Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/173

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163
Address of Honorable Jefferson Davis.


he filled with unswerving fidelity and patriotism—undismayed by disaster and unbeguiled by temporary success. That he met the obloquy of utter and final defeat, as he has the later shafts of detraction, with the patient, dignified bearing of a Christian gentleman and a hero, without reply, save in the language of a calm and philosophic statesmanship, and that in commemoration of his personal and official virtues he has been unanimously elected an honorary member of the Louisiana Division of the Association of the Army of Tennessee, and upon due proof of the above military record, has been awarded this certificate.

In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hand and affixed the seal of the association this tenth day of July, 1878.

James Lingan, President.

John C. Golding, Secretary.]

In addition to this, Mr. Davis, [Colonel Lingan continued] I am instructed to present to you, on behalf of the association, this badge of membership. It is inscribed: "Jefferson Davis, from the Louisiana Division of the Army of Tennessee, July 10, 1878." There is on it the monogram of the Confederate States, Army of Tennessee. There is a battle flag of the Confederacy.

You will recognize the blue cross on the red field, and the Pelican, the coat of arms of Louisiana, in the centre. We present this, Mr. Davis, to you from the affection which we all bear to you personally, and from the great veneration and esteem which we have for you as a representative of our principles and rights under the constitution of our country, that are as true to-day as they were on the day when the issue was made. We believe that from the time when you espoused those principles in early manhood, you have been faithful to every trust imposed upon you by the people of the country; and we believe that in the future the time will come when that record will be endorsed by every man, woman and child in the country, from one end to the other.

ADDRESS OF HON. JEFFERSON DAVIS.

The gratitude felt for your kindness, and the appreciation of the honor you have conferred, are doubly dear to me. Dear, as they are an expression of your friendship and esteem, and not less dear as they are an exponent of the magnanimity of those who have much of sorrow and sacrifice to remember in connection with the period of my administration.

The history of the world is full of examples where rewards and honors and public appreciation have waited on the successful, and where condemnation followed failure; with little discrimination in either case as to the merit or demerit of the conduct applauded or condemned. To you, my countrymen, belongs the distinction of presenting an exception to the rule.

You come to-day to confer a badge and order on one endeared to you by our common misfortune, and especially regarded by you because he has been the particular object of the hate and unwearying slander of his and your enemies. I am cordially thankful for this kindness and proud to be enrolled in an association of men whose opinions and friendships do not veer with the changing tides of fortune. Your organization was appropriate, if not needful, to