Confederate Veteran, Vol. XIII, No. 6 Nashville, Tenn., June, 1905.
C. M. Cole Fred Hollman
Every burial ground of the Southern soldier bears the handiwork of the loyal women of the South. Every bit of greensward and every granite headstone is a tribute to the hearts and hands of those who will not forget. Not a springing shrub of fragrant bloom but tells the story of the Southern heart's devotion.
Did you ever step from a stately national cemetery into a graveyard of the Confederate dead? Is there not something powerfully pathetic in the forces which have cared for the resting places of the gray? And not while the sun gleams brightly and the moon smiles softly will the women of the South forget their dead. Every veteran's tomb is to them a hallowed spot. Each day there is another company marching to the final muster. But the mounds freshly turned are no more sacred than the trenches dug in 1861. The luster of the South has never dimmed. Such names as Johnston, Gordon, Lee, and Jackson stand out boldly like stars in a blue-black sky. And yet the rank and file are not forgotten. The memories of the unnamed heroes who made with their bodies a rampart for Minie ball and shrapnel, who sank alone and uncared for on the field, are in the same grand class as those who earned a higher fame. There is a world of human honesty in the human world, after all. Have you not seen a general's monument engarlanded with the subtle, scented blossoms and seen the same sweet burden laid on the unmarked grave beside it? It all means that the South will not forget its dead. Four decades have passed since the stars and bars rippled in the Richmond breezes, but the picture is still bright in the Dixie heart. Forty years have passed since the guns roared at Manassas, Vicksburg, Seven Pines, and Malvern Hill; but the echo is not yet spent. The dead are not forgotten. Whose was the greater suffering, that of the men who toiled in the smoke and flame of the battle line or the frailer ones who remained in suspense at home? Those years will not be forgotten. Only the Great Alchemist shall say why he molds the hearts of his children in the crucible.
The glory of the Southern soldiery shall not depart. The loyalty of the Southern heart brightens with time's fleeting lapse. Death, the grim conscript officer, calls for more, more, and yet more recruits. The battalions dwindle, weaken, but they are soldiers still. The reveille calls, and they lay down their arms this time to go, and fear not. Mayhap they are thinking of that reunion in the great encampment. And when the last soldier marches down alone. Then the bugler calls no more, when the minute guns are silent and the drumsticks crumble into dust, they will not be forgotten. Through the splendor of the golden days and the incense of the mellow nights the voices of the dead will call again, and the men and women of the South will come---come with their flowers and prayers and tears. For though "we see through a glass, darkly," the dead are not forgotten.
This site last updated 01/16/2011 Col. Thomas Hardeman, Jr. UDC Chapter 2170 Macon, Ga.
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