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clash of arms, but also an irrepressible conflict of political ideas and doctrines. The rebels fought to prove that the Declaration of Independence was a fallacy, and that our fathers had made a mistake in their doctrines of liberty and equal rights. The Army of the Tennessee, on the contrary, fought to maintain the Declaration of Independence as the grandest charter of liberty ever given to the race of man, and that the political doctrines of our fathers are as fundamental in the governments of man as the doctrine of the Sermon on the Mount is fundamental in morals and religion.
They fought to forever and unalterably fix sovereignty in the will of our Nation, and that no State should ever again rifle or rob the Nation's mail bags and burn their contents in the streets of its cities,
They fought that a fair majority of ballots fairly put into the ballot-box, and a fair majority of ballots fairly counted out of the ballot-box, should hereafter be the supreme law of our Nation, touching all great political questions, and that its violation should be held to be political and moral treason.
In this way, dear comrades, the record of our proud Army is written in our country's history, and stands there unsurpassed in its glorious military achievements, and unmarred by a single blemish. The doings of this proud Army and its great leaders are no less renowned in the paths of peace than in those of war. A grateful country has more than once called from our ranks a man to sit in the Presidential chair. More than once have some of our comrades been called to sit in the cabinet counsels of our country. During the last twenty years, its legislative wisdom and manly logic has been prominent in the legislation of both Houses of Congress. The records and proceedings of our dear old Society are full of matchless eloquence, grand oratory and the loftiest social and political economy.
My dear comrades, the Army of the Tennessee and its leaders are rapidly passing into the sear and yellow leaf, and one by one are being ferried over the river to the eternal camping grounds. Our first and great commander has finally gone to take his place in the "silent halls of death." His death comes very near to the Army of the Tennessee, and very near to this old Society. Kind heaven seems to have woven into his marvelous character all the great qualities of two of our grandest and best Americans
-Abraham Lincoln and Edwin M Stanton. Our dead commander possessed in an eminent degree all the rugged war qualities belonging to our "God of Mars," our American Woolsey,” Edwin M. Stanton. Also in such marked degree those quiet and winning graces, that eloquent silence, that broad humanity and delicate sense of justice, always so prominent in honest Abraham Lincoln.
This fortunate combination of the loftiest qualities of head and heart seem to have round him out as the most exalted manhood ever given to our
When dead, not only the most sacred temples of earth hung them in emblems of sorrow, and held solemn memorial services on the day of his burial, but around the humblest hearthstones of the humblest people amongst all civilized nations was seen mourning and sorrow, because of the death of this great Savior of free government for man.
Our country schooled him at our great Academy, and he used his schooling to save and not to destroy his country; and so pilgrims of liberty for all the coming ages will tarry at his tomb and speak words of praise and deep sorrow, but will pass by the tomb of Robert E. Lee with a sad sigh.
The chief beauty of our dead commander's fame is the strong emphasis with which his whole life magnifies and makes honorable the simple, pure and beautiful life of the family.
As his military, and civil fame expanded in the world, so his domestic simplicity and paternal tenderness became more marked.
Comrades, this deep heartfelt sorrow over this dead commander is prophetic of great good in the future. It is the promise of a higher and a more exalted national life. Ere long this national heartache will be by some American artist put upon canvas, chiseled in breathing marble, sung in national songs and written in immortal poetry.
So now, dear comrades of the Army of the Tennessee, we have done our work, and have done it well. We have founded these doctrines on the common laws of our American civilization, and forever planted them in the bed rock, our American Constitution. Let us, then, so live under his great example, that when our summons comes, as his did, to join the innumerable caravan that moves to the pale realms of shade, when each of us must take his place by the side of our dead commander in the silent
halls of death, that we go not like the quarry slave, scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust; we may wrap the drapery of our couch about us and lie down to pleasant dreams.
At the close of General Bane's response, the President announced: The quartette will now sing “Marching through Georgia." I think we have heard that before. [Laughter.]
The Quartette sang the familiar old song, the chorus swelling out from hundreds of earnest voices.
The President:-Ladies and gentlemen, we now come to the
ELEVENTH Toast.—“Our Kindred Societies -A common service and a common object, to preserve the memories of war, and to cherish the friendships formed during that period of our national history, bind our hearts to yours in firm fraternity.”
Response by General WILLARD WARNER.
The toast to "our kindred societies” means and includes the armies of the Union, and suggests the causes and results of the war. The ties are strong and enduring which bind together men who have shared common dangers and made common sacrifices in the service of a cause dear to their hearts. This tie binds together in bonds of fraternal kindness not only all the members of “our kindred societies," but all the soldiers of all the armies of the Union who served in the late great war, and we to-night extend to them all our respect, our friendship and our love.
But is there no other and more sacred tie than this which binds each to the other, all the members of the armies of the Union?
Hundreds of thousands of true men of the armies of the Union died in battle or of disease contracted in service. My Southern country is whitened by the marble tombstones set up by a grateful country over their graves.
Many thousands have died since. Thomas and Meade and Hooker and others of our great captains have been furloughed to “the bourne from whence there is no return” to duty in this life. And a few days ago our great captain, who was never conquered in life, met death with unconquered spirit, and was laid in his grave at Riverside to live forever.
Our ranks are being rapidly thinned by death, and gray heads
and furrowed faces surround me. Year by year the Society of the Army of the Tennessee and “our kindred societies” hang up their death rolls.
Our beloved President and peerless chieftain, whose fame fills the world, and whose patriotism and honesty are of the highest type known to men, is being marked by time as we all are.
Yes, Mr. President and my comrades, there is a stronger and holier tie that binds our hearts together than is stated in this toast of "a common service and a common object to preserve the memory of the war, and cherish the friendship formed during that period of our national history.” That tie is a common service in a great and good cause which succeeded, and in its success blessed alike the victor and the vanquished. The dearest and the proudest memory of our service in the late war is that we were in the RIGHT, and only this memory can satisfy our consciences. In this fact of good service in a good cause which succeeded lies our great joy, and our claim to honor and gratitude.
Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, McPherson, Logan, Hancock, will live in history forever, because they did grand deeds in a great and good cause, with which their names will be forever linked. Lee, the Johnsons and Jackson, will be remembered only as men of high personal virtue and as skillful soldiers who happily failed in a BAD cause, only blessed in its defeat.
Our President has, on occasion, well admonished his country. men, that it will be a sad day for the Republic when we forget or fail to maintain that while it was a war in which "Greek met Greek,” in so far as bravery and skill were involved, yet that the Greeks on the Nation's side were in the RIGHT, and the Greeks on the other side were WRONG.
The results of the war now realized, of a country united and fast becoming fraternal, of a prosperous and happy people, with the vanquished confessing, with one voice, that it was well that they were defeated in their aims, vindicates our action and confirms our title to honor and gratitude. The verdict of history is already made up while we live to hear it. “Soldiers of the armies of the Union! You were right. Honor be to you always.” But as late soldiers and always citizens, duties remain to us yet, which can not be shirked with honor or safety.
The foundation of the Nation which we saved in the right of
each citizen to his equal share in the government by his vote and his voice. Let us see that this right is no where, and at no time, and in no way, abridged or interfered with, and that each legal voter, whatever his political or religious creed, nationality, color or locality, has the undisturbed right of casting his ballot as he pleases, and of having it counted as he cast it.
This secured, and then we may feel safe, believing in “ Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” [Applause.]
TWELFTH TOAST.-—"Bugle, Drum and Fife."
"There is a charm, a power that sways the breast;
Bids every passion revel and be still;
That power is music.”
It seems a little strange that any one should be called upon to speak for a subject so capable of being heard on its own account. Though war is a terrible reality, its memories seem like a dream, and its history is largely romance, in which are interwoven heroes, their triumphs, and the instruments with which these triumphs are achieved, the arms, the banners, and the music of war all enter into the composition of an army, and together with its soldiers, all share in the glory. Discipline is as essential in an army as courage in the soldier, and those things which contribute to either, all have their place in the annals of war. Nor have history and romance failed to give to the trumpet and drum their place in the records of military achievements. If we are told that the good sword of Roland smote the Pyrenees asunder, it is answered that the blare of the trumpet, heard above the clangor of battle, struck terror to the hearts of the Saracen army and turned the victory of Roncesvalles into defeat. Both stories are equally authentic and both alike challenge our wonder and credulity.
If the boast is made of the countless thousands of nation's soldiery, the music of the war, from out its Scottish Highlands, gives back the defiant response that one bugle blast of Roderick Dhu “were worth a thousand men.” If we tell of the conquest of empire which armies have made, the answer comes that “Britain's drum-beat is heard around the world.” If we tell of cannon and shell, of torpedoes, and powder and ball, the finger of time points back to the crumbled walls of Jericho as monuments to