440 History of Wake Forest College
eager to be at home and free to enter the army, and especially the nine
members of the graduating class.16 President Wingate's parting words
to them on that occasion are recorded here as illustrative the regret
and yet the courage and high resolve with which many good men of
the South reluctantly gave their approval of the conflict that was
forced upon them. At the same time this baccalaureate address is one
of the noblest monuments of Wingate's wisdom, humanity, courage,
goodness, and sympathy for those under his charge.17
In beginning President Wingate alluded to the changed circum-
stances under which the class was graduating. Where could they go?
What could they do? All the peaceful avocations were closed. Yet
their college training had not been in vain. No one must imagine that
for such a time as this brute hardihood and animal courage were all
that was required. Needed now as never before were men of culture
and of soul, men who could not be brought down to the low level of
brutal passion. Such men must be had to give tone and direction to
our public movements, and to hold in check vandalism, degrading
passion, the spirit of revenge, which had already begun to spread its
contagion and which unless checked would run riot, gathering
strength with every fresh victim, and mowing down before its
relentless fury the strongest and the best.
"Where shall we find the men for such times?
"First of all, we may look to the Christian sentiment of our people... ."We shall
look hopefully to our military leaders trained in war as a science and imbued with
the generous code of military honor.
"We shall confidently look to woman to humanize us by her sooth-
ing accents and her kindly acts, and while her words of cheer and smiles of approval
shall animate us in the struggle in which we are now engaged, her moistened eye
and quivering lip will, I am sure, restrain us with thoughts of her gentle and
"But may we not expect our educated men-our educated young men -whose
thoughts have been elevated with liberal culture, whose minds
16 Mills, Bulletin of Wake Forest College, October, 1907, New Series No.49.
17 Biblical Recorder, June 20, 1861.