Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/120

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114 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Heaven fan them softly as they shall bear our dead comrades' names carved on their shining faces ; and may the memory and virtues of these fallen ones be forever graven deeply on the hearts of the people!

Of those who justly claim our reverent regard in these reunion ser- vices, we must not omit our associates who, since their return to their homes and the pursuits of peace, have followed their fallen comrades into the shades of death. How many there are who answered to the last roll-call in the army, who cannot answer to it to-day because their lips are sealed in the grave ! Many of these were as true and faithful as any men who ever buckled on the armour or withstood the deadly hail of battle. Among them I recall Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, Surgeon Gilliam, Major Ward, Major Deshields} Captain Belts, Captain Robinson, Captain Scales, Captain Wharton, and many a man of humbler rank, but no less palriolic, valianl and faith- ful than they. For ihem no polished shaft rears its form, enriched with their honored names ; for them no tablet is carved to tell, in other years, that they served their country's cause. But let it be our pious care to gather up their cherished names and embalm them among the precious treasures of the State they loved so well. Let us see to it that our muster rolls are made out with accuracy and completeness, and that among the sacred archives of the Common- wealth there shall be kept a record of the names of the men who, when the State was imperilled with invasion and overthrow, sprang to her rescue and on many a bloody field maintained, with unfaltering devotion, her ancient renown and honor. Let us heed this plea for Virginia's humble soldier-sons, the rank and file of her army who stood shoulder to shoulder in the ranks and, like a living wall of fire, beat back, for four weary years, the angry tide of battle. Let their names and their virtues abide forever in the sacred custody of the State. As through the ages there shall shine in the coronet of night, amidst its brightest constellation, an innumerable host of lesser lights; as along with Mars and Jupiter and Venus and all the dazzling planets the mingling stars that from the Milky Way shall girdle the heavens with a belt of silver glory, so in the coronet of Virginia's bright renown, along with the fame of her mighty names, may there gleam forth, through all time, the noble devotion and the undying memory of the private soldiers who suffered and bled in her defence.

Having thus dwelt, my comrades, on our relations to the cause with which we were identified in the late war, and the duties which those relations involve to ourselves and to the memory of our fallen