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A generous gladness in his eyes: such grace
And when the drum beat, when the first martyr's blood sprinkled the stones of Baltimore, he took his place in the ranks and went forward. You remember his ingenuous and glowing letters to his mother, written as if his pen were dipped in his very heart. How novel seemed to him the routine of service, the life of camp and march! How eager the wish to meet the enemy and strike his first blow for the good cause! What pride at the promotion that came and put its chevron on his arm or its strap upon his shoulder!
They took him prisoner. He wasted in Libby and grew gaunt and haggard with the horror of his sufferings and with pity for the greater horror of the sufferings of his comrades who fainted and died at his side. He tunneled the earth and escaped. Hungry and weak, in terror of recapture, he followed by night the pathway of the railroad. He slept in thickets and sank in swamps. He saw the glitter of horsemen who pursued him.
He knew the bloodhound was on his track. He reached the line; and, with his hand grasping at freedom, they caught and took him back to his captivity. He was exchanged at last; and you remember, when he came home on a short furlough, how manly and war-worn he had grown. But he soon returned to the ranks and to the welcome of his comrades. They recall him now alike with tears and pride. In the rifle-pits around Petersburg you heard his steady voice and firm command. Some one who saw him then fancied that he seemed that day like one who forefelt the end. But there was no Ainching as he charged. He had just turned to give a cheer when the fatal ball struck him. There was a convulsion of the upward hand. His eyes, pleading and loyal,. turned their last glance to the flag. His lips parted. He fell dead, and at nightfall lay with his face to the stars. Home they brought him, fairer than Adonis over whom the goddess of beauty wept. They buried him in the village churchyard under the green turf. Year by year his comrades and his kin, nearer than comrades, scatter his grave with flowers. Do
ask who he was? He was in every regiment and every company. He went out from every Massachusetts village. He sleeps in every Massachusetts burying-ground. Recall romance, recite the names of heroes of legend and song, but there is none that is his peer.
'IR, I have to say a few words about an accusation
which has been brought against those who speak in favor of universal amnesty. It is the accusation resorted to, in default of more solid argument, that those who advise amnesty, especially universal amnesty, do so because they have fallen in love with the rebels. No, sir, it is not merely for the rebels I plead. We are asked, Shall the Rebellion go entirely unpunished? No, sir, it shall not. Neither do I think that the Rebellion has gone entirely unpunished. I ask you, had the rebels nothing to lose but their lives and their offices? Look at it. There was a proud and arrogant aristocracy, planting their feet on the necks of the laboring people, and pretending to be the born rulers of this great republic. They looked down, not only upon their slaves, but also upon the people of the North, with the haughty contempt of self-asserting superiority. When their pretensions to rule us all were first successfully disputed, they resolved to destroy this republic, and to build up on the cornerstone of slavery an empire of their own in which they could hold absolute sway. They made the attempt with the most overweeningly confident expectation of certain victory. Then came the Civil War, and after four years of struggle their whole power and pride lay shivereď to atoms at our feet, their sons dead by tens of thousands on the battle-fields of this country, their fields and their homes devastated, their fortunes destroyed; and more than that, the whole social system in which they had their being, with all their hopes and pride, utterly wiped out; slavery forever abolished, and the slaves themselves created a political power before which they had to bow their heads, and they, broken, ruined, helpless, and hopeless in the dust before those upon whom they had so haughtily looked down as their vassals and inferiors. Sir, can it be said that the Rebellion has gone entirely unpunished?
You may object that the loyal people, too, were subjected to terrible sufferings; that their sons, too, were slaughtered by tens of thousands; that the mourning of countless widows and orphans is still darkening our land; that we are groaning under terrible burdens which the Rebellion has loaded upon us, and that therefore part of the punishment has fallen upon the innocent. And it is certainly true.
But look at the difference. We issued from this great conflict as conquerors; upon the graves of our slain we could lay the wreath of victory; our widows and orphans, while mourning the loss of their dearest, still remember with proud exultation that the blood of their husbands and fathers was not spilled in vain; that it flowed for the greatest and holiest and at the same time the most victorious of causes; and when our people labor in the sweat of their brow to pay the debt which the Rebellion has loaded upon us, they do it with the proud consciousness that the heavy price they have paid is infinitely overbalanced by the value of the results they have gained: slavery abolished; the great American Republic purified of her foulest stain; the American people no longer a people of masters and slaves, but a people of equal citizens; the most dangerous element of disturbance and disintegration wiped out from among us; this country put upon the course of harmonious development, greater, more beautiful, mightier than ever in its self-conscious power. And thus, whatever losses, whatever sacrifices, whatever sufferings we may have endured, they appear before us in a blaze of glory.
But how do the Southern people stand there? All they have sacrificed, all they have lost, all the blood they have spilled, all the desolation of their homes, all the distress that stares them in the face, all the wreck and ruin they see around them-all for nothing, all for a wicked folly, all for a disastrous infatuation; the very graves of their slain nothing but monuments of a shadowy delusion; all their former hopes vanished forever; and the very magniloquence which some of their leaders are still indulging in, nothing but a mocking illustration of their utter discomfiture! Ah, sir, if ever human efforts broke down in irretrievable disaster, if ever human pride was humiliated to the dust, if ever human hopes were turned into despair, there you behold them,