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leaders of the armies that made up his grand army, we must all remember that among these great men, and notwithstanding these great men, these victories could not have been won but for the million and a half of private soldiers who filled the ranks. If there are any men in this world entitled to the greatest consideration that men can give, it was those men who, for $13 a month, enlisted and went to the front, their names hardly known, and they died along the line of battle, never to be remembered, except to be marked off on the muster roll, and if there are, as I said, any men on earth that deserve our greatest love, our greatest consideration and all the warm words that can be said in praise, it is the men of the rank and file. It has been the experience of every officer, it was the experience of every officer during the war and it has been ever since the war closed, that letter after letter has been received saying, Can you give me any information concerning my husband or my boy?" and General Sherman and these other gallant men know as well as I or better how often we have tried to get information that we could not collect, to tell these pleading hearts where their loved ones lie. So, I say here to-night, that if all the words of praise that have been spoken of the leaders of the army were given to the rank and file, we should not do them any more than justice.
And now, ladies and gentlemen and members of the Army of the Tennessee, as a resident of Michigan I wish simply to add my word of welcome and to express the hope that your stay among us may be pleasant, and if you find yourselves falling short of anything
“ draw on us. Colonel Henderson was next called for, and being introduced by the President, spoke as follows: MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE:
I have enjoyed myself through and through. I have enjoyed particularly seeing the handsome General Alger, and I never saw a good looking fellow in my life but he wanted to see all the good looking wives in his town, but I want to tell the handsome gentleman there were several of us that were too sharp for him, and that we are playing a lone hand the best we know how.
I suppose the good people of Michigan think this Society of the Army of the Tennessee is a kind of mutual admiration socie
ty, and sometimes I have no doubt people get a little disgusted about the way we talk of the things we have accomplished, and the young and rising generation think we have a patent in our own estimation upon patriotism, and upon courage and upon
that nobility that symbolizes the conquering soldier. Well, it does seem so, but it is not so. Now, I want to say, for one member of this Society, and I am a very humble one, and they call me general —but I was nothing but a colonel—I want to say for one that I believe the young men--and General Alger will listen and the young women of this day and generation, if they were confronted with a necessity like that which confronted us from '61 to '65 would meet the expectations of this country as nobly as Grant, Sherman and every private soldier did. We have no monopoly of heroism in this Society of the Army of the Tennessee, and we do not claim anyếtake notice evening papers of Detroit, to have a patent for courage under shoulder straps. No, sir; but we say this to the brave young hearts that are beating all around us, we say this to the noble young fellows that marched up your streets to-day, that if the sad hour should ever come when you must leave home to the tap of a drum, and when the wars are over that have called you to the front and you dare look around with laughter and with tears and with empty sleeves or other wound, or with whitened locks or bent body to talk over the camp-fire scenes or the deadly struggle, I know that the generous people around you will say, “ Men, boys, go in; God bless you, have a good time.” And so I know that the brave, good, generous people of Michigan are saying to us together as we are here to-night, to the halt, to the lame—and, yes, to the blind—with joy who are having a good time together, that they will credit us with being, not the sole patriots of this union, but with having simply gathered together for the purpose of having a good social time. We sometimes meet around our camp-fires with the old canopy of '61-5 above our heads, all of us, different ages, of different conditions, soldiers and officers altogether--yes, I may be like cold potatoes, warmed up a little—and we get pretty moist and silly and pretty simple, and good, sturdy men will be hugging each other, as only General Alger and the girls should do, and we will weep like simple ones, but God even won't blush at us and the stars or moon do not darken at our simpleness. The biggest, strongest man should weep, for simplicity of the soul is the richest gift any
man can inherit. I have seen this grand old man (Sherman) in the battle's front—he didn't, for I was nothing but a lieutenant —and I have seen that characteristic which is peculiar to him manifest itself, and it is that which lashes him now most strongly to the heart of this Society.
My only thought in speaking, my friends, was to caution you not to misunderstand us, as we take our annual trip somewhere quietly in among the hearts of the people, to be silly as it may be termed, but I know that the state that sent out ninety thousand arms to hold our flag aloft, did not need even this caution from
The President:-Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen: We have now come to the end of the programme placed in my hands by your local committee, saving the music, which will play for a few minutes, during which we will disburse.
This meeting to-night is but one of a series. We generally take two days. To-morrow we have a busy day, and to-morrow night, in response to other subjects, speeches will be made by other members and invited guests.
I think we have had enough speaking to-night. We have had three hours nearly, and I will therefore detain you no longer, but I wish to say one single thing:
As our orator well said, we fought for liberty. Every soldier in this land has a right to make a society of his own, if he feels so disposed. Every regiment has its society; every brigade has its society; every division has its society; every corps de armee, each has its society; and if the officers of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee wish to make a society, why should the people find fault with it? It was made by the best men we had; by Blair, Wood and Logan and a parcel of others, whose names are recorded in our book. We never have had a secret meeting. In the bright light of day we have met for the last twenty-three years, and here forsooth, some people say we must introduce enlisted men.
Our society is large enough for social purposes. It was organized for social purposes, its constitution is very simple, not more than eight or ten paragraphs, and I think every one drawn by a volunteer officer who had fought four years and who, like Washington, wanted to perpetuate the good fellowship between us. We have carried it out for twenty-two years, and why disturb us? The subject has been discussed time and again. The
vote has been taken, and it was decided not to enlarge it. This society has a right to its own rules, and it enforces them. We do not object to others forming another Army of the Tennessee Society, and let them come and join us if they please, and if we choose so; but I know of no club on earth that does not reserve the right to choose its own membership. I give my consent very freely and a great many others, but some of them think no; we are all right as we are; we have had perfect success; we have been welcomed everywhere, and have never had any trouble at all, only occasionally the newspapers pitch into us, as they pitch into everything, and they sometimes intrude even upon the domestic circle, sometimes, rarely. They are welcome to our Society at all times. We have never excluded a newspaper reporter or any. body. Every private soldier is welcome. We are subject to attacks, but we have maintained the Society, and it is in a flourishing condition. The meeting to-morrow, at ten, is public; of course it is. We have no secret meetings, and every body in Detroit can come here if he pleases. I don't know where it is to be held, but we meet, publicly, at ten o'clock; but we will do our own business, and we will allow no outside interference. Now, gentlemen and ladies, I declare this meeting adjourned.
Wright's OPERA HOUSE, September 15, 1887. The Society assembled as per adjournment of yesterday, and was called to order by the President, who said:
The first business of the meeting is to read the proceedings of yesterday. The secretary will proceed to read the record of that meeting
The Secretary:-I suppose that inasmuch as everybody was here yesterday and knows what the proceedings were, it would save time if some gentleman would move that the reading be dispensed with.
On motion of General Pearson,
Resolved, That the reading of the Secretary's record of pro. ceedings of meeting yesterday be dispensed with.
The President:-The next business in order will be the receiv. ing of the reports of the committees. The first one will be that of the time and place of our next annual meeting. Is the Chair. man present and ready to report?
Captain Lanstrum, chairman of the committee, reported as fol. lows:
DETROIT, MICHIGAN, September 15, 1887. We, your committee appointed to select place and time for our next annual reunion, would recommend Toledo, Ohio, as place; time, September 15th and 16th, 1888.
C. E. LANSTRUM,
Committee. The President:—You have heard the report of your committee on time and place of our next annual meeting. The adoption of the report, of course, carries the selection. All in favor of the adoption of the report will say aye.
The report was unanimously adopted.
The President:-The next committee in order is that to name the orator for the next meeting. Is that committee ready to report?