Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/69

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Col. E. T. Bennett's Address. 65



Before the Annual Reunion of Confederate Veterans August 20th, 1904,

By Colonel Risden Tyler Bennett, late of 14th N. C. Troops, C. S. A.

[The admirable spirit of this address is in happy contrast to other allusions from prominent men of North Carolina. For the achievements of the Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment, see "North Carolina Regiments 1861-5," Vol .1, pp. 905-62, and for the addresses by Col. Bennett, "The Morale of the Confederate," and "The Private Soldier of the C. S. Army," see Vols. XXII and XXV, Southern Historical Society Papers. ED.]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Soldiers:

I am delighted to meet this great company of Christian people. The reason shall presently be made manifest.

In yonder hall of justice a court was begun and holden twenty- four years ago, the last Monday in this current month, it was my first term as judge. I held it in humility of spirit, supported by a mutilated Confederate soldier. Nightly I thanked our Gracious Master for such light and mercy as filled my heart, and besought Him, who alone is great, to inspire me for the sake of the people with Heavenly wisdom. Death has levied heavy tribute to the memory of this bar: Judge McCorkle, the most honored and loved, Col. George Nathaniel Folk, Major Cilly, Col. John F. Hoke, Judge Armfield, Burgess S. Gaither and Mark Lawrence have passed through the gate which opens but once to any of the sons of men. Verily "Sorrow and Joy" revolve like the wheeling courses of the Bear.

I heard Dr. Clapp preach at your church on Sunday during that time from this scripture: "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he."

The Embassadors of the press as Comte, the French philoso- pher, was the first to style them, then as afterwards, applauded the orderly and deliberate course of justice. Two years later I met the yeomanry of Catawba County on the Hustings upon this