Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/302

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

ance, and crowned disaster with the glory of manhood that feared not to worship at the shrine of our cause, unceasingly sobbing that 'twas lost.

It may be permitted me to recite at length of him, as he achieved such eminence as to constitute him leader in all the relations of life, as man and soldier, and I will venture to indulge my emotions with appropriate moderation. He was dear to me by close intimacy, and I would that he could have longer escaped the doom that is Divinity's decree for all mankind. I deplore separation from him with a sorrow I cannot portray.

No words can suffice the secret soul to show. We were brothers, not by the ties of blood, but by the bonds of affinity and sympathy of souls, by the twinship of minds, the fervor of fidelity, the congeniality of consciences the concurrence of conclusions. We thought alike without conference, and acted as one, though not together, and when the sun of the South in darkness set, and the future seemed an unending vista of agony and humiliation, we confronted fate with courage, mutuality sustaining, ever unrepenting and mourning for our people, independent no more, and countryless, save as subjects.

His supreme patriotism was fealty to Virginia, and in the intensity of his devotion, his prescience impressed the realization that her sovereignty could not survive the animosity of the section, seething with increasing hordes alien to our civilization, and eager minions for our destruction, and he died as he lived, unshaken in the belief that had not our people exaggerated their obligations as citizens of 'the country, minimized their rights and grievances, and misconceived their peril, promptness in withdrawal of the Southern States from the Union would have assured the success of the South. His State was his country. She, only, was sovereign to him, her rights were inherent, powers delegated by her were revocable at the will of her unimpaired majesty. Voluntarily bestowed, their resumption was not less her absolute right. But he faltered not in speculation, nor faltered for expediency. For years he recognized that privileges, conferred in good will for mutual benefit, had become chains for the enslavement of his people, and he boldly proclaimed himself a disunionist per se, for his State's safety, for the sake of separation from those who, when weak.