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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/218

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

smallest detail of expenditure, the repairing of the pavement at the base, was paid for from our fund. And now, as a final touch to its completed beauty, a railing made of pure bronze and exquisite in design has been placed around it, and all is done.

"The next thing to which I would call your attention is the recent convention of the United Daughters at Charleston, in which several matters of deep interest to our Maryland Division were discussed, and notably among them the design of the proposed 'Jefferson Davis Memorial,' which was approved by the committee and presented to the convention. It is not proper that I should speak further at present on this subject, which in due order will be reported by the chairman of the delegation of the Baltimore Chapter, who also acted as proxy for our other chapters and who so ably represented us in the convention, and who will later make her report of the proceedings. But I think it is permissible for me to say what directly bears on the subject; what my heart dictates; what justice demands, and what love impels me to say for the great old Commonwealth, which has been my home for nearly two-thirds of my life, as a tribute, however inadequate, to the glory of the State and her service to the Confederacy, as shown by the deeds of her sons and daughters by the part they bore in the war between the States.

"Maryland's position in that gigantic struggle was unique; lying between the two great conflicting powers, held in the grip of an overpowering military force, her people were helpless. In her streets was shed the first blood of the war, and the sufferings of her citizens during that awful four years of conflict can never be told in words. The best men in the State were thrown into prison; justice, as administered, was a farce; ladies and children were arrested on trivial charges and subjected to insult and terror. The days were spent by the women in agonized waiting for tidings of their loved ones who had gone to the help of the South, and the anxiety was doubled by the difficulty of obtaining news of the fathers, husbands, sons and brothers who were fighting under the crimson banner of the Confederacy.

"The dear ones left behind, while suffering anxiety worse than death and knowing all the privation and misery endured, were unable to minister to their comfort or relief, for even medicines, the anodynes which might ease the dying agony of our wounded, were declared 'contraband of war.'

"Meanwhile, in the Confederate army and navy Maryland forged to the front.