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Secure that love shall ever deck the bier
Of those who welcome battle as a bride;
Forget the homage due that welcomes living braves." " ADDRESS by General John A. Quitman.
“ODE (written for the occasion by H. H. Caldwell, Esq.]. (Sung in full choir.)
“Sing in loud, triumphal numbers,
Sing a grateful nation's lay!
Throbless, on this solemn day.
Rccked not of the deathful strife;
* Is not duty moro than lifo ?'
'Round bravo Butler's lionor'd namo;
He has taught us, gilds his fame :
Shouts of victory filled his ears;
Who may count its rapturous prayers ?
For bencath that tropic sky;
Memories all too deep to dic.
This storn thought of those who died;
And that weeping nation's pride !
Know your amaranthine fame,
Still through ccaseless years the samo:
Sung to many a mountain lyre,
In one blaze of hallowed fire ?" The oration will be found in the Appendix. The “South Carolinian” closed its account of the proceedings of the day with the following words:
"Thus concluded one of the most enthusiastic demonstrations that we have ever witnessed. Long will it be
remembered. It conveys to General Quitman some idea of the appreciation South Carolina attaches to his conduct both in war and in the council. In war he proved himself truo to the honor of his whole country, and in the council he has proven his devotion to the home of his adoption and choice. If the array of beauty, the assembly of the talent and wisdom of the state, the popular enthusiasm, be taken as evidence, then surely he must see the position he occupies in South Carolina, and the remnant of the Palmetto regiment will perceive the prido their fellow-citizens fecl in their deeds, when they join with such spirit in doing honor to him whom, in the language of Captain Stanley, they have welcomed as "the general of their pride, affection, and veneration.'”
The “Guardian,” after a vivid description of the ball and supper in honor of the general, says:
“The distinguished orator, soldier, and statesman, must have deeply felt that Sonth Carolina loves, esteems, and honors him for his many virtues, his gallant deeds, and his devoted attachment and patriotism as a statesman to the honor, rights, interest, and independence of that section of the confederacy which he has selected as his home, and whose citizenship he so nobly wears. He returns to-day to the duties of his post at Washington; and in bidding him adieu, we tender to him our best wishes for his safety, and a long life of usefulness to the South, and happiness and prosperity to himself.”
General Quitman took leave of his friends in the following note:
“Columbia, May 6th, 1858. “DEAR SIR, I can not leave this beautiful city without presenting my grateful acknowledgments to yourself and your associates, for the hearty welcome with which I was grected on my arrival, and for the unremitted and kind attentions which I have received, both from the committee and from all classes of your citizens, during my brief visit to the capital of South Carolina.
"I remain, with the highest respect, your friend and obedient servant,
(Signed), J. A. QUITMAN. “Capt. W. B. Stanley, Chairman of Committee.”
On his return to Washington he found an invitation from Natchez to command a grand encampment of volunteers. To William Cannon and others.
“Washington, May 30th, 1858. “GENTLEMEN, -I had the honor to receive, several days since, your letter of the 19th inst., tendering to me, on behalf of the general committee of arrangements, the command of the proposed grand military encampment to be held at the Pharsalia race-course on the 1st, 2d, and 3d days of July next. When your communication reached my hands, thero appeared to be somo probability that the resolution of Congress to adjourn on the 7th proximo would bo rescinded, leaving it very uncertain whether I could consistently, with my duties here, accept the invitation. Now that there is a probability that Congress will adjourn on the day proposed, I am enabled to reply to your letter.
“I fully appreciate the high honor conferred upon me by your committee, and by the citizen soldiers, in designating me as the commander of the proposed cncampment, and gratefully accept the honorable position assigned to me, dependent, however, upon the adjournment of Congress in time to cnable me to reach home before the day proposed for thic cncampment. Should this uncertainty in any way conflict with your arrangements, I can but recommend that you select some other commander.”
1858. This was his last letter from Washington. Immediately after the final adjournment, though ill able to travel, and too feeble to move without assistance, he set out to fulfill his engagement with the Mississippi Volunteers. During a great part of the journey in the cars he slept, supported by his friend, Mr. Wright, a representative from Tennessce, and by other members of the House. At Memphis ho embarked in the J. C. Swan, and reachcd Natchcz carly on the morning of the 21st, and proceeded at once to his residence in the vicinity. From
the moment of his arrival his family lost heart. IIo was a mere shadow, and evinced a constant inclination to sleep. Yot even in this condition his habits of exactitude and of duty prevailed over exhausted nature. With his own hand he wrote the following letters—the last lines he ever traced, and probably the last connected thoughts he ever expressed: General Quitman to General TV. TV. TV. Wood.
“ Monmouth, Juno 30th, 1858. "MY DEAR SIR,- Please to read the inclosed letter, preserve a copy of it, and hand it to its destination. Entire silence on the subject of my not taking active command will injure me. I am quite unwell, constant fevers, and, since I saw you, I have not been out of bed for more than an hour at a time.
“When you have leisure I will be happy to see you." From General Quitman to the members of the Executive
Committee appointed to make arrangements for the Pharsalia Encampment.
“Monmouth, June 26th, 1858. “GENTLEMEN, -At the time I accepted from Washington your very kind invitation to command the military encampment, I hoped my health would so improve as to enablo me to perform its duties. I hoped especially that rest on my arrival homo would soon entirely restoro it. Anxious to comply with your wishes, and de sirous myself of taking part in this laudable and publicspirited movement, I have continued to hope from day to day that my health would improve, but I find myself, on the contrary, prostrated by constant fever, and so weak as to be unable to sit up more than an hour at a time, leaving me no hope whatever of having health and strength sufficient, at the short day of the approaching military parade, to undergo the duties which the important position you have honored me with requires. I am, therefore, compelled, very reluctantly, at this late day to decline the high honor you have been disposed to confer on me.
“I am, gratefully and respectfully, your friend and fellow-citizen.”
His friends now despaired. He was attended day and night by his brother-in-law, Henry Turner, Esq., bis former partner John T. M‘Murran, Esq., his friend Josephus Hewitt, Esq., and other friends. His able physician, Dr. Blackburn, desired a consultation, and Dr. Cartwright, of New Orleans, who had been long his friend and medical adviser, was telegraphed for. The doctor's affecting letter relates the closing scenc.
Dr. S. A. Cartwright to J. F. H. Claiborne.
“Now Orleans, April 20th, 1860. “MY DEAR Sın,—You inform me that you are writing a memoir of the illustrious Quitman, and, inasmuch as I
knew him so well, had seen so much of him, and enjoyed his confidence, you request me to send you my reminiscences of him; and also, as I was with him in his last moments, you ask me to depict, over my own signature, the sad scenes of his last hours, to close your volume. In regard to his last days on carth, as far as the great and good Quitman himself was concerned, I have no sad scenes to depict. The universally beloved citizen, patriot, and hero was spared the pains of death. Neither bodily suffering nor mental anguish disturbed the happy quietude of the closing scenes of his eventful and useful life.
“You have no doubt observed how quickly soldiers or other persons on fatigue duty, involving protracted bodily and mental labor with loss of rest, fall into a wakeful, yet quict and happy slumber at those intervals when duty does not demand their watchfulness and attention; a groan or a suppressed breath will awaken the watchful attendant on the sick, and the report of the sentry's gun, so distant as scarcely to be audible, will arouse the fatigued patriots of an army in danger from their slumbers to full consciousness in an instant, while loud talking, and noises ever so boisterous immediately around