The Confederate Soldier
Good Evening,
I am busy working on the January issue of The Stainless Banner dedicated to the Battle of Stones River. At the end of General Bragg’s official report of the Battle, he offers this tribute to the Confederate soldier. It is so true and right that I wanted to share it with you.
To the private soldier a fair meed (fitting reward) of praise is due; and though it is so seldom given and so rarely expected that it may be considered out of place, I cannot, in justice to myself, withhold the opinion ever entertained and so often expressed during our struggle for independence. In the absence of the instruction and discipline of old armies and of the confidence which long association produces between veterans, we have had in a great measure to trust to the individuality and self-reliance of the private soldier. Without the incentive or the motive which controls the officer, who hopes to live in history; without the hope of reward and actuated only by a sense of duty and of patriotism, he has, in this great contest, justly judged that the Cause was his own and gone into it with a determination to conquer or die; to be free or not to be at all. No encomium is too high, no honor too great for such a soldiery. However much credit and glory may be given, and probably justly given, to the leaders of our struggle, history will yet award the main honor where it is due – to the private soldier, who, without hope of reward and with no other incentive than a consciousness of rectitude, has encountered all the hardships and suffered all the privations. Well has it been said, “The first monument our Confederacy rears, when our independence shall have been won, should be a lofty shaft, pure and spotless, bearing this inscription, ‘To the unknown and unrecorded dead.’”
To the honored dead!
Deo Vindice!
C.L. Gray
The Stainless Banner
a FREE e-zine dedicated to the armies of the Confederacy.