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And balls and grape-shot rain'd upon our column, that bore
the angry shower As if it were no more than that soft dropping which scarcely
stirs the flower.
Oh, glorious courage that inspires the hero, and runs through
all his men ! The heart that fail'd beside the Rappahannock, it was itself
again! The star that circumstance and jealous faction shrouded in
envious night Here shone with all the splendor of its nature, and with a freer
Hark! hark! there go the well-known crashing volleys, the
long-continued roar, That swells and falls, but never ceases wholly, until the fight
is o'er. Up towards the crystal gates of heaven ascending, the mortal
tempest beat, As if they sought to try their cause together before God's very
We saw our troops had gain’d a footing almost beneath the
topmost ledge, And back and forth the rival lines went surging upon the
dizzy edge. Sometimes we saw our men fall backward slowly, and groan'd
in our despair ; Or cheer'd when now and then a stricken rebel plunged out
in open air, Down, down, a thousand empty fathoms dropping, his God
alone knows where!
At eve, thick haze upon the mountain gather'd, with rising
smoke stain'd black, And not a glimpse of the contending armies shone through
the swirling rack.
Night fell o'er all; but still they flash'd their lightnings and
roll’d their thunders loud, Though no man knew upon what side was going that battle in
Night! what a night!--of anxious thought and wonder; but
still no tidings came From the bare summit of the trembling mountain, still wrapp'd
in mist and flame. But towards the sleepless dawn, stillness, more dreadful than
the fierce sound of war, Settled o’er Nature, as if she stood breathless before the morn
As the sun rose, dense clouds of smoky vapor boil'd from the
valley's deeps, Dragging their torn and ragged edges slowly up through the
tree-clad steeps, And rose and rose, till Lookout, like a vision, above us grandly
stood, And over his black crags and storm-blanch'd headlands burst
the warm, golden flood.
Thousands of eyes were fix'd upon the mountain, and thou
sands held their breath, And the vast army, in the valley watching; seem'd touched
with sudden death. IIigh o'er us soar'd great Lookout, robed in purple, a glory on
his face, A human meaning in his hard, calm features, beneath that
Out on a crag walk'd something,—What? an eagle, that treads
yon giddy height? Surely no man! But still he clamber'd forward into the full,
Then up he started, with a sudden motion, and from the
blazing crag Flung to the morning breeze and sunny radiance the dear old
Ah! then what follow'd ? Scarr'd and war-worn soldiers, like
girls, flush'd through their tan, And down the thousand wrinkles of the battles a thousand
tear-drops ran; Men seized each other in return'd embraces, and sobbed for
A spirit which made all that moment brothers seem'd falling
And, as we gazed, around the mountain's summit our glitter
ing files appear'd; Into the rebel works we saw them marching; and we,-we
cheer'd, we cheer'd ! And they above waved all their flags before us, and join'd our
frantic shout, Standing, like demigods, in light and triumph, upon their own
"The Peculiar Institution,” and Stonewall Jackson's
Hatred of the Old Flag.
(EXTRACT FROM MR. MURDOCH'S LECTURES.)
I HAVE frequently been requested to recite poetry in which the heroism of rebels has been eulogized, and have always refused, on the ground that I would not acknowledge a single manly trait to exist in a traitor to his country. This rebellion is so supremely wicked and selfish, so entirely causeless upon any just grounds hitherto claimed by those who have sought the arbitration of the sword, that I would not recognize a single virtue in them, even if it existed. When has the world ever known before of a people, professing to be Christians, and claiming before the world a foremost position among the generous, the brave, the chivalrous, and the free, yet holding an inferior race in bondage, deriving all their wealth from the labor of that people, denying the slave the right of property in his own child, and rudely seizing and selling them into bondage whenever the wants of the master render it convenient and necessary,--separating man and wife, or holding all to labor and stripes without the hope of redemption, until old age secures to the worn-out carcass the right to nibble the bitter weed of the roadside and to die, while from the stores of his owner's prosperity the fruits of a long life of unrequited labor stare in his face and mock his closing eye?
When, I repeat, have we known of a people so lost to all the humanizing qualities of the heart as madly to seek at the cannon's mouth to perpetuate such unheard-of cruelties, and rudely to sever the fraternal bonds which bound them to the fellowship of those who, in compliance with the compact of their fathers, justified such injustice, at least so long as it was not allowed to gain growth and strength by sweeping over the barriers set around it to circumscribe its increase and power?
Rebellion upon just ground arises from gradually accumulated wrong and tyranny, on the part of the government, inflicted on the governed. But where the governed tyrannize over the government, the necessity for rebellion cannot exist. Conspiracy and insurrection then are the means taken to overthrow legitimate authority. Then the disaffected few inspire the many with distrust and hatred of their governors, until the public mind, restless and excited, yields to the pressure of party and faction, and becomes inflamed and bewildered with apprehensions of suffering, oppression, and tyranny. Thus the seeds of sedition and violence are sown, the weak and the ignorant misled, until the masses, gazing at that which they are told is a monster, begin to see the “horns and tail," and fly from a phantom that exists only in their own excited imagination.
The slaveholding States held within themselves the elements whence emanated that injustice and evil they falsely accused the General Government of inflicting upon them.
The institution for which they drew the sword and struck the traitorous blow was, in itself, the cause of all the trouble and discontent which excited them to rebel. Our forefathers fought the mother-country for the privilege of petition and representation; they said these were “sacred rights” of which they would not be deprived, and had Great Britain granted that right at the outset, the rebellion would have terminated before the maternal bond was severed.