Excerpt from The Last Year of the War in North Carolina, Including Plymouth, Fort Fisher and Bentonsville: An Address Before the Association Army of Northern Virginia, Delivered in the Hall of the House of Delegates, Richmond, Va., October 28, 1887
At any time, but more espec... ially so soon after the memot able exercises and the soul-stirring oration of yesterday, it would be impossible for any true soldier of the Confederacy to perform the duty with which you have so highly honored me this evening, with out experiencing emotions to which it would be happier for him if he were insensible. The ¿ood of memories which it turns loose, let him philosophize as he may, will overwhelm him, and the consciousness that the ranks of his living comrades are daily dwindling does not tend to diminish the power of these emotions.
If he could divest himself of them entirely, and look at that past as he would at any other period of human history - without personal interest and with the calm gaze of a student - this duty would te solve itself into a mere literary exercise; but, thank God, who has given to each of us a spark of the divine attribute of love, such a passionless regard of that past is impossible, for the pictures it has painted on our memories it has also engraved upon our hearts.
In the years that have passed since the close of our bloody drama, how often in the silent watches of the night, and even in the pursuit of our ordinary avocations, has each of us found himself contempla ting those pictures with all the varying emotions which they awaken! Their lines have grown softer beneath the mellowing touch of Time.
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