Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/309

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'/'A, Prwatt Soldier of tk C. 8. Army. 80A

now its origin, then the advances of our people from one stage of development to another, culminating in the most careful scrutiny into individual characti r and genealogy.

The youth, manhood and age, who, in 1861, in a steady column of march, piv>ented themselves representatives of every house, household and altar in our State, were born in these surroundings, amidst these traditions.

They were brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They had a well grounded faith in our precious Creator and in His Word. " Their good limbs were grown in North Carolina."

Cromwell, writing after one of the reverses which befell the arms of the Parliament early in the struggle with the King, said: "We need men of religion to fight with men of honor."

Receiving at the hands of the proper officials their company and regimental assignments, these men selected by their free votes their captains, lieutenants and ensigns; these were their neighbors and equals at home. Capable men, worthy of the trust and confidence of the companies, and these company officers in turn chose by their votes the colonels, lieutenant-colonels and majors of the regiments.

The field officers of the ten regiments known as State troops, were appointed and were commissioned by the Governor at the be- ginning of their service.

And now these companies and regiments began the exercises and duties in camp, on guard and on the march, which at length hard- ened them into veterans, and rendered them among the toughest soldiers who ever did battle in any cause. The men proved obe- dient to discipline and orders. Company and regimental government was more due to the personal influence and example of the officers and non-commissioned officers, to the reciprocal esteem of private soldiers and their immediate superiors in rank for each other than to "The Article of War" and to the army regulations.

The greater the fool the better the soldier has been ascribed to the Duke of Wellington. It is a perverse saying contradicted by the experience of our war.

I heard a venerable man caution a youth, who was given to indis- cretions, against the first wrong steps in life. The after weight of such false start.

Never were soldiers more helped by fortune in their first hostile meeting with the enemy, than was the ist regiment of North Caro- lina in its baptism of blood at Bethel. You have commemorated in