"I feel and think the South had just as brave, heroic men as the North, and I do not condemn any one of them for revering their flag, the Stars and Bars." During the Civil War, Albert H. Boies was a Private in Company F, 4th Michigan Infantry, Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac. He was listed as "killed" at Malvern Hill but "would not stay dead" - then wounded and captured at Gettysburg. In 1915, while serving as Adjutant of the DeGolyer Post of the G.A.R., Boies sent his thoughts on reconciliation to the Confederate Veteran:
...There is very much published nowadays by both Union and Confederates that lays particular stress upon the matter of one side having better, braver, and more heroic soldiers than the other; but I make no such claim. I feel and think the South had just as brave, heroic men as the North, and I do not condemn any one of them for revering their flag, the Stars and Bars. Those same men to-day, and the whole South for that matter, would fight just as quickly for 'Old Glory,' the Stars and Stripes, if insulted by any other nation. Had things turned out differently, had the South won in the Civil War, of course the Stars and Stripes would have taken a back seat, and we of the North undoubtedly would follow the same course as the South does in memory of a lost cause. But we thank God to-day that the North and the South are united; we are as one; one flag flies over us, and the whole world knows that we are a united country and the Johnnies and Yanks are Americans and ever ready to stand by and protect the flag of our country. ...although enemies in those days, they are true friends now. May it ever be thus between the North and the South! ....I wish it were so that the Army of the Potomac and [the Army of] Northern Virginia could mingle and march together. Wouldn't it be glorious?
Quote [Confederate Veteran, Volume XXIII, 1915, page 424.] Credit and many thanks to @Tom Elmore who pointed this article out to me.
Veteran image from Ebay; colorized via https://colourise.sg/ Thanks @Boonslick for sharing this site.
Portrait Albert H Boies 1863 https://www.lenconnect.com/opinion/20130629/mark-lenz-gettysburgs-changing-spirit-lives-on