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was discussed and knew nothing about it, so that the line of thought I took last night with reference to that magnificent monument to be erected had no bearing whatever upon the discussion of this question which was up before you. Well, now, what I wish to say is simply this, that I am not a lawyer, but still I think I know enough about precedents to say this, that if this Society of the Army of the Tennessee, as a patriotic society, votes to give one hundred dollars, or whatever the amount may be, for the erection of this perfectly unique structure-the like of which has never been seen in the world before, and the like of which, perhaps, will never be seen agair-it will be no precedent for opening the doors of our treasury and giving in an indiscriminate manner to the erection of any other monument outside of this Society, or for any purposes whatever not connected directly with it. Now, as I understand since I have come into the room, from gentlemen who are conversant with this subject, the appeal has been made to us as a matter of privilege on our part to give. The whole nation has responded, societies are springing to the front with their contributions, and as the question has simply been narrowed down, in the eloquent remarks of Colonel Oliver, to the dangerous precedent that may be established, as our hearts beat together, as I understand, with regard to the noble purpose for which this monument is to be erected, let us say, as this will not be a precedent for any other thing of the kind, while this Society shall last or this republic endure, that as a Society we will give the hundred dollars, and then, as private individuals, give all that we can to make that monument a complete success. That is the way I feel. [Applause.]
The President:-Gentlemen, are you ready for the question?
General McNulty:- Mr. President and gentlemen, when Colonel Oliver began his remarks, I had started to say that the reputation of this Society was not involved in giving this hundred dollars; after having heard him, I desire to say that the financial condition of this Society does not depend on our not giving. We are making a great deal here of a small matter it seems to me. We have had an invitation from a source of the highest respectability in the country to give a little mite towards this object. We have all read of it for years, and know more or less about it. You all know that there has been difficulty experienced in raising the money to complete the foundation of the
statue. It is not a privilege to give the money, at all, it is a mighty hard squeeze to raise it, if I know anything about the papers. Now, we are fenced around enough, I think, to be safe in giving this hundred dollars; it is not going to decide the financial condition of the Society—this little contribution. We are not a financial institution nor a benevolent institution, and it is generally understood, I think, that the invitation to subscribe something was given as much on account of the Society and its character as on account of the amount of money they expected to get; and I shall vote for the proposition, expecting to prevent the precedent that the gentlemen are so much afraid of, from being very damaging to us.
General Miller:-For the purpose of enabling the gentlemen to be heard, I moved the reconsideration of this matter. They have now been heard. I believe the proposition now, Mr. President, is to reconsider the action taken on yesterday. I now move, sir, to lay that proposition on the table, -my own proposition.
The President:—Why not withdraw it?
The Secretary:-I would like to ask the Chairman if it is in order to lay a motion to reconsider on the table.
General Rusk:—That is what we would call “nailing down" in Congress.
General Miller:--Mr. President, I want my position distinctly understood. I made the motion to reconsider for the purpose
of allowing the gentlemen to be heard; they have been heard and I now move to lay my own motion on the table.
General Rusk:- I would like to hear the Secretary and President on this subject.
The President:—The motion to lay on the table cuts off all debate.
General Miller:~Mr. President, I am decidedly of the opinion that my motion, to lay upon the table, is correct.
The President:—We will now listen to the Secretary a moment.
The Secretary:-If the Chairman will allow me, I will say, the situation of this matter is this: There was a motion yesterday to lay on the table, and that motion was lost; the motion to appropriate a hundred dollars was lost, Now, the motion is for a recon
sideration of the action of the Society by which the motion to appropriate was lost. Now the question recurs on the motion to lay on the table the motion for a reconsideration. That is the position. I may
be wrong, but I think not. I want to call attention to the second article of our constitution; I don't want to be considered a “constitutional crank,” however. Article second, of the constitution, says: “The object of the Society shall be to keep alive and preserve that kindly and cordial feeling which has been one of the characteristics of this Army during its career in the service, and which has given it such harmony of action, and contributed in no small degree to its glorious achievements in our country's cause."
Now, the discussions on this question in reference to the objects of this Society, under the principle laid down in the constitution, have all been wrong; we cannot do this under the constitution.
The President:-Now, gentlemen, let me state General Miller's position. General Miller yesterday voted against the appropriation of a hundred dollars by this Society for the Bartholdi monument; to-day, in the spirit of genuine manliness, he offers himself to move a re-consideration, for the purpose of bringing the subject again before the Society, that some gentlemen may be heard who were not heard yesterday. The matter has now been debated fairly on both sides, and I think the Society is pretty well informed upon the subject. It is not a question of appropriating money out of your own pockets, but an appropriation of the money of the Society. The motion to lay on the table will be conclusive, one way or the other; that motion is now in order, and, gentlemen, I desire you to vote upon it with a clear understandanding that to lay it on the table disposes of the subject during this session. Are you prepared for the vote? Calls of "Question!" Those who favor the motion of General Miller, to lay this motion to reconsider on the table, will say aye, contrary nay. I think the ayes have it. Cries of “Division! division!"
A division is called for; those who voted aye and are still voting aye will stand and hold up their hands to be counted. Now those who voted nay and still vote nay will please rise and hold up their hands until counted. The vote stands, in favor of laying on the table forty-two, the contrary vote thirty-seven. The subject is disposed of. [Applause.]
General Belknap:- Mr. President, in reference to this very mat
ter that has just passed, for the purpose of raising a subscription to this Bartholdi statue, I will be one of ten to give ten dollars. I'll give ten dollars, anyhow, and ask the members to join me.
Major Mahon:-Mr. President
The President:-Gentlemen, that subject is disposed of, so far as the Society is concerned.
Major Mahon: I would like to say just a word.
The President:-Vot now, I have a new subject in my hand; the other matter is laid on the table.
Major Mahon;- I just want to ask
The President:—But there is no use. [Laughter and cries of “order!"] I have a motion in my hand, offered in writing by Captain J. A. Sexton, of Chicago: “It is hereby moved that the Secretary be instructed to enter upon the records of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee that the thanks of the Society are extended to the proprietor of the Hotel Lafayette, the railroads who have given the Society the favor of reduced fares, the Carleton Opera Company for the pleasure of their attendance and singing, and all others who have contributed to the success and entertainment of the meeting."
General Sexton:—The local committee should have been in that resolution also.
The President:-I should suppose something else should have been in it. [Laughter.]
All who favor the proposition will say aye, contrary nay; it is adopted unanimously.
Major Mahon:-Mr. Chairman, can I make a suggestion now?
The President:-No, not now. [Great laughter.] Gentlemen, remember that we are still in session. Is there any gentleman that desires to make any further suggestions in reference to the business of the Society? Remember that when we adjourn now, we adjourn to meet in Chicago in September, 1885.
General Rusk:-Mr. President, there was in the report of General Force, yesterday, a suggestion that we should turn over the monument of McPherson at Atlanta to the regular army. I think the suggestion should receive notice from this Society; that a committee should be appointed or something done so that that monument would be preserved either by the Society or turned
over to the regular army that a guard might be placed over it for its protection. I visited that spot this spring, and it was then in ruin; that was, however, before the fence was repaired. It will be in ruin again unless it is cared for by somebody. I would make a motion, if in order, that a committee be appointed by this Society to act upon the suggestion of the treasurer upon that point.
The President:-We have a statue of McPherson at Washington and one at Clyde, Ohio, and my own conviction is, after having seen the monument at Atlanta four or five times, that it was a mistake to place a monument at that place simply to dedicate the spot where McPherson died. I know that there is no garrison in Atlanta to attend to it and the regular army cannot take care of that monument, - it is none of their business, it is the business of the Army of the Tennessee. I think the best plan would be just to move away the fence entirely, because you may put a fence every week and it will be torn down the next, although a granite coping might last for some time. But the monument simply marks the spot where poor McPherson fell, and I think we had better let it go. We have two good monuments of McPherson, one in Clyde and one in Washington, and this one at Atlanta will cost us 3600 a year to keep it from desecration, and the Society is hardly able to take care of it properly. The government cannot do it because there is no garrison there, none nearer than Savannah, and none there,--the garrison is at Pensacola, three hundred miles distant,-and the United States would not put one there for that purpose simply, and I doubt whether any adminis. tration would give you a garrison to preserve a monument over the spot where McPherson was killed. It would cost the Society, I think, nearly thirty dollars a month for a man to watch and take care of it, three or four hundred dollars a year. However, gentlemen, you have heard the motion.
General Rusk. After hearing the statement of the President, I would withdraw the motion. If it is not deemed desirable, I do do not wish to press it at all.
The President:- I think it is well that a committee be appointed to assist the treasurer in considering the question.
General Rusk: I will change my motion and move that the matter be referred to the officers of the Society.