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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/349

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\<rrth Carolina and Virginia. 341

many virtues and noble characteristics. We knew the soldiers sent by her to the Army of Northern Virginia. We have seen their splendid bearing and frightful sacrifices on many a field of carnage, and we bear willing testimony to the fact, that no truer, better or braver soldiers ever stood on the "bloody front of battle." North Carolina is truly a great State, inhabited by a noble people, and with a record of which she has a right to be proud. We love State pride, and particularly that State pride and devotion to principle, which has made North Carolina do what she could to preserve the names and records of her soldiers in the Confederate armies. Every other Southern State should follow her example, no matter what it may cost to do so,

No truer patriots ever lived or died for their country, than those who fought in the Confederate armies. These men are as well satis- fied now, as they ever were, that their cause was just. They enlisted at the command of their several States; they did their duty to the best of their ability; they are, and have a right to be, proud of their achievements, and they have a right to expect that their States will see to it that their names and the record of their deeds are preserved.

Conceding, as we cheerfully do, the great fame achieved by North Carolina in the Confederate war, it seems to us from reading the publications to which we have referred, that some of our friends from that State have not been either just or generous in some of their allusions to her Sister States, and have seemed both spiteful and boastful in some of their charges, claims and references to their "next-door neighbor," Virginia. What Virginia may have done to provoke this, we are not advised. If aught, we regret it. It is these charges, these claims and seeming reflections on Virginia alone, that we now propose to consider, as we feel in duty bound to do. In doing this we shall not imitate the course pursued by some of the writers to whom we have referred. Some of these have not hesi- tated to reflect on the people and soldiers of Virginia in the harsh- est, and, in our opinion, most unjust manner. We shall not imitate these writers, (i) Because we feel confident that they do not, in their criticisms on Virginia and her people, reflect the real feelings of North Carolinians towards Virginians; and (2) Because neither the people of Virginia, nor the soldiers sent by her to the Confed- erate armies need any defence at our hands. The presentation of the truth of what Virginia did and dared and suffered for the Con- federate cause is her complete and perfect vindication, and it is a part of this task that we now filially, but cheerfully, assume.