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University, England, in the dedication of his translation of Homer's Iliad to General Robert E. Lee, "the most stainless of earthly commanders, and, except in fortune, the greatest."

"Thy Troy is fallen, thy dear land
Is marred beneath the spoiler's heel;
I cannot trust my trembling hand
To write the things I feel.

"Ah realm of tombs; but let her bear
This blazon to the end of time:
No nation rose so white and fair,
None fell so pure of crime."


We have but little to add to what was said in our former reports concerning the histories now being taught in our schools, except to express our sincere regret that the State Board of Education, after first excluding it, reversed its action, and put on the list of histories to be used in our public schools, the work entitled "Our Country," by Messrs. Cooper, Estill & Lemon. And with the profoundest respect for each member of the Board, we think they committed an unintentional mistake.

We understand the Board based its later action on the ground that the edition of this work, published in 1901, contained important amendments, as well as omissions, not found in that of 1896, which was, in our opinion, so justly criticised and condemned by the late Dr. Hunter McGuire and Rev. S. Taylor Martin, D. D., in their reports to this Camp in 1899. Whilst it is true that this latest edition has been freed from many of the objections then urged against the former edition, and it is apparent that the authors have profited by these criticisms, and tried to adapt this "new issue" to the sentiments which gave them birth; yet there are such fundamental objections to this work still that should, in

our opinion, have excluded it from our schools forever. In the first place, we call attention to the fact, that the new edition does not show on the cover, or elsewhere, that it is a new edition at all. It is bound and labeled just as the former was; the preface in the new edition is dated in 1895, and is the same as that in the old; so that if the publishers were so disposed, they could easily palm off on the unwary teacher or child the old for the new edition.

But we have other objections to the book of a much more serious character. The first is, that the authors are the same in both editions, and authors who could state the causes of the war, as stated in the first edition at Section 521, and then state them (when objected to) as in Section 520 in the new edition, are not, in our opinion, such historians as we should allow to write history for our children, it matters not if they are Southern writers. This smacks too much of the methods said to be pursued by the G. A. R. of "making history to order." As Dr. Martin wrote of the first edition, so think we of this. He said:

"The book is a feeble production. The controlling idea is evidently the production of a history that would be acceptable to both North and South."

To accomplish such a task is (as it should be) an impossibility. But we condemn this work more for what it fails to say about the causes of the war, than for any inaccuracies we have noticed in what it does say on that and other subjects. Its text is on the order of those who say, "we thought we were right," rather than that "we were right." We did know we were right then, and we do know it now; and we are entitled to have this told to our children,

Writers at the North are almost daily saying to the world that the Southern States had the right to secede. Even Goldwin Smith, the most learned and able, as well as the most prejudiced historian against the South, who has written about the war, said in the Atlantic Monthly of this year:

"Few who have looked into the history, can doubt that the Union originally was, and was generally taken by the parties to it to be, a compact, dissoluble, perhaps most of them would have

said, at pleasure, dissoluble certainly on breach of the articles of the Union."

And that liberal and cultured statesman and writer, Mr. Charles Francis Adams, of Boston, in an address delivered by him in June last in Chicago, (whilst as we understand him, not conceding the right of secession to exist in 1861), said, quoting from Donn Piet's Life of General George H. Thomas, as follows:

"To-day no impartial student of our constitutional history can doubt for a moment, that each State ratified the form of government submitted in the firm belief that at any time it could withdraw therefrom."

With our quondam enemies thus telling the world that we had the right to do what we tried to do, and only asked to be let alone, and when we know that when we did go to war, we only went to repel a ruthless invasion of our homes and firesides, our case could not be made stronger. And we have the right, therefore, to insist that our children shall be told the truth about it, and we should be content with nothing less.

Dr. Jones, in his history, says:

"The seceding States not only had a perfect right to withdraw from the Union, but they had amply sufficient cause for doing so, and that the war made upon them by the North was utterly unjustifiable, oppressive and cruel, and that the South could honororably have pursued no other course, than to resist force with force, and make her great struggle for constitutional freedom."

Is there any doubt in the mind of any Southerner that this is the truth? If not, then let it be so told to our children. We suffered and did and dared enough to entitle us to have this done, and that we were unsuccessful makes it the more important that it should be done. A successful cause will take care of itself; an unsuccessful one must rest only on its inherent merits, and if it can't do this, then those who supported it were rebels and traitors. We feel then that we can't do better than to repeat here what we said in our report of 1900, on the importance of the trust committed to our hands. We then said:

"Appomattox was not a judicial forum: it was only a battle

field, a test of physical force, where the starving remnant of the Army of Northern Virginia, "wearied with victory," surrendered to "overwhelming numbers and resources." We make no appeal from that judgment, on the issue of force. But when we see the victors in that contest, meeting year by year, and using the superior means at their command, to publish to the world that they were right and that we were wrong in that contest, saying that we were "rebels" and "traitors," in defending our homes and firesides against their cruel invasion, that we had no legal right to withdraw from the Union, when we only asked to be let alone, and that we brought on that war: we say, when these, and other wicked and false charges are brought against us from year to year, and the attempt is systematically made to teach our children that these things are true, and therefore, that we do not deserve their sympathy and respect because of our alleged wicked and unjustifiable course in that war and in bringing it on-then it becomes our duty, not only to ourselves and our children, but to the thous ands of brave men and women who gave their lives a "free-will offering" in defence of the principles for which we fought, to vindicate the justice of our cause, and to do this we have to appeal only to the bar of truth and of justice."

Respectfully submitted,



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