Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/313

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Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

arms. In this camp of preparation he formed a lasting friendship with that fine type of a brave and gentle Southerner, Thomas Henry Carter. Each was destined, by deeds, not words, to write a living chapter in the world old epic of "arms and the man." Later they met at Virginia's University, whither Payne went to study the virtue and the truth of law and Carter the ministries cf healing. After the lapse of a decade, in the shock of arms which shook a continent, again they came together to win a parallel renown; Payne at the head of horse: Carter in the blaze of his fierce and stubborn guns. Touching are the words the former wrote in 1882 to Mr. Isaac Winston: "I rejoice that I lived in the heroic age of the South, and that my early life was spent in games of chivalry, romance, and, McGregor-like, love for my own heath. I can say from my heart I loved Virginia—

"Beyond her map, my heart travels not,
But fills that limit to the utmost verge."

So he grew to manhood in the days of approaching doom, when the old mother State was like the quiet lake above which the hawk is circling. It was when the clouds began to lower over her house that in full view of the battle she would inherit, William H. Payne gave her "his promise true."


At the head of the Black Horse Troop, a band of brothers which came "not to woo honor, but to wed it," this man, with the McGregor-like love for his own heath, rode into his fearless fight for it. They rode together to fight, to bleed; if need be, to die for a Commonwealth in its own limits happy and strong; outside its own limits incurring in some parts the envious hate felt for them who have that whereof the envious feel the force and feel that lack. He, their captain, quickly proved he was by training and tradition all that we picture as the beau sabreur. As the captain rose to the brigadier, the meaning of his life flamed out for all to see. As he rode with Stuart, Hampton, and the Lees, as he rode deeper and deeper into the war, that meaning fell like a shaft of light across a darker and darker sky. War was the steel which struck the spark. He had been