Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/24

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

from April, 1861, until April Qth, 1865, under the eye of General Lee from the first to the last scenes of the war, and we parted with each other on parole at Appomattox. Alas! how few were there at last of those who were comrades with us at first. There were less than 1,000 left of the 2,850 who returned from Charleston in April, 1864, Less than half were paroled of 2,400 who charged at How- lett's. Their last, after fighting in nineteen battles, was their most glorious charge; and they fired the last guns of the infantry at Ap- pomattox. Of this and other commands, Gloucester's dead were piled on every battle field: Page, Taylor, Fitzhugh, Puller, Ellis, Robins, Hibble, Baytop, Millers, Roane, Bridges, Banks, Norton, Amory, Cooke, Edwards, Griffin, Massey, Newcomb, Bristow, Jones, Barry, Ware, Simcoe, R. B. Jones, Kenan, Pitts, Pointer, Leigh, Jeff Dutton, Elijah Dutton, Vincent Edwards, Dunstan, Hughes, Evans, Gary, Thos. Robins, Freeman, John Roane, Jenkins, Hob- day, Albert Roane, Ransome, White, J. W. Robins, Woodland, Cooper, Summerson, Williams, Hogg, Sparrow, T. J. Hibble, Alex. Dutton, John Edwards, Rich, Dutton again, Dunbar Edwards, Gwynn I cease to call the roll, for they are absent by fifties and hundreds, and not a man answers to his name!

In this succinct, didactic narrative, not half justice could be done to these martys to civil liberty. Their lives and deaths were the most beautiful epic poems. They will be sung and celebrated as long as liberty lasts ; as long as a love for it sighs for its loss and their sacrifice. There was nothing sordid or selfish in the high motives or objects of their death struggle. The chief injustice done to their memories is in seeming to think or say that they fought and died in vain for some mere material property, profit, advantage, or posses- sion. Nothing could be more unjust to them, or more untrue in fact. They were no hirelings; they were no men of expediency. They loved virtue for virtue's sake, honor for honor's sake, justice for justice's sake, truth for truth's sake, right for right's sake. They never stooped to ask: "Will it pay?" They had faith, feelings, affections, sense of the intellect to know their rights, and know- ing them, the courage to maintain them through all hazards, and to the last extremity, they had a sense of honor, a sense of self-respect, a sense of wrong, a sense of duty and a physi- ical and moral power of resistance to the tyranny of usurpation and oppression. Their physical power was expended in the war, but their moral power still exists unimpaired, except by those who call their consecrated cause "A Lost Cause;" except