Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/308

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

the war's beginning; and though battered and bruised and captured, his was the manhood to endure, the unconquerable will to hope, and the courage to fight unfalteringly to the last. When the crimson wings of conquest hovered over the countless hosts of invasion, and our great captain bade our banners furled, he would fain have passed beyond the stars to our warriors, soothed by the echoes of victory and never doubting triumphs.

To every man upon the earth death cometh soon or late,
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of their fathers and the temples of their gods?

He became a subject but not a slave, and even a subject's soul is his own. His cause was none the less sacred that it perished, and he proudly recited the cherished memories of its glories, and imprecated the mystery of its fate. There was no surcease of his sorrow that we failed to command success, for it passeth all understanding that the subjugation of the South should have been decreed. He wept for Virginia in her downfall, and weep we for him. Prophetic in young manhood, heroic in battle, brilliant in war's progress to end, too soon for his hopes, he became exemplar to his people to stimulate them to fortitude in martyrdom and to encourage them in citizenship worthy of their patriotism as soldiers, and promotive of patience in enforced endurance.

"Having run the bound of man's appointed years,
At last life's labor done
To his final rest has passed,
While the soft memories of his virtues
Yet linger like the twilight hues."

If 'tis permitted souls to survive dissolution, ours may not be separated, and ere long we may rejoice in reunion with him.

Commander and comrades, I now deliver to you as tribute of the affection and admiration of those whom he was dearest representation of General William H. Payne, and congratulate you all upon the accession of this picture of this noble soldier to the grand galaxy in this hall of heroes.

It may be that from the battlements beyond the skies, where