Administration of Washington Manly Wingate 441
have been enlarged at the generous fountains of genius, may we not expect them to
lift themselves above the prejudices of the hour, and looking forward to the time
when the historian must stand with pen in hand to fill up the page of this eventful
era, endeavor so to enact their part in this great drama that their children may read
its inspiring lesson and coming generations may glow as they take up the precious
legacy? I repeat it, young gentlemen, subjugation by our Northern foe is not what
we have to fear in this great revolution, but under the provocation which may be
freely given, it is degradation in our own eyes by yielding to the fierceness of hate
and the fury of passion. And it is to you we look in part for safety from this cruel
blow upon ourselves; this deep disgrace upon the age.
"You will see, then, that soldiers are not the only want of the times. Nor need you
think that this is necessarily the best way in which you can serve your country. The
forms in which you may labor are still various. A choice in noble and worthy
callings and in manly and earnest efforts is yet open before you. Be not too hasty in
this selection. Let not momentary impulse decide your mode of service. The State in
her need can ill spare a single son, and requires that all her talent shall be well
directed. And-what is higher than country-duty and the interest of humanity make
the same demand.
"There has never been an age which required more at the hands of her votaries or,
requiring it, promised more abundant and sure rewards. Look well then, young
gentlemen, to the choice which you are to make, and when you have made it,
earnestly and faithfully perform its duties. And if that choice, wisely taken shall
bear you to the tented field there to stem with stern bosoms the surging tide of bat-
tle, then our heart's best sympathies, the burden of our warmest prayers, shall go
with you to shield-it may be-your breast from the shafts of evil; to cover your head
in the day of battle and to nerve your arm to deeds of noble triumph. There let the
soldier and the man, the patriot and the Christian, nobly vindicate the righteous
cause in which you are engaged.
"Whatever you do, wherever you go, young men, in this eventful age, which may
put to the test the stern manhood of us all, discharge your whole duty. Be aroused to
the full exigencies of the times in which you live; collect in calmness your whole
strength; quit you like
men-honorable, high-minded, Christian men. And if after the carnage of this sad
day is passed, you and I should be left on the stage of action, then with hearts
untainted and filled with precious memories, we may meet and mingle in the
delights of social intercourse; may
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