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He whose bosom will not swell and whose heart-beats will not quicken when he hears:
“My country, 'tis of thee,
Thy woods and templed hills,”
Another thing which these schools cannot create is a great commander. The power to inspire, govern and lead men, is a gift from God for wise purposes; no human drill master can produce it, and no curriculum or learning can inspire a sluggard soul or lift a dolt to greatness.
That great and successful commanders do not come from the academies alone, is shown in the case of Porter and Farragut, and of your own Logan, and Blair, and others from civil life who achieved glory on the same fields and wrote their names in letters of living light on the same immortal page as the others I have named.
And, while we give to West Point and Annapolis full praise and gratitude for what they have done and furnished, it is too soon to forget that there went out from them in the past such ingrates and traitors as Davis, and Lee, and Jackson, and Johnson, whose treason was the more awful and dangerous because of the skill, culture and influence which these institutions gave them; and, in the remembrance of this, as practical American citizens who testified our devotion to our country by perilous service, we have a right to insist, as loyal men everywhere should insist, that, in the language of the sentiment to which I speak, “ the lesson of loyalty be the first and the last there taught.”
While patriotism is a passion which no school may impart, loyalty is a logical and legal conclusion to every one who shall enter one of these institutions and accept an education at the Na. tion's expense,-alike a requirement of honor and of duty.
Into this he must be taught and drilled, and made to know and feel that his chief and constant concern must be for the flag, the honor and the glory of his country; that he must neither know nor own any other allegiance; that while state and local claims may possibly be open to the discussion of others, they are closed
to him, and that he must henceforth and always be the friend and defender of his whole country by whomsoever assailed; that to accept rival, or unfriendly, or hostile service will be lasting dis. honor, and that eternal execration and infamy will rest on the name of him who seeks to pierce with his sword the breast that gave him nurture.
With this lesson of high honor and duty clearly and continuously before them, given as the condition and base of all other instruction, the graduates of West Point and Annapolis will never again become uncertain quantities in periods of national peril, and rebellious conspirators will never again plot treason against their country on any basis of aid from those who were educated for its deferice.
If, with this lesson of loyalty underlying the other thorough, complete and efficient instruction which these institutions are known to impart, there be added as a motto for each graduate the grand utterance of the great commander, whose recent death we mourn: “though bred to war, I only follow it for the sake of peace," then will those who issue from these schools be grandly equipped, and West Point and Annapolis become, as never before, the pride of the Nation, recipients of the highest honor and the most generous support, and fully worthy of the rest of the great names connected with their history. [Applause.]
The President then announced the
Ninth Toast.-" The Loyal Women of the United States.True to every trust. their patriotism and encouragement filled our regiments and made the true soldier yet more heroic in duty."
Response by Major Robert W. McCLAUGHRY.
There are times, it is said, when silence is golden, and it seems to me that golden silence while we drink this toast would be a more fitting response than any intensive speech that I can offer.
For as the words, "The Loyal Women of the United States," fall upon our ears, the heart of each soldier present at once offers homage to the memory of mother, or sister, or wife, or of that
“Nearer one still, And that dearer one yet
Than all others," who, nearly a quarter of a century ago, gave him the inspiration
that helped so much to make him a worthy comrade of the Army of the Tennessee.
It is a most beautiful custom which this Society has followed ever since its organization to remember at these annual roll-calls the loyal women of the United States.
Many times have we toasted the ladies, and invoked their presence as beauteous but imaginary forms, at banquets from which they were excluded; but the Army of the Tennessee grows wiser with its years, and tests its increasing appreciation of their services and sacrifices by bringing the loyal women here to-night, not only in the sentiment just read, but also in their own precious estate of flesh and blood, to share with us the joys of this reunion. And well have they earned this honor. They remembered the Army of the Tennessee through all the days and nights of its eventful pilgrimage, and their prayers and tears and faith were to that Army its pillar of cloud and fire, following which it never knew defeat.
As the years roll away and the inner life of that grand Army of the Republic is more clearly portrayed, the world is coming more and more to know how much the cause of Union and freedom owes to the noble women of our land. We have but just turned away from Mt. McGregor, and that other sacred mount of remembrance where our great Commander sleeps. As we marked from day to day, with unutterable sorrow, the progress of that unequal contest, and read the workings of his mind as they were from time to time revealed by his pencil, we began to understand as we never before understood how much the love and faith of that noble wife had done for him while he was bearing upon his heart the burden of a Nation's fate—and we yet stand with uncovered heads in the presence of that great soul that, facing death with unshrinking courage, found its chiefest care in providing beyond question that she who had shared his toils and trials should also share his honored rest.
Who does not believe that McPherson's nature received that exquisite fineness of its nobility from constant communion with that home at Clyde, whither the hearts of our whole army followed him, when we committed all that was mortal of him again to the arms of his mother? And I do not believe that our friend here present (who will pardon this allusion) will deny that when he took up McPherson's standard, and with it led the Army of the
Tennessee to victory on that bloody 22nd of July, he fought with a little more than even his accustomed valor, as he thought of a home in Southern Illinois, and a woman there whose courage has inspired thousands besides himself to deeds of heroism.
What was true in the cases I have named, was true in hundreds of thousands of cases of which there is no record save that kept in heaven.
Quicker than men to perceive the moral principles in great crisis, the women of America early saw to what our great conAict must lead, and hesitating not for the fears of the so-called conservatives, or the croaking of time-servers, struck in their way at slavery as the source and strength of treason, and while conventions and committees were discussing the possibility of emancipation, and grave men were doubting and debating, a loyal woman was teaching our soldiers, as they marched to the front, to sing:
As Christ died to make men holy,
While God is marching on. No sooner had the mothers, wives and maidens of this land given up their sons, husbands and lovers, to swell the hosts of freedom, and had overcome the sharp agony of separation, than they began at once to devise measures for their relief. This work was done on a scale of greater magnitude and with more perfect system, with wiser arrangement of detail and with more thorough persistence than the world had ever before witnessed. Not only did they, through relief and aid societies, under their thousand names, as aids to the great sanitary and Christian commissions do more to relieve the sick and wounded than had ever before been done in a great war, but by keeping up constant communication between the soldiers in front and the people at home, they kept up that sympathy between army and people which caused both parts of the mighty machine to move in harmony.
Scarce a package of clothing or box of delicacies was sent from the home to the front but contained some cheering message to the soldier boy who should receive it. I remember a box which came to a certain division while we were lying in the mud at Young's Point, La., in the winter of 62–3. It contained, among other things, a pair of long, blue woolen stockings, and in the toe of one of them was pinned this verse:
Brave sentry, on your lonely beat,
May some fair knitter warm your heart. These stockings were drawn by a young Iowa soldier, and after he had pulled them on, he pinned the paper into the breast pocket of his army shirt, and said, “ Boys, if the rebels don't get me, I'll capture that knitter or die.” Report says he effected the capture. By their great fairs in the cities, the loyal women prevented the business circles of this country from forgetting the stake they had in the preservation of the Government. By carrying into all their work their womanly tenderness, their copious sympathy, their undying faith, and the triumph of our cause, they rebuked selfishness, destroyed lukewarmness, checked de. spondency, reawakened enthusiasm, kept the people close to the Government, and the soldier so connected with both that the discipline of the field could never destroy his pride in his citizenship or his desire to resume it as soon as "the cruel war was over," and when the war was over, a million of men resumed their places in society without shock or detriment to public morality or social order, while the loyal women who had made such a state of things possible dropped from public notice, thousands of them turning from soldier's graves, which held their all, to face such lives of bitter sorrow as would make death a welcome visitor.
Thus, comrades, did the loyal women, for whom I have the honor to speak to-night, prove their right to be counted among the bravest of the Nation's defenders. Thus, by personal service and by personal sacrifice, unaided by the comradeship which we enjoyed, did bear her portion of the burdens of the great war. No record of the War Department shows this rank; the hollocks above thousands of them do not even show their names. were willing to die and be forgotten that the Nation might live, but in that valhalla where heroes assemble; where the armies of the Union shall reform their ranks, "at the war drummer's sign;" where trappings and uniform hide not the heart from the great Inspector, shall be found those loyal women, who, in labors abundant, in perils often, in faith steadfast, in hope unfailing, did their full share to secure for us and our children this “home of freedom disenthroned, regenerated, enlarged and perpetuated.”
The Quartette gave a serenade by “ Erentzer," and in response