Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crucible of Refined Patriotism by Bernhard Thuersam

Crucible of Refined Patriotism

From: bernhard1848@att.net

The inauguration date of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States was the birthdate of the first President of the United States. Leaving the Northern States with their old political union unimpaired, the South created a more perfect union with the consent of the governed, and with a leader in the mold of Washington.  The following is an excerpt from Davis' first inaugural speech.

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman

North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission


"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

Crucible of Refined Patriotism:

"Our Confederacy has grown from six to thirteen States; and Maryland, already united to us by hallowed memories and material interests, will, I believe, when able to speak with un-stifled voice, connect her destiny with the South.

Our people have rallied with unexampled unanimity to the support of the great principles of constitutional government, with firm resolve to perpetuate by arms the right which they could not peaceably secure.  A million of men, it is estimate, are now standing in hostile array, and waging war along a frontier of thousands of miles.

We too have had our trials and difficulties. That we are to escape them in the future is not to be hoped. It was to be expected when we entered upon this war that it would expose our people to sacrifices and cost them much, both on money and blood.  But we knew the value of the object for which we struggled, and understood the nature of the war in which we were engaged.  Nothing could be so bad as failure, and any sacrifice would be cheap as the price of success in such a contest.

But the picture has its lights as well as its shadows. This great strife has awakened in the people the highest emotions and qualities of the human soul.  It is cultivating feelings of patriotism, virtue and courage. Instances of self-sacrifice and of generous devotion to the noble cause for which we are contending are rife throughout the land.

Never has a people evinced a more determined spirit than that now animating men, women and children in every part of our country. Upon the first call the men flew to arms, and wives and mothers send their husbands and sons to battle without a murmur of regret.

It was, perhaps, in the ordination of Providence that we were to be taught the value of our liberties by the price which we pay for them.  The recollections of this great contest, with all its common traditions of glory, of sacrifice and blood, will be the bond of harmony and enduring affection amongst the people, producing unity in policy, fraternity in sentiment, and just effort in war. War of conquest [the Southern people] cannot wage, because the Constitution of their Confederacy admits of no coerced association. Civil war there cannot be between States held together by their volition only.

To show ourselves worthy of the inheritance bequeathed to us by the patriots of the Revolution, we must emulate that heroic devotion which made reverse to them but the crucible in which their patriotism was refined. With humble gratitude and adoration, acknowledging the Providence which has so visibly protected the Confederacy during its brief but eventful career, to thee, O God, I trust and commit myself, and prayerfully invoke thy blessing on my country and its cause."

(Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, James D. Richardson, editor, Volume I, US Publishing Company, 1906, pp. 186-188)