Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/317

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Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

out of it. * * * It always has been so, and always will be so." It has not been always so. On entering Pennsylvania, General Lee proclaimed: "It will be remembered that we make war only on armed men." General Scott did the same in Mexico. Mexican ranches found their best market in his camp. Beyond the Christian pale we may find example. The successor of Mahomet, in dispatching his army into Syria, instructed as follows: "When you meet with your enemies quit yourselves like men, and don't turn your backs, and if you get the victory, kill no little children nor old people, nor women; destroy no palm trees, nor burn any fields of corn; cut down no fruit trees, do not any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat." When last summer the war in Morocco had subsided, it was reported; they, the people of Morocco, "have had a chance to see how a civilized nation fights. It has amazed them to discover that French soldiers respect womanhood and refrain from looting." Nevertheless, it may be admitted, that the war waged by philanthropy against the South was correctly described as "hell" by one of the philanthropists.


There remained the lesson, "Peace is Hell." To overthrow the armies of a people is not so fatal as to degrade the ideals of a people. To crush the body is cruel, but not so cruel as to deprave the soul. In the ideals they really pursue is the measure of the real faiths and reasonable hopes of nations, States, social and Federal unions. Our motive force is in the ideals which are really our own. Is the published ideal a reality, or only a blasphemous appearance? Very nearly the last word of the Confederate Congress had this sob of despair: "Failure will cause us to drink the dregs of the cup of humiliation, even to the bitter dregs of having the history of our struggle written by New England historians." Because this prophecy is so far toward fulfilment, I am so unmerciful to-night. In 1861 a strife of swords was invoked to establish a new ideal. "They chose new gods," cried Deborah: "then was there war in the gates." I crave your merciful patience with the narrative of what it was which was displaced and wherewithal it was replaced by Reconstruction.