Sunday, May 10, 2009

In memory of the Confederate soldier

Confederate Memorial Day is May 10

In Memory of the Confederate Soldier
Major General Fitzhugh Lee
The private soldier of the Confederacy had no hope of conspicuous honors, no opportunity to lay up riches, while meager rations and scant clothing banished any prospect he may have cherished for a reasonable amount of the pleasures of army life.

The separation from his home, in many instances, marked the period when domestic sorrow replaced domestic happiness, and absolute want followed a fair competence. He gave a wonderful exhibition of courage, constancy and suffering, which no disaster could diminish, no defeat darken.

The soldiers went to battle from a sense of duty, and were not lured into the ranks by bounties and pensions. If saved from the dangers of the contest, his reward was the commendation of his immediate commanding officers and the conscientiousness of duty faithfully performed.

If drowned amid the hail of shot and shell, his hastily buried body filled a nameless grave, without military honors and without religious ceremonies. No page of history recounted in lofty language his courage on the field or his devotion to his country, or described how, like a soldier, he fell in the forefront of battle.

His battle picture, ever near the flashing of the guns should be framed in the memory of all who admire true heroism, whether found at the cannon's mouth, or in the blade of the cavalry, or along the blazing barrels of the infantry.

There he stood, with the old, torn slouch hat, the bright eye, the cheek colored by exposure and painted by excitement, the face stained with powder, with jacket rent, trousers torn and the blanket in shreds, printing in the dust of battle the tracks of his shoeless feet.

No monument can be built high enough to commemorate the memory of a typical private soldier of the South.

Source: VA Div, SCV