Confederate Veteran, Vol. VII, No. 3 Nashville, Tenn., March, 1899.


PATRIOTIC SOUTHERN WOMANHOOD

Mrs. LaSalle Corbell Pickett

Under the impulse of our generous President's speech at Atlanta, suggesting that the government share in caring for the graves of Confederate dead, Mrs. LaSalle Corbell Pickett, widow of Gen. Pickett, wrote this for the VETERAN:

Years ago a Southern woman placed flowers upon the graves of Northern soldiers who had fallen in battle and been buried in sunny Southland. She did this in memory of the mothers and wives and sisters far away who could never kneel beside those sacred mounds and put tokens of fond remembrance over the dead. As she strewed fragrant blossoms on the resting places of the brave men who wore the blue she fancied that a sweet wind from the South might waft the fragrance of their passing breath to distant Northern homes, to fall with blessed comfort upon sorrowful hearts. In a more sacred sense, she trusted that upon the Frave of her loved one who lay in Northern ground some tender hand would drop a blossom, with a prayer for a Southern home left desolate. We know that these far-distant ,,raves are not forgotten when the May roses make the world glad, and we appreciate the kind hearts that do honor to our dead so far from us.

A strange and wholly unexpected result of the President's generous attitude is the movement to pension ex-Confederates-a suggestion that might be regarded as savoring of sarcasm were it not for the grave character of those in whose minds it has arisen. The Confederates are claiming no reward for their services of long ago. They did their best and are proud of their record, but they do not make application for pensions. It is true that the war tax imposes a heavy weight upon the South, and that she bears that burden uncomplainingly. The money which flows from Northern States into the pension fund returns to those States and becomes a part of their circulating medium. Many millions go annually from the treasury of the South and never return. She is not impoverished, because she cannot be, but for every dollar that goes out for Northern pensions by so much is she the poorer. Notwithstanding her heavy burdens, her progress in the past quarter of a century is the marvel of economic history. She does not pause in her onward march to reflect mournfully on what that progress might have been but for those burdens. She looks bravely forward to the grand future which is hers.

The South cheerfully responds to the demands made upon her by the nation. In addition to this tax, she supports her own disabled veterans and war widows and orphans, with no help except that which sometimes comes from some generous purse and loving heart whose heaven-born impulses are circumscribed by no lines of politics or geography. Thus she works earnestly for the right, happy in the present, hopeful of the future.

 

 

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