Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/357

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Field of Blood Was The Crater. 353

ciation purposes to erect an equestrian statue of the famous gen- eral.

Pacific effort intensifies. With hearts quickened another link is being forged in Congress in welding indissolubly the North and South by providing for duly marking the graves of Confederate soldiers and sailors who died in Northern prisons. EDITOR.]

The following address was delivered at the reunion of the sur- vivors of the Battle of the Crater in connection with the Grand Camp reunion in Petersburg October 26th, by Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Stewart, of Portsmouth. It was to have been delivered on the old battlefield that day, but as bad weather broke up the sham battle the survivors heard it in the hall of the reunion in- stead :

The goodness of God endureth forever. I thank Him for an over-deserving share, and bless His name for this day and this privilege of meeting you.

Our pilgrimage to this field of blood recalls the eventful times of a war, which, although resulting in final surrender, has embalmed its sacred memories in our hearts. Those sacrificial years will ever be regarded with tenderness and love love immortalized by memory; for those days of thrilling danger, long marches and short rations invoke the highest ideal of manhood.

"They say that hope is happiness,

But genuine love must prize the past; And memory makes the thoughts that bless They rose the first, they set the last.

"And all that memory loves the most

Was once our only hope to be: And all that hope adored and lost Hath melted into memory."

I would rather go down to posterity as the humblest private soldier, whose shoeless feet made blood tracks on the soil of Virginia, than the richest magnate who ever clipped coupons from corporate bonds.

Who would not suffer for the honor of a soldier rather than live in luxury to be the sneer of time?

Who would not have the name of the disarmed Southern soldier