danville Railroad Company, Georgia Railroad Company, Central Railroad Company of Georgia, Atlanta & Florida Railroad, Savannah, Americus & Montgomery Railroad, Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis Railroad, St. Louis & Southwestern Railroad, East & West Railroad of Alabama, Knoxville, Cumberland Gap & Louisville Railroad, Rome Railroad, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, Missouri Pacific Railroad, Louisville, New Orleans & Texas, Tennessee Midland, the Texas Pacific Railway, Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad, St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Company, Nashville, Paducah & Cairo Packet Company. Nashville & Evansville Packet Company, the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad, and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad gave liberal aid to some profitable entertainments.

Nearly all the foregoing companies have been unstinted in furnishing transportation, and in addition to this, acknowledgment is made to many other railroads for transportation on application.

In this connection report is made to the Southern Press Association and to the public, that application was made to the Pullman Palace Car Company, with request for favor, and a special visit was made to Chicago, with strong letter of introduction to Vice President Wickes, and credentials of which any man might be proud. Maj. Wickes was absent, and at the suggestion of his clerk, request was made of Superintendent Garcelon. After waiting more than half an hour on one clerk and another, I was finally told that I could not see Mr. Garcelon. I then made request of him for trip pass from there to Dallas, and was refused. In subsequent correspondence with Vice President Wickes, I explained to him that the Pullman Company had not done its share towards the press with the railroad companies, and that I made earnest plea for favor, representing the newspapers of the South and the Southern people generally, in behalf of the cause that was dear to them all, and insisted upon his granting the request, but no concession was made.

Seeing that the Pullman company did more than ten millions of dollars of business last year, with a large proportion in the South, and on learning that its President, Mr. Pullman, contributed more than $75,000 to the last Republican campaign fund, and early after the election he was in conference to consider what further might be done for the benefit of his party, it occurred to me that his subordinates may have known well enough that no concession in the direction of my plea would be tolerated.


Col. W. L. Clarke, of the famous Orphan Brigade, who now resides in Nashville, attended its last reunion at Paris and was one of the speakers. After words of greeting that thrilled the many thousands present, he said:

I am not here to indulge in sentiment— although the sentiment allied to the service of these old gray-haired and battle-scarred veterans is deep enough and broad enough to justly merit the poetic strains of a Father Ryan, as he mused of them in years gone by, or of the outbursts of praise of their virtues, as they have gone forth in melodious rapture from the almost hallowed lips of our idolized women of the South. We are here to-day as surviving members of that heroic old brigade, whose deeds of prowess will adorn the brightest pages, when passion shall have subsided, and impartial history be recorded. We are here as living exponents of the greatest truth ever contended for by brave and self-sacrificing spirits.

More than a quarter of a century has passed, since by the arbitrament of war we sheathed our swords and laid down our arms. Not, however, with spirits crushed and characters gone. Conscience told us with unmistakable emphasis that we were right — and he who is right is true and brave.

We accepted the decrees of war. Lost fortunes had to be recuperated and prospects all blasted re-established. This was hard indeed, but remembering our loved ones, we brought into requisition the same persistency of purpose, the same energy of will, and the same old redoubtable spirit, that characterized us in days of horrid war — never forgetting for a moment that the sacrifices, denials and anxiety, made and shown for us, by our much loved ones, demanded this labor of love that the brave only can truly appreciate.

How well we have succeeded is evidenced by the benignant smiles of Providence that have attended us. But seldom do you hear of a worthless, improvident, returned Confederate, especially a follower of the fortunes of this old brigade.

God helping us we will never, by word, deed or thought, make explanation of our conduct that would compromise our lofty standard of honor and right — bring reproach upon the memory of our fallen heroes — or endeavor by canting words of a cringing supplicant to ingratiate ourselves with those who did not have the moral or physical courage to go out and battle for principle and truth, or whose conceptions of right and wrong were of such a nature as to prefer ignominious submission to a manly strife for the glorious blessings of civil liberty.

All honor to the brave men who fought us — who were honest in their convictions and sincere in their actions. They have no respect or toleration for such a miserable apologist. Therefore, with no apologies to make, no excuses to offer, we will go along with our heads up during the remainder of our days, with the proud consciousness of having done our duty, cherishing the memory of our lamented and much- loved heroes who fell by our side on the crimson field of battle or who have since left us and are now in the last sweet embrace of sleep, while we indulge in the blessed assurance of hope that it may be ours to meet them in the blissful realms above. If I had nothing else to bequeath my children, my service and connection with this old brigade would be a sufficient heritage.