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The Noble Army Of Martyrs
by [?]

Blessed are the mothers whose sons passed in battle,–a quick, a painless, a glorious death! Blessed in comparison,–yet we weep for them. We rise up and give place at sight of their mourning-garments. We reverence the sanctity of their sorrow. But before this other sorrow we are dumb in awful silence. We find no words with which to console such grief. We feel that our peace, our liberties, have been bought at a fearful price, when we think of the sufferings of our martyred soldiers. Let us think of them. It was for us they bore hunger and cold and nakedness. They might have had food and raiment and comforts, if they would have deserted our cause,–and they did not. Cut off from all communication with home or friends or brethren, dragging on the weary months, apparently forgotten,–still they would not yield, they would not fight against us; and so for us at last they died.

What return can we make them? Peace has come, and we take up all our blessings restored and brightened; but if we look, we shall see on every blessing a bloody cross.

When three brave men broke through the ranks of the enemy, to bring to King David a draught from the home well, for which he longed, the generous-hearted prince would not drink it, but poured it out as an offering before the Lord; for he said, “Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?”

Thousands of noble hearts have been slowly consumed to secure to us the blessings we are rejoicing in. We owe a duty to these our martyrs,–the only one we can pay.

In every place, honored by such a history and example, let a monument be raised at the public expense, on which shall be inscribed the names of those who died for their country, and the manner of their death. Such monuments will educate our young men in heroic virtue, and keep alive to future ages the flame of patriotism. And thus, too, to the aching heart of bereaved love shall be given the only consolation of which its sorrows admit, in the reverence which is paid to its lost loved ones.