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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
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.
iMks. Ltt. V E. PoLr<,
Prciiileni W'urroi fomif!/ ]f(iii<jri(il A'isnrintioii.
Mks. V. L. Pexdletox.
Mrs. Mattie 1. Wili ox,
Secretin y and Tniitnircr.
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
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
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
souls, made strong through suffering and patient through
affliction, have rejoined their loved ones in the Paradise of
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.
"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,
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-
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
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
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.
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:
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
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,
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
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-
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
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
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.
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,
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.