Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/34

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26 Southern JJi.<tnr><->// ,s'o,-/V7//

of members of the faculty are now in active service; one fell mortally wounded at Gettysburg, [W. L. Battle]; another at South Moun- tain, [J. C. Battle].

The village of Chapel Hill owes its existence to the University, and is of course materially affected by the prosperity or decline of the institution. The young men of the village responded to the call of the country with the same alacrity which characterized the college classes; and fifteen of them a larger proportion than is exhibited in any other town or village in the State have already fallen in battle. The departed are more numerous than the survivors; and the melan- choly fact is prominent with respect to both the village and the Uni- versity, that the most promising young men have been the earliest victims.

Without entering into further details, permit me to assure you as the result of extensive and careful observation and inquiry, that I know of no similar institution or community in the Confederacy that has rendered greater services, or endured greater losses and priva- tions, than the University of North Carolina, and the village of Chapel Hill.

The number of students at present here is 63; of whom 55 are from North Carolina, 4 from Virginia, 2 from South Carolina, and i from Alabama; 9 Seniors, 13 Juniors, 14 Sophomores, and 27 Fresh- men.

A rigid enforcement of the conscription act may take from us nine or ten young men with physical constitutions in general, better sui- ted to the quiet pursuits of literature and science than to military service. They can make no appreciable addition to the army; but their withdrawal may very seriously affect our organization, and in its ultimate effects cause us to close the doors of the oldest Univer- sity at present accessible to the students of the Confederacy.

It can scarcely be necessary to intimate that with a slender endow- ment, and a diminution of more than $20,000 in annual receipts for tuition, it is at present very difficult, and may soon be impossible to sustain the institution. The exemption of professors from the oper- ation of the conscript act is a sufficient indication that the annihila- tion of the best established colleges in the country, was not the pur- pose of our Congress; and I can but hope, with the eminent gentle- men who have made me their organ on this occasion, that it will never be permitted to produce effects which I am satisfied no one would more deeply deplore than yourself.