H. H. Stevens
How dear to the heart of each gray-headed soldier
Are the thoughts of the days when all wore the gray!
While memory recalls every trial and danger,
And scenes of the past live in battle array.
Though long since discarding our arms and equipments
There’s one thing a veteran most surely will note:
The first thing he sees on the form of a comrade
Is the little bronze cross he wears on his coat.
“How much did it cost,” said a man to a soldier,
“The little flat cross you wear on your coat?”
“A fortune in money,” he answered the stranger,
“And four years of marching and fighting to boot.”
The wealth of the world cannot purchase this emblem,
Except the buyer wore the gray too;
For it shows to mankind the marks of a hero –
A man who to honor and country was true.
Then let us be proud of this emblem of honor,
And wear it with spirit both loyal and bold;
Fraternally welcome each one who supports it,
With love in our hearts for the comrade of old.
Each day musters out whole battalions of wearers,
And soon will be missed this token so dear;
But ages to come will remember with honor
The man who’d the right this bronze emblem to wear.
From: Confederate Veteran Magazine, Vol. XVI, No. 11, November 1908, Page 585