Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/26

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22 Southern Historical Society Paper*.

nobly made up their accounts and passed away, leaving a duty, a sacred duty, to be performed by the living. There are many of those living who were true in the rank and file of the army, who were to tread with cautious steps and not forget to pay and not to mistake the way of paying the debt due to the fallen. You propose to build them a shrine. That shrine will be nothing it will be vain, a mockery if every one of your own hearts and heads are not shrines, in which the memories of these men are embalmed. Your hearts cannot be their shrines if you have not performed your part too like true men, worthy of their example.

Let us, the living, gather their ashes to the grave-yards of the old homesteads, and con the moral of their lives and deaths, that

" Integrity of life is fame's best friend, Which nobly beyond death shall crown the end."

[From the New Orleans Picayune, Feb 10, 1895.]

SERGEANT SMITH PRENTISS AND HIS CAREER.

An Estimate of the Man by a Contemporary.

JOHN Q. BALDWIN.

Sergeant Smith Prentiss was born in Portland, Me., September 30, 1808, and died at Natchez, Miss., July i, 1850. Forty-four eventful years have come and gone, and yet the name and fame of Prentiss is as green in the memory of those who admire talent and love chivalry as when he was here in the flesh. With one or two honorable exceptions, his contemporaries are all dead. Much has been written and printed of this wonderful man. Every reminiscence, however, with which his name is connected is eagerly read, not only in Mississippi but throughout the Union. Not one Mississippian, perhaps, in 10,000 ever saw a likeness of Prentiss. The one con- tained in several metropolitan papers last year was a miserable cari- cature no more like Prentiss than Prentiss was like Hercules.

Of all the sketches written of Prentiss, the following, from J. G. Baldwin, a contemporary of Prentiss, who afterwards removed to