Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/46

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38 Southern Historical Society

two per cent, of her total enrollment of 125,000. She lost more than twice as many troops as any other State, and yet surrendered twice as many troops as any other State at Appomattox. Prominent always among these troops of North Carolina were the alumni of this University. It was one of her alumni, General Bryan Grimes, class of 1848, who commanded the rear guard of Lee's army on its retreat from Petersburg, and it was the division under his command that, on the morning of April 9, 1865. made the last charge on the Federal lines that was ever made by the Army of Northern Virginia.

XIII. EPILOGUE.

Saving always the fact that North Carolinians did not, as a rule, develop the peculiar class of talent and character most highly es- teemed by the President of the Confederacy, it seems safe to say that no educational institution contributed more to the Confederacy in proportion to relative strength than did the University of North Carolina. Not that this institution was more disloyal to the Federal Government than others in the South; not that her alumni were more pre-eminently given over to the doctrine of secession than were the alumni of other institutions; but when North Carolina saw, in May, 1861, that she had the choice between two evils and that she could not remain neutral in the pending struggle, she made the choice that was the most natural and reasonable. She chose the side of the State, or of local government, against the growing ten- dency toward centralization then given a new impetus by the P>de- ral authorities. The alumni of her University responded gladly to her call to duty. They were faithful to the earlier teachings of their Alma Mater. They risked name and fame, life and fortune, for their State. They laid down their lives at her command.

The names of our Confederate dead are carved in marble on our memorial walls, but they have built themselves a monument more durable than marble. Their names are written in lines of living light

"On Fame's Eternal camping-ground."

The story of their heroism and their devotion to the call of duty will be cherished by this University as the brightest jewel in her centen- nial crown, and their names will be remembered in this institution as long as patriotism is honored here, for

" where great deeds were done, A power abides transfused from sire to son."