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Full text of "Address and poem delivered at the unveiling of the monument erected to the memory of the Confederate dead of Warren County, N.C. : August 27, 1903"

•\0:cJ,V.j'« itau^i;./ •<<.•. I f. -^ ►'■ . •.-•'■5'. ' ,■■■ , ;, , 



AND POE 




Delivered at the UnVeiling of the Monument 

Erected to the Memory of the Confederate 

Dead of Warren County, N. C, 

August 27th, 1903 




Oonfeilenite MoiniiiU'iil erfctfd by tlie La(lif>' Memoiinl Aisjufialion of Wiiireii County. X. C. 

unci imveik'd Au.mi^l 'l'. V.m. (This out i> kindly tiiiiu>hed by 

Cooper Hros., Raleigh. N. c i 



ADDRESS 



AND 



POEM 



DELIVERED AT THE UNVEILING OF THE MONUMENT ERECTED 

TO THE MEMORY OF THE CONFEDERATE DEAD OF 

WARREN COUNTY, N. C, AUGUST 27, 1903 



KALEIGH, N. C. : 

EDWAKDS AND BROUGHTON PRINTING COMPANY. 

1906. 



OFFiCERS 

iMks. Ltt. V E. PoLr<, 
Prciiileni W'urroi fomif!/ ]f(iii<jri(il A'isnrintioii. 

Mks. V. L. Pexdletox. 

Vici--Pn'.=ti<l()it. 

Mrs. Mattie 1. Wili ox, 
Secretin y and Tniitnircr. 



ADDRESS 









Hon. WALTER A. MONTGOMERY 



Mrs. President, Ladies of ike Memorial Association^ Old 
Soldiers, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

This vast assemblage attc^3ts the deep emotion which has 
been excited bv the occasion. 

This great throng, with countenances radiant with sym- 
pathy and uplifted reverently, but proudly, in this open 
temple of the skies, proclaim that the purpose of our meeting 
has affected our hearts most ])rofoundly. We could not, if 
we would, subdue the feelings which sway us today. Our 
thoughts and our affections are vsdth the spirits of our kins- 
men and our friends who gave their lives for us in a cause 
that failed. 

With a few exceptions we know not where on Glory's his- 
toric gTOund their bodies lie; but this we know, that the 
crushed hearts of many who are now living lie buried with 
them. There are wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and other 
souls faithful and tender who would rejoice to sleep at last, 
dust to dust, in those unmarked and unknown graves with the 
objects of their affections ; for, "Where the heart has laid 
do^vn what it loved most, it is desirous of laying itself down." 
If in our power, we would gather the sacred ashes of each of 
these cherished ones from his shallow grave, and deposit them 
with loving hands around this stone. The native visitor 
would then, at this spot, as he looked upon this marble, 
typical of the form and characteristics of the dead whose 
virtues it is erected to commemorate, experience an increased 
sensation of reverence, for he would be standing among the 



sepulchres of soldiers who v/cre patriots, and who gave their 
lives for their country, for their love of the same, and who 
were "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.'" 

The Association, whose spokesman I am, was organized 
to build, on some suitable ground, an appropriate monument 
in memory of the Confederate dead of Warren. This spot 
already the last resting ])lace of departed friends, and over- 
looking the historic old town, was most aptly selected for 
its site. The foundation was laid two years ago. 

It has been completed, and this day is unveiled amidst a 
cloud of witnesses. Behold it in its symmetry and beauty, 
emblematic both of the virtu.es and tlie deeds it is intended 
to commemorate, and of the gratitude of those who have 
erected it. 

Let us hope that it will for ages withstand the ravages of 
time, a reminder to coming generations of honored worth 
and noble ancestry. We are not unmindful, however, of the 
fact that the tallest and broadest moimments of stone or brass 
are but partial and limited mem.orials of great achievements, 
and likely to perish long before the deeds they bear witness 
to groAv dim in tlie pages of recorded history, or in the hearts 
of mankind. We know that should shafts with foundations 
as broad as the pyramids and so tall as to reach and pierce 
the skies be r:used on each of the battlefields made famous 
bv the valor of the Confederate troops, they would but poorly 
commemorate the imperishable feats of those soldiers, and 
affect those whose eyes might fall upon them, xlnd we know, 
too, that the most enduring memorials of great events are not 
in written history, for its pages are often times falsified, but 
are those which are engraven on the hearts of mankind. But 
we intend by this structure to make an outward manifesta- 
tion of our appreciation of the patient endurance of suffering, 
the high courage and the noble self-denial of our heroic dead ; 
and by offering this physical tribute of our gi-ateful love to 
the gaze of the beholder to produce on his mind the desire 



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to cherish a high standard of life and to encourage a dispo- 
sition to imitate the principles which controlled the conduct 
of our dead. 

It will not be thought, for a moment, that our purpose is 
the formation or encouragement of sectional hostility, or the 
disparagement of those who opposed us in our mighty strug- 
gle for State Supremacy. It is infinitely loftier and nobler. 
It is of our spirit "to speak no slander, no, nor listen to it." 

We have not met to stir afresh the passions of the Civil 
War, nor to lament the results of that strife. From the 
decision of the God of Battles we filed no appeal. There is 
now no promoter of Southern Independence. iSTo, my former 
Comrades and Friends ! We have gathered to-day for an- 
other purpose than to quarrel with the Past, to indulge use- 
less repinings, or to sow seeds of discord. True followers of 
Robert E. Lee and the Starry Cross are incapable of treachery 
or malice, and since the day when that banner was furled, 
though the times have been troublous, trying men's very souls, 
they have proven in their lives the truth of their leader's 
immortal words, ^'Human fortitude should be equal to human 
adversity." The men who drove the army of the Potomac 
from its entrenchments around Richmond, stormed the heights 
of Gettysburg and who, when reduced to a mere handful, 
stood like a stone wall at Spottsylvania, will never abuse a 
trust. If in the years long ago, when Appomattox and the 
memories it excited were fresh in our minds, we thought with 
sadness of "the might have been," the feelings such recol- 
lections now awaken "resemble sorrow only as mist resem- 
bles the rain." Experience, philosophy, religion, all have 
taught us that one adequate support for the calamities o£ 
mortal life exists — only one — an assured belief that the pro- 
cession of our fate, however sad or disturbed, is ordered by 
a Being of infinite benevolence and power. 

Conscious of the great worth of our ancestors, proud of the 
history of our grand old county, and with a due concern for 



tlio^e who are to come after us, we are assembled with loving 
and loval hearts, to perform the duties of the occasion. 

We are here to record, in the nn veiling and presenting 
of this monument erected to the memory of the Confederate 
dead of Warren Cou.nty, our admiration of the splendid 
courage and manly ^ irtues of those citizen soldiers; our ex- 
alted regard for their unselfish devotion to duty, our sympathy 
in their trials ; our gratitude for the sacrifices they made for 
us, in the belief that notwithstanding defeat overtook the cause 
for which they battled, they did not die in vain. But the 
occasion does not require of us the exclusive concentration 
of our thoughts and our tenderness of feeling upon those 
nnconquerable spirits wlio put to the touch-stone their pro- 
fessions, and lost their lives for their principles. It is a 
pleasure to see amongst us and to welcome a meritorious 
representation of the survivors of those of our Countymen 
who served their County in the field and also of other sec- 
tions. Old Soldier Friends! you are crowned with the 
laurels of many a blood-stained field ! You exalt this event 
by your presence : for you wear h.onors won at the ^lalvern 
Hills, Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville. Gettysburg and Spottsyl- 
vania. And though Appomattox was the end of your youth- 
ful dreams, was the tomb of the social aspirations and the 
sepulcher of the political hopes of the Southern people, you 
walked from thence with a consciousness of duty well per- 
formed and amidst the plaudit? of your enemies. You had 
filled the whole earth with your fame. Throughout the long 
years since, you have been enshrined in the hearts of your 
countrymen. AYe wish you to-day the full enjoyment of the 
fellowship of old soldiers while you are receiving in full 
measure the gratitude of your people. But the meeting to-day 
cannot bring to you unalloyed joy. The memories of the past 
mix with the realities of the present, and contending feelings 
rush upon you ; the pictures of the dead and the faces of the 
living stand before you and you cannot reconcile the changes 



time has wrought. However, rejoice in the reunion. It will 
not be long before you shall have given and taken your last 
welcome ; when you shall have clasped, for the last time, each 
others hands so often extended in sympathy in adversity, 
and in pride in victory. Year by year the older ones of 
you follow the beckon of the Pallid Messenger with the 
inverted torch, and within the not distant future the youngest 
of you, who as beardless boys, by turns fought great battles 
and sang with soft and plaintive voice around the camp fires 
their favorite songs, "The Years Creep Slowly by Lorena," 
or "Her Bright Smiles Haunt Me Still," will be the rear- 
guard of those armies of tattered unifoiins and bright muskets 
which furled their banners nearly forty years ago. 

The womankind of the good old County must also be 
mentioned here. By their efforts this monument has been 
erected. They have always been patriotic, courageous and 
intellectual ; and from that source arose the intense war 
spirit which characterized the men of Warren throughout the 
war; and to that spirit may be attributed the unanimity of 
sentim.ent and the universality of enlistment in the Con- 
federate army. They sent their sons to the field to conquer 
or to return upon their shields. And no influence but theirs 
could have held up the heads of the men through the subse- 
quent years of poverty, of political oppression and despond- 
ency ensuing upon the close of hostilities. Many of their 
dear faces, whose trials and sufferings at home were as 
heroic as were the feats of valor of their kinsmen in the field, 
are missed to-day. These were they who bewept their hus- 
bands and sons, their brothers and lovers still sleeping where 
they fell, or carried dead from wounds across their thresholds 
and laid to sleep in their bloody shrouds until the trumpet 
shall sound. These were they who wanted back their dead, 
who never grew tired of lamenting them, and who cried 
from the depths of their hearts, "But oh for the touch of a 
vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still." These 



8 



souls, made strong through suffering and patient through 
affliction, have rejoined their loved ones in the Paradise of 
God. 

The lineage from which these men sprung was proud and 
honorable. Tlie very soil on which thev were reared, named 
in honor of the Boston physician and patriot who fell at 
Bunker Hill, seemed favorable to the growth of a noble self- 
esteem, of patriotism, and above all the spirit of liberty — 
which is at bottom the love of home and family. As when 
in Bute in the war of the Revolution the Committees of 
safety were formed, one of each kin was selected to act as 
one of the Committee, so in that part of the same territory 
called AVarren after 1TT!», in the war of 1S61-1S65 there was 
the same united determination to act together as one family. 
As there were no Tories in Bute, so there were no Unionists 
in AVarren after the Secession ordinance of the Convention. 

The wliole body of the county had been affected through 
the influence of the excellence of character, the intellect and 
the wealth of the large number of educated and refined fami- 
lies wlio had lived within its borders from its almost earliest 
settlement. A bad man was found out and was ostracised. 
A cowardly act, or a dishonest transaction meant social ruin 
to its perpetrator. The treatment of the slave population, 
double that of the white, was considerate and kind. That 
institution never existed in any country or in any age at- 
tended with so little of harshness or hardship as with this 
people; and they repaid their owners during the war in 
cheerful labor and the protection of the homes of those of 
them who were in the army. The town of Warrenton was 
noted for its institutions of learning. The College and the 
Institute, both for young ladies and girls, sent out yearly 
numbers of graduates to adorn our society. There were two 
Academies for young men and boys with extensive patronage. 
Each of the Protestant Churches owned its place of worship. 

It will be well, too, to mention that the material side of 



life was not neglected among us. There were stables of 
thoroughbred horses trained for the turf; and ujK)n the race 
course near Warrenton, favorites of national reputation were 
often entered. All manly sports were encouraged and, gene- 
rally, the men and boys were experts with horse and gun. 
Two fashionable summer resorts drawing together each season 
hundreds of the most influential and polished people in the 
State added pleasure and profit to the community. When 
the war broke out there was general prosperity, and as a 
consequence contentment, founded on intelligence and moral 
worth. Why then did these men who loved peace and the 
institutions of their country, so fortunately situated, so 
contented, suddenly exchange peaceable employments for the 
toils and dangers of war ? Why did these prosperous agri- 
culturists, business and professional men leave their homes 
and families and march to the battlefield ? Who of us doubts 
that they were impelled by a high sense of duty ? They did 
not go out for conquest. They were not mercenaries. They 
were not traitors. They were patriots. 

Whatever opinions may exist as to the motives of the chief 
political actors in the South in connection with the com- 
mencement of the war, of one thing we may be assured, and 
that is, that the impartial judgment of mankind, founded on 
a careful examination of the Constitution and its history, 
sustains the claim of the Southern States that their attempted 
withdrawal from the Union was of legal right. 

The argmments on that matter would be out of place here, 
but the conclusions based on them by men disinterested and 
eminent in statesmanship and letters, other than those of the 
South, will be appropriate tn the occasion. De Tocqueville, 
as the representative of foreign opinion, in his celebrated 
work on Democracy in America, says: ''However strong a 
government may be, it cannot easily escape from the conse- 
quences of a Principle which it has once admitted as the 
foundation of its Constitution. 



10 



"The Union Vv-as furnied by the vohmtarv agreement of the 
States; and in imitiug together thev have not forfeited their 
nationality, nor have they been reduced to the conditions of 
one and the same people. If one of the states should choose 
to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to dis- 
prove its right of doing so, and the Federal Government 
would have no moans of maintaining its claims directly, 
either by force or right." 

Senator Lodge, of lAIassachiisetts, a statesman, a schohar 
and a patriot, in his life of Daniel Webster, in commenting 
on Mr. Webster's reply to jMr. Hayne on the Foote Resolu- 
tions, sa^'s: "The weak idaces in his armor were historical 
in ^heir nature. It v;as probably necessary, at all events Mr. 
Webster felt it to be so, to argue that the Constitution at the 
outset was not a compact between the States, but a national 
iuerrunient, and to distinguish the cases of Virginia and 
Ki utucky in 1700, and of Xew England in 1S14 from that 
of South Carolina in 1830. The former part he touched 
ui^on lightly ; the latter he discussed ably, eloquently, in- 
geniously and at length. 

■Unfortunately the facts were against him in both in- 
stances. When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of 
tlie States at Philadelphia, and accc]itod by the votes of the 
St ;te3 in popular convention, it is safe to say that there was 
not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton on 
one side, to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, 
who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment 
entered upon by the States, and from w^hich each and every 
State had the right peacably to withdraw — a right which was 
very likely to be exercised. 

"What is true of ITOO is true of the Xew England leaders 
or Washington wdien they discussed the feasibility of se- 
cession in 1804, of the declaration in favor of secession 
made by Josiah Quincy in Congress a few years later; of 
the resistance of Tvew England during the war of 1812, 



11 



and the riglit of "interposition' set forth by the Harvard 
Convention. In all these instances no one troubled himself 
about the constitutional aspect; it was a question of ex- 
pediency of moral and political right or wrong. In every 
case the right was simply stated, and the uniform answer 
was, 'Such a step means the overthrow of the present sys- 
tem.' " 

From these quotations it is made clear that at the time the 
Constitution was framed the legal right of a State to with- 
draw from the Union, at discretion, was generally admitted 
and understood. 

The people of the seceding States, then, are acquitted of 

any crime against the supreme law of the land 

paramount authoi'ity having been in the State and ultimate 

allegiance of its citizens due to the State and the 

policy or impolicy of their course was a matter for their dis- 
cretion alone. In the forum of conscience they were bound 
by no rule except that which governs the intercourse between 
sovereign nations. Capricious action could not be defended. 
Well founded complaint was justification. 

The last word of the defense of the South has been spoken. 
We will have to abide the verdict of impartial history upon 
the moral right of our action. Of the honesty of our people 
upon the question of due provocation there can be little 
doubt. Can any dispassionate and well informed person 
doubt the sincerity of the people of Xorth Carolina in the 
ordaining of the ordinance of secession? Without going 
into particulars, which would involve the recital of the crim- 
inations and recriminations of those days, in the name of 
our dead we point as evidence of their good faith to the 
known hazard of the undertalcing, the unexampled suffering 
and sacrifices they endured, and the tenacity with which they 
clung to their beliefs. We would to-day, for them, and each 
of them, speak the words of their great leader when he was 
advised by his lieutenants that in their opinion the time had 



12 



conic fcir him to surrender his army: ''We had I was satis- 
fied, sacred principles to maintain, and rig'hts to defend for 
which we were in duty bound to do our best even if we 
perished in th(^ endeavor.'' 

Alhision to the right of secession, the deadest of all dead 
issues, has been made here only, of course, with reference 
to the past, and to meet the charge of treason against those 
who ])artici])atrd with Xorth ('amlina in the great conflict. 

Xever were more hazardous resolves made than when the 
people of our State d< termined to leave the Union ; and 
never were resolves more desperately defended than in the 
years of war which followed. Linking their destiny with 
that of the people of the South, they entered the contest 
totally unprepared. There was a lack of everything neces- 
sary to conduct the war except the courage of our people. 
There were no arms, no ammunition, no medical supplies, and 
no material out of which to make them; and no manufac- 
tories if we had had the material. There was a want of 
quinine to cure agiie, of surgical instruments and chloroform 
A\dth Avhich to remove the shattered limbs of the woimded 
soldiers. ]\lajor Gorgan, in his article on the organization 
of our troo])s, states that on the day after the first battle 
of Manassas Governor Clark received a telegram from the 
War Department informing him that there was not powder 
enough in the C^^nfederacy for another day's fight, and re- 
questing him to put nitre agents in the field. 

Among the first, if not the very first, of North Carolinians 
to buckle on their armor were the volunteers from our noble 
old county. It may be entertaining if for a few moments 
I try to sketch some scenes of those days, using the imagi- 
nation and to a great degree the language of another — Cable 
in his Doctor Sevier. 

x\ll the States of the South of us had seceded, and Fort 
Sumter had been fired on and taken. All the people — men, 
boys, women and girls — were wild with excitement and clam- 




Hun. WALTKK a. MONTGOMERY. 



13 



orous for secession and war. Speccli-making was going on 
everywhere, flags and flag-poles were raised at every town and 
cross-road. War songs, Dixie and the Bonnie Blue Flag! 
it wasn't bonny very long — shot and shell, powder and dust 
and smoke and battle had marred its beauty — were sung on 
the streets, in the court-houses and in the homes. The flag 
of the South in bars of red, white and blue were everywhere 
to be seen, the women and children as well as the men and 
boys wearing them on the lapels of dresses and coats. Then 
came the sound of drums: Fall in! Fall in! once on such a 
day, then the next night, then twice the day after until it 
was every day and every night. High-stepping children 
with sticks and broom handles for guns fell in line and 
played soldier like the Guards and Eifles. Ah ! the drums, 
the bugles, the fifes, the captains and lieutenants with their 
epauletts and plumes and shining swords calling. Left ! Left ! 
Guide Eight ! Forw^ard, March ! What pomp, what penons, 
what flags, artillery salvos, ladies' favors, balls, concerts, 
making uniforms and covering canteens ; and a supper to 
this Company and a fla^ to that one ; addresses by such and 
such an one ; farewell sermons, and last family dinings ! It 
has been more than forty years ago, but don't you see and 
hear then now ? The old Guards coming down the moonlit 
streets from the old Academy grove, where they had been 
drilling, in quick and regular step, with glittering swords, 
and bayonets soon to be red with brothers blood, passing 
the church and the old hotel an^ filing into the court house 
square to go through their prettiest evolutions in the pres- 
ence of beautiful maidens who had gathered there to witness 
it, their brave young hearts lifted up with the triumphs of 
battles to come ! By and by on lightning wings the Captain 
received an order: 

Adjutant-General's Office, 

Raleigh, N. C, April 17th, 1861. 
Captain Warren Volunteers: 

You are commanded to proceed with your Company forthwith to 

Fort Macon, Beaufort Harbor, and on your arrival at that point report 



14 



your arrival to Col. Tew. Transportation will be provided at the rail- 
road station for the men. Telegraph to Weldon on receipt of this 
when the Company will be ready but do not delay. 

By order of Commander-in-Chief: 

J. F. Hoke, 

Adjutant-(Jcneral. 

A meeting of citizens is called, and held on the next night, 
Thursday, l.'^th. Great war speeches were made and four 
thousand dollars raised in cash for the vohmteers. On 
Saturday morning a little after service, a beautifully sol- 
emn service is held in Emmanuel Church, conducted by 
Dr. Hodges, that sweet descendant of the good Bishop Bien- 
venu. Mid tears and kis-es the Guards and Eilles wend their 
Avay silently from the church and form their lines in the 
street in front. How many they seemed to be ! How many ! 
many ! Presently the order of attention is passed down the 
lines in subdued tones; then another order follows, high- 
keyed and l(»ng drawn out, and with one sharp "clack'' the 
sword-bayouettcd rifles fly to the shoulders of as fine a 
C(«npany as is to be seen in the land of Dixie ! The drums 
be'it; tram]-), tram]T, in quick succession go the nimble feet 
of the brave young soldiers, and the old church bell rings out 
its blessings upon the devoted heads. Farewell, soldier boys! 
Light hearted, little forecasting, brave, merry boys! God 
accept you our first fruits. See that mother — that wife — 
that sweetheart — take them away; it is too much. Com- 
fort them Father ; tell them their tears may be for nought. 

"And yet, and yet we cannot forget 
That many brave boys must fall." 

Farewell, precious youths ! You shall thirst by day and 
hunger by night. You shall keep vigil on the banks of the 
Potomac and Pappahannock. You shall grow brown, but 
handsomer. You shall shiver in loathsome tatters and yet 
keep your grace, your courtesy and your joyousness. You 
shall ditch and lie do-^^m in ditches, and shall sing your 
saucy songs of defiance in the face of the foe, so blackened 
with powder, and dust and smoke that your mothers in 



15 

heaven would not know their children. And shall learn war 
songs and sing them by the camp fires. And for many 
of von there shall be blood on your breasts, and on your 
brow, and with cheers on your lips, dovm, down, you shall 
go to the death of your dearest choice. 

'No more heroic spirits ever marched to battle than those 
proud men of Warren; and death never reaped, on any of 
his most crimson fields, richer harvests than he garnished of 
her precious sons. Some were mere lads who, but a few 
months before, were so timid that they would have screamed 
at a scratch, met the King of Terrors with a smile; some 
were young and others middle aged, and they with duty as 
their guide went to their deaths with the alacrity of the 
bridegroom to the altar; and some were old men, who like 
ripe corn ready to be gathered, bowed their heads and fell 
into the arms of the great reaper. No less deserving of 
gratitude and honor are the memories of those who in the 
lonely watches of the sick room yielded up their lives for 
their country. God have their souls in His keeping and to 
Him be ascribed praise forever for the gift of such men to 
the earth. They may be with us to-day. There may be no 
veil between us and them, only our mortal eyes may not see 
all that is around us. 

In the main the troops from Warren County were mobil- 
ized into nine companies: A the Guards, G the Kifles, and 
K of the Second Eegiment of volunteers, afterwards F, C 
and K of the Twelfth State troops ; D and F of the Eighth 
Eegiment; E of the Mnth Regiment (First Cavalry); B 
of the Thirtieth Regiment; Company G of the Forty-third 
Regiment, and C of the Forty-sixth Regiment. 

They all served in the army of Northern Virginia; the 
companies of the Twelfth Regiment and Company E of the 
First Cavalry throughout the war ; the company of the Thir- 
tieth and that of the Forty-sixth from early in 1862 ; the 
company of the Forty-third from and including Gettysburg, 
and the companies of the Eighth at the battle of Cold Har- 



16 



bor, -Time 3d, 1864. The Eighth did service in iSTorth and 
South Carolina and at Drnry's Bluff nnder Beauregard in 
Ma J, 1864. A number of boys between seventeen and eigh- 
teen were in the service of the State in the Seventieth Begi- 
ment (First Junior Beserves). 

ITow many they all numbered can never be accurately 
computed. In February, 1862, a muster and militia roll of 
Warren was made, and it was then ascertained that including 
those already in service there were 1017 men between eigh- 
teen and fifty years of age in the County; 186 were in the 
field; 150 more who had volunteered and were ready to go; 
95 who were exempt, leaving 286 efficient for military duty. 
In the three and more years of war which followed, the 
military age having been reduced in 1864, February, to 
sixteen years and extended to fifty, a reasonable calculation 
would probably increase by two hundred the number enumer- 
ated in February, 1862. The white population at that time 
was 5000. There were about 900 men between eighteen and 
forty-five. We sent to the field prcbably 1200 soldiers. The 
nundier of deaths were probably 300 — one-half from sickness 
and the remainder killed in battle. 

These soldiers were in the front ranks of those who made 
imperishable the fame of the army of ^NTorthern Virginia; 
that army that during its four years of existence was never 
broken in battle, though out of them all it went its w^ay 
dri]^])ing with blood; that army that had always been chival- 
ric in its treatment of prisoners ; that was always scrupulous 
in its respect for womankind and most careful of the rights 
of private property ; that for tliree years by the flash from 
its musketry was a sheet of flame encircling the borders of 
the Confederacy and consuming like stubble fresh armies and 
fresh generals of its enemy and twice bursting the boundaries 
of its territory leaped into the heart of its enemy's country; 
that made immortal almost every hill and dale of the Old 
Dominion and electrified the civilized world with its deeds 
of valor. 



17 

These men followed the fortunes of that army as its col- 
umns moved around the capital of the Confederacy in the 
Seven Days battles, thence to Boonsborough and Sharpsburg, 
thence to Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg 
and the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, and thence to Second 
Cold Harbor where their courage and their markmanship 
brought their foe to a standstill, and thence to the trenches 
around Petersburg and the dreadful Eight-months' Siege, 
and thence to Appomattox. The blood of those who went 
out not to return mingled freely with that of some of the sur- 
vivors who are with us to-day, enriches every battle field of 
Virginia. On one of them, the Malvern Hills, the spot of all 
the earth where hiunan courage was most supremely tested, 
the Warren County dead lay with the nearest Confederate 
trcops to the Union lines which had repulsed them; and at 
Spottsylvania they fell thick around the base of the historic 
horseshoe. 

They did not die in vain. It was not written in the book 
of fate that the Southern States should be an independent 
nation. That did not harmonize with the law and thought 
of the nineteenth century. But as long as courage shall be 
admired on the earth, as long as the soul is capable of appre- 
ciating the qualities of patience and faithfulness to duty, as 
long as suffering for conscience' sake is applauded among 
men, so long shall the deeds and memories of these men en- 
dure and be cherished. 



WARREN CONFEDERATE DEAD 



The following poem vv'as written and delivered by Mr. Tasker Polk, of 
Warrenton, X. C, on the occasion of the unveiling of the Confederate 
monument at that place on the 27th inst : 

Backward, backward, rearward rolling, 
Sweep our iiiemorv's riisbiria' waves, 

While the bells of war are tolling 

Sounds of battles past in story. 

Battle-sounds of deathless glory. 

While the tear-drops of our sadness 

Mingle with our sounds of gladness, 

Let us meet in grand re-union. 

Let us join in sweet communion 

With Warren's host of spirit braves. 

Where our gallant dead are sleeping 

Beneath the crimson-crested sea, 
There our memory sad is steeping 
x\ll its thoughts in glory keeping. 
And tlie hallowed past is creeping 
I^earer to the present heaping 
Sacred thoughts o'er comrades sleeping, 
Sleeping there in silent glory, 
While the night winds sigh their story 
To the distant, shadowy lea. 

In each heart should be a longing 

To honor do and homage pay 
To those heroes who went thronging. 
Leaving all to them belonging, 
Rushino; oroudlv to the battle, 




Hon. TASKER polk. 



19 



IsTot like (hnnl) and driven cattle, 
But like men who heard the rattle 
Of the inufiket hrave and fearless, 
True and grand and proud and peerless 
Were Warren's sons who wore the gray. 

Then draw^ from Recollection's sheath 

The stainless sword of Warren's pride ! 
O'er hill and valley, plain and heath, 
Far flash its circling light and wide, 
Upward flashing, glancing, gleaming. 
Let its light be onward streaming 
To the graves where now lie dreaming 
Those who fought for us and died. 

When war's black cloud hung darkly o'er 

Our Sunny South, our native land. 
And w^hen the cannon's deadly roar 
Its thunders rolled from shore to shore. 
Did Warren's Soldiers trembling stand ? 

When North and South divided stood 

On. the banks of War's red river, 
And Mars sprang reeking from the flood, 
And hurled his lightning spear of blood. 
Did our soldiers quake or shiver ? 

When battle from war's forge of hell 
Cast wide and far the screaming shell 
That bore death's message and its knell 
O'er bleeding valley, plain and dell, 
Did Warren's brave soldiers falter ? 
I^o ! but at their Country's altar 
Bowed and breathed their battle psalter, 
Then proudly rose, unsheathed their swords, 
And shouted wild the ringing words, 
''Our Country!" 



20 



Then riislied "mi(l sabres' elaiig and clash, 
And fought "mid battle's crnsli and crash, 
Fell in the nmskets' blinding flash, 
Poured their heart's blood -axt like water 
Freely on the field of slungliter. 
Asked no mercy, begged n(t quarter, 
But fouglit and fell, tin ir late-t breath, 
Defiance in the face «»f (k^ath — 
For Dixie I 

Xorth and Sdutl; again united 

Xo longer la-ir the clash of swords, 
Union vows apain are pli'jlited. 

But hark t^ memory's ])leading words; 
Oh, my country. Oh, my nation! 

Forget not thy illustri'ins braves, 
Let monuments of consecration 

Stand sentiuid o'er our soldiers' graves ! 
ISTot for fame they fought and fell. 

But fought for honor and country's weal. 
Hearken then to memory's bell. 

Whose echoes are heard in the land of the leal. 







^,