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silence, yet we heard in every step the thunder of conflicts through which they had waded, and seemed to see dripping from their smoke-blackened flags the blood of our country's martyrs. For the best part of two days we stood and watched the filing on of what seemed endless battalions: brigade after brigade, division after division, host after host, rank beyond rank; ever moving, ever passing; marching, marching; tramp, tramp, tramp thousands after thousands, battery front, columns solid, shoulder to shoulder, wheel to wheel, charger to charger.
Commanders on horses with their manes entwined with roses, and necks enchained with garlands, fractious at the shouts that rang along the line, increasing from the clapping of children clothed in white, standing on the steps of the Capitol, to the tumultuous vociferation of hundreds of thousands of enraptured multitudes. Gleaming muskets, thundering parks of artillery, rumbling pontoon wagons, ambulances from whose wheels seemed to sound out the groans of the crushed and the dying that they had carried.
These men came from balmy Minnesota; those, from Illinois prairies; these were often hummed to sleep by the pines of Oregon; those were New England lumbermen; those came out of the coal shafts of Pennsylvania. Side by side in one great cause, consecrated through fire and storm and darkness, brothers in peril, on their way home from Chancellorsville and Kenesaw Mountain and Fredericksburg, in lines that seemed infinite they passed on.
We gazed and wept and wondered, lifting up our heads to see if the end had come. But no looking from one end of that long avenue to the other, we saw them yet in
solid column, battery front, host beyond host, wheel to wheel, charger to charger, coming as it were from under the Capitol. Their bayonets caught in the sun, glimmered and flashed and blazed, till they seemed like one long river of silver that ever and anon changed into a river of fire. No end to the procession: no rest for the eyes.
We turned our heads from the scene, unable longer to look. We felt disposed to stop our ears; but still we heard it, marching, marching, marching; tramp, tramp, tramp. But hush! Uncover every head! Here they pass, the remnant of ten men of a once full regiment! Silence! Widowhood and orphanage look on and wring their hands. But wheel into line, all ye people!
North, South, East, West, all decades, all centuries, all millenniums! Forward the whole line!
Spěc'ta cle, a remarkable or noteworthy sight. Stūpen'dous, wonderful, grand. Tri um'phal, in honor of victory. Băt tăl'ions, companies of soldiers. A non', now and again. Děc'ades, periods of ten years. Mil len'ni umş, periods of a thousand years.
THE HERO IN GRAY.
BY HENRY W. GRADY.
Some of you saw, and all of us have heard of the grand review of the Northern army at the close of the war. How in the pomp and circumstance of war they came back, marching with proud and victorious tread, reading their glory in a nation's eyes. But there was another army that sought its home at the close of the late war: an army that marched home in defeat and not in victory; in pathos and not in splendor; but in glory that equaled theirs, and to hearts as loving as ever welcomed heroes home.
Picture to yourself the footsore Confederate soldier, as, buttoning up in his faded gray jacket the parole which was to bear testimony to his children of his fidelity and faith, he turned his face southward from Appomattox, in April, 1865. Think of him as ragged, half starved, heavy-hearted, enfeebled by want and wounds, having fought to exhaustion, he surrenders his gun, wrings the hands of his comrades in silence, and lifting his tearstained and pallid face for the last time to the graves that dot the old Virginia hills, pulls his gray cap over his brow and begins the slow and painful journey.
What does he find let me ask you, who went to your homes eager to find in the welcome you had justly earned, full payment for four years' sacrifice - what does he find when he reaches the home he left so prosperous and beautiful? He finds his house in ruins, his farm devastated, his slaves free, his stock killed, his barns empty, his trade destroyed, his money worthless; his social system, feudal in its magnificence, swept away; his people without law or legal status, his comrades slain, and the burdens of others heavy on his shoulders. What does he do — this hero in gray with a heart of gold? Does he sit down in sullenness and despair? Not for a day. Surely God, who had stripped him of his prosperity, inspired him in his adversity.
As ruin was never before so overwhelming, never was restoration swifter. The soldier stepped from the trenches into the furrow; horses that had charged Federal guns marched before the plow; and fields that ran red with human blood in April were green with the harvest in June. Never was nobler duty confided to human hands than the uplifting and upbuilding of the prostrate and
bleeding South, misguided, perhaps, but beautiful in her suffering, and honest, brave, and generous always.
As she stands upright, full-statured and equal among the people of the earth, breathing the keen air and looking out upon the expanding horizon, she understands that her emancipation came because in the inscrutable wisdom of God her honest purpose was crossed and her brave armies were beaten ; and she rejoices that the omniscient God held the balance of battle in His almighty hand; that human slavery was swept forever from American soil; and the American Union saved from the wreck of war.
But what of the North? Will she permit the prejudices of war to remain in the hearts of the conquerors, when it has died in the hearts of the conquered? Will she withhold, save in strained courtesy, the hand which straight from his soldier's heart Grant offered to Lee at Appomattox. If she does, the South, never abject in asking comradeship, must accept with dignity its refusal; but if she does not; if she accepts in frankness and sincerity this message of good-will and friendship, then will the prophecy of Webster be verified in its fullest and final sense, when he said: "Standing hand to hand and clasping hands, we should remain united, citizens of the same country, members of the same government, united all, united now and united forever. There have been difficulties, contentions, and controversies, but I tell you that in my judgment
Pa rōle', certificate. Păl'lid, pale. Feu'dal, resembling the medieval system of holding estates by military service. In scrü'ta ble, incomprehensible.
EXERCISE. Where is Appomattox?
What important event
occurred there? Who were the Confederates? Who was Grant? Lee? Webster?
THE BLUE AND THE GRAY.
BY FRANCIS M. FINCH.
By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day,
These, in the robings of glory,
Waiting the judgment day;
Under the willow, the Gray.
From the silence of sorrowful hours,
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers,
Alike for the friend and the foe ;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day;