Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/120

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

A Tributary Epitaph to.

[The editor is indebted for the following to his friend Col. T. M. R. Talcott, the able civil engineer, who writes: " I found a manuscript copy of the enclosed epitaph among my papers. I do not remember having seen it anywhere in print. " It merits preservation in these pages.]

Behind this stone is laid
For a season
Albert Sidney Johnston,
A General in the Army of the Confederate States
Who fell at Shiloh, Tenne.
On the 6th April, 1862;
A man tried in many high offices
And critical enterprises,
And found faithful in all.
His life was one long sacrifice of interest to conscience;
And even that life on a woeful Sabbath
Did he yield as a holocaust to his Country's need.
Not wholly understood was he while he lived;
But, in his death, his greatness stands confessed
In a people's tears.
The cause for which he perished—is lost;
The people for whom he fought—are crushed;
The hopes in which he trusted—are shattered;
The Flag he loved, guides no more the charging lines;
But his fame, consigned to the keeping of that time, which,
Happily, is not so much the tomb of virtue as its shrine,
Shall in years to come, fire modest worth to noble ends.
In honor, now, one great Captain rests;
A bereaved people mourn him.
Three Commonwealths proudly claim him;
And History shall cherish him,
Among the choice spirits, who holding their consciences unmixed
with blame,
Have been in all conjunctures, true to themselves, their Country
and their God.

A lady from New Orleans found this epitaph pasted upon a rough board attached to the tomb.