The Blue And The Gray
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
ALTHOUGH it had been more than thirty years since the close of the Civil War, the bitterness between the North and the South was far from being cured. The revolving years, with the green grass and wild flowers, and a new generation had done their best to cover up the scars that war had made, but a solid South and practically a solid North when old issues were revived, was an index of the hostile sectional feeling and a barrier to the largest fraternity. The one year of war with Spain did more to bring the North and South together than all the thirty odd years had done before. With such men as a Lee and a Grant, a Joe Wheeler and a Wilson as leaders, the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray, and the sons of the men who wore the blue and of those who wore the gray, fell into line under the old flag, and by their heroism and sacrifice united the North and the South in a loving brotherhood. President McKinley contributed much to the complete unity between the people of the North and Southland. In his visit to the South, he was so conservative and tender and affectionate in his words and actions that the people of that section were drawn to him as by a magnet, and closer still to the Union of which he was the head. Though he had fought, when a mere boy, in the Union army, he told them that the time had come to bury all sectional differences, and for the Government to share with the Southern people, the care of the graves of the Confederate dead. This expression of love, of magnanimity set the people of the South wild with enthusiastic love for the President and for the old Union which he represented. At a banquet in Buffalo, President McKinley said: " The army of Grant and the army of Lee are together. They are one now in hope and in faith, in fraternity, in purpose and in invincible patriot-ism, and therefore the country is in no danger. In justice strong, in peace secure, and in devotion to the flag all one."