Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/481

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The Monument at Munfordsville. 471

gency which came at last upon his adopted State. Without hesita- tion, his military company, "The Mississippi Rifles," was among the first to enter service, and under his command it formed the first mili- tary escort of the President of the Confederate States when that great chief was called from his plantation to take the reins of Gov- ernment. From that time onward, in camp, on the march or in ac- tion, until he fell in this disastrous field where we now stand, I feel that I am right in believing that fullest faith in his reliability was the possession of his superior, and that he had the unlimited confidence and love of every man of his command.

His much devoted sister sought her weary and dangerous way over many hundred miles, through the lines of opposing armies, ob- tained his body and carried it back to his Mississippi home, and it has ever been and still is, a solace to his venerable father and rela- tives and friends abroad to know of the high esteem in which Colonel Smith was held by his companions in arms and by his State, and of the poignant regrets at his loss so truly exhibited by all who knew him.

His regiment, the ever glorious " Tenth Mississippi," has an undy- ing history of achievment and struggles, but none more sanguinary than the field of Munfordsville, an exhibition of patriotic discipline and unfaltering obedience in the face of death never perhaps excelled, a sore and regretful sacrifice, but an example of unflinching fulfil- ment of duty that enriches the annals of our race. In the loss of these dear, devoted men the costly price was paid ; their memory is ever green with us, and forever within this inclosure may their ashes repose in peace.


Mr. Chairmayi, My Comrades and Fellow Citizens: Under ordi- nary circumstances I would not have come so long a distance to enter my presence here to-day, but, considering the importance and dig- nity of the occasion ; the distance to be traveled from his home by the noble-hearted and generous gentleman who presides as our host; the honor to be conferred upon my State, and the events of twenty- two years ago to be recalled — events in which some of you as sur- vivors and those who fell here acted so noble a part, and which have conferred upon the soldiery of Mississippi a heritage of renown — I could not hesitate as to my duty. Therefore it was that I readily yielded my assent to the invitation extended to me a few weeks ago