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life blood flowed the deepest, even then Thou wert with us, overruling all the passions of men, for Thy honor and Thy glory, and bringing out of them a greater liberty, a deeper, stronger, and more precious union in our Nation. We beseech Thee, Heavenly Father, that Thy care over us may continue, and that we may be a people, whose God is the Lord. We beseech Thee, that Thou would'st grant Thy blessing upon the association that meets here this evening, and under whose auspices we are assembled. Oh, Lord, bless those who have bravely risked life in their country's service, and as they shall gather up the memories of those past dangers and hardships together, we pray Thee that Thou would'st bless them. We beseech Thee, Heavenly Father, that Thou wilt continue to preserve in our midst, loyalty, patriotism, and love of this land of ours and that we may ever be a people who are faithful unto the liberties and the obligations and the privileges which Thou hast committed to our trust, Lord, we pray Thee, that Thou wilt guide all the destinies of our land; we pray Thee, that from the national halls of legislation to the humblest home in the land loyal hearts may watch over the purity, the prosperity and ne peace of our country, and that we may all at last gather as good soldiers and as citizens of a better country, in a reunion above, to part no more forever. We ask it through Christ, Amen.
The President:-Comrades: Inasmuch as we are to be wel. comed to the city of Rock Island, and to the State of Illinois, I will request Doctor Plummer, who is the Chairman of the Local Committee, to take charge of the proceedings until that is done.
Doctor Plummer:- I will introduce to the Society of the Army of the Tennessee and the audience here assembled, the representative of the city of Rock Island, Mr. W. H. Lundy, a member of the City Council, who will address the Society on behalf of the city.
Mr. Lundy spoke for the city as follows: GENERAL SHERMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE AND LADIES:
Since the organization of our city in 1941 the people have experienced no pleasure so agreeable, no opportunity so great, as that accorded to them upon this auspicious occasion.
The gathering together in these days of peace and National prosperity of the great soldiers, to the grand heroes whom this
Union of States-our own great Nation-owes its preservation and perpetuation, to them is an event which only they can fully appreciate who together have fearlessly braved the dangers of the battlefield, the trials, and hardships, and privations of a soldier's life encountered during the dark hours of the dreary and desolate days of a vigorous campaign; that these-ours—the Nation's honored soldiers and veteran heroes, should light their camp-fires amidst those of our humble but hospitable homes and mingle with us while each to the other recites some thrilling incident indelibly engraved upon the tablets of his memory during Sherman's march to the sea is an event which the good people of our city can appreciate. Soldiers of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, the memory of those of your number whom the Great Commander above has called to join His army in the realms of eternity we revere.
To those of you who are with us to-day we extend a greeting sincere, heartfelt, and cordial, and trust that long after you have sought the hearthstone of your own homes, within your hearts will linger happy recollections of your visit with us. In the name of the city and citizens, again I bid you welcome. [Applause.]
Surgeon Plummer:-Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen: I now have the honor of presenting Governor Richard J. Oglesby, who will deliver an address of welcome on behalf of the State.
General Oglesby said:
MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE Society OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE:
I consider it no small honor that adventitiously it is my lot to welcome you to the hospitality of the people of the State of Illinois. In most fitting, proper, and modest terms, you have just been welcomed to the hospitality of the city of Rock Island. As long as history shall faithfully record the meritorious deeds of the worthy men of the world, worthy because of the illustrious benefits they have conferred upon mankind, your names will fitly find a brilliant page in the annals of time. It is very pleasant to me, gentlemen, that it so happens you are to be welcomed this time by an agricultural and manufacturing population. In this official gathering and reunion of your Society, you meet in the midst of the simple and honest yeomanry of the Northwest. It has been quite usual, as we know, for your Society to
grace with its presence, the larger cities of the Northwest. The great, active, industrious, busy cities have required of you generally, that you should meet in their midst. This time a partial deviation from the usual and long-established custom, you meet as I said, in an agricultural, commercial and manufacturing community. It is a fortunate circumstance that a remnant of that army, that grand army, can yet be found to meet in such a community t'iat the people may have a brief opportunity, of looking for a day or two into the faces of the men, into the faces of the soldiers, who contributed the best brain, the best thought, the best physical effort, and their best blood for the preservation of that union that makes happy this yeomanry that welcomes yui in its midst [Applause.]
We aitogether overestimate the brilliant characters that come down to us in history. It is distance lends enchantment to the view. The men we see about us to-day, still moving and breathing, are as great as the men who have preceded us in history. [Applause. That man is great, who fits the circumstances of the times. That mar is great in poetry, art, literature, or song, in statesmanship, in invention, discovery, mathematics, or commerce, that shows himself equal to and worthy of the occasion. [Applause.] It is no use running to Africa to find Hannibal, no use running to the ancient Egypt to find Osirus, no use running to Rome to find a Cæsar, no use running to France to find a Napo. leon, to England to find a Wellington, or to Germany to find a Blucher; let us make our inquisitive research right among our own people to find great generals, able to command, and grand armies to win magnificent battles. [Applause.] The present is always equal to the past, or progress is a failure and civilization is a fraud. We think of the statesmanship of the past, we think of the soldiership of the past. We think of the smart Alecks of the past, [laughter] and close our eyes tight, in the presence of the majestic hearts, souls and spirits, that lend power, and glory, and dignity, and splendor to the age in which we live. [Applause.] I owe a good deal to the past. Thank God, and such other instrumentalities as were necessary, that I was born at all. [Great laughter and applause.] I am glad I was; but I beg most respectfully to suggest, in the presence of this indulgent audience, that I have ever felt since I have moved upon the earth, that my allegiance is due to the living rather than the dead
[Applause.] We have to look but a brief span into the past to see a few of the greatest hearts and greatest minds that ever honored the world. It is but the other day that Washington lived. He almost belongs to the nineteenth century. It was but the other day that the band of patriotic warriors that surrounded and supported him, who led our poor little revolutionary army successfully through that trying ordeal in which we got whipped twelve times out of thirteen, [laughter] yet beat in the end. 'Twas but the other day, there descended to the grave that great and God-like man, whose head on earth and in the heavens, rises above the clouds of the misty past, the glorious and immortal Lincoln. [Applause.] 'Twas but the other day, only the other day, that that modest, quiet farmer boy, born and reared in the hills of Ohio, passed across the waters of the dark and unfathomable river. 'Twas but the other day, that he left the world, left it better than he found it, left our republic stronger than he found it. 'Twas but the other day that that modest soldier, that immortal citizen, who for years lived in the Northwest, born in the Northwest, lived in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, picked up by the inscrutable hand of Providence, lifted from the mysterious depths of the unfathomable unknown, plucked as it were from the wave of time and lifted to the front of the grand circumstances that led him on to grand generalship, 'twas but the other day that General Grant died, and left our country. [Subdued applause.] No greater statesman in antiquity than Lincoln, no greater soldier of the past than Grant. [Applause.] Around Lincoln gathered a grand army of statesmen, patriotic, bold men, who could prepare all the necessary means to enable a grand people in a great republic to triumphantly march across the bloody cataclysm that stood before them, for four long years of civil war. [Applause.] Around Grant gathered a galaxy of soldiers, common citizen soldiers, it makes no difference where they were educated, whether at West Point Academy, or East Point Academy; [laughter] a grand body of soldiers gathered about that great one. Perhaps it is too soon to say, while they live, that they were the equals of Grant. It may be premature and out of good taste to say so; but whether equal to Grant or not, God knows they were equal to the emergencies of the time. [Applause.]
The gentlemen composing the Society of the Army of the
Tennessee, are drifting and floating about the atmosphere of American society and American circumstances as moths and things of beauty, floating around here yet with a little life in them, and once a year some community or other, and fortunately Davenport, Moline and Rock Island, this time, gets a squint at them. [Laughter.] They are modest men. I
this after due reflection. [Laughter.] Modest men, prudent men, admirable men in any walk of life, you will find them. Floating about upon the casual waves of time, here to-day and gone to-morrow, flitting things of beauty. [Laughter.] I mean it in a higher sense than you take it. Living with us but for a few brief hours, yet whose souls have agonized in the bitter and sorrowful school of experience, in the terrible and fiery ordeal of the battlefield, for you and I, our Nation and our flag. [Applause.] All very delightful now, ladies and gentlemen, and I am on your side to-night, speaking for you. Remember you and I are welcoming these gentlemen. Your instrument, I happen adventitiously to be for the hour. My lot in a few years will be that bourne whence no traveler returns, but our happy lot for an hour is to be presented to but a remnant of that grand army. How comfortable, ladies and gentlemen, we are. Oh, how self-satisfied we are; how our fields are tilled; how our furrows are ploughed; how commerce plows its way over the breasts of the oceans of the world, and up our interior inlets to the heart of the country; how the grand scheme of manufac. ture, in its thousand branches, goes quietly on; how we all move forward on the high plane of life, satisfied, self-satisfied with the flag peacefully waving over us, protected by it, while we smile at it, and in derision sometimes so far forget ourselves as to scoff at it. That flag, that union, this pleasant nation, our own gloricus sister State across the river; our own glorious State of Illinois, with their peaceful interests, self-satisfied, self-contained, march on through the career of life. How comfortable we all
How satisfied with our lot now. Peace has come, and war has gone. The angry sound of the cannon, the reverberating notes of infantry and mad artillery are no longer heard. How joyous and pleasant it is to live in a world of peace and prosperity. Do you know, thoughtless multitudes, do you know, women and men of America, do you know but for the leadership and heroism of such men as you look upon to-night, sitting on this platform, all would have been wrecked and sunk in the ugly