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CINCINNATI, September 25, 1889. The Society assembled in Music Hall at 8:10 P. M., having marched from headquarters under escort, as provided in the arrangements, and after it and the immense audience were seated, was called to order and the programme of exercises began with the reveille by buglers and drum corps, followed by “Marching Away."
The Chairman of the Local Committee, General Hickenlooper, opened formally with the following remarks:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MR. PRESIDENT AND COMRADES OF THE SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE:
Another year, with its personal joys and sorrows, its victories and defeats, has passed away, and once more we are permitted to meet together for the purpose of reviving the memories of the past and recalling the scenes and incidents of that never to be forgotten period when you together marched side by side to the music of the Union. We are gratified that Cincinnati has been thus honored, and the local committee bade me to extend to you the most cordial and heartfelt welcome-a greeting participated in not only by the members of your own Society, but by the comrades of other armies who have fought with zeal, and labored to make your reception a pleasant one; by the Mayor of the city, the Chief Executive of the State, and the thousands of loyal men and women assembled to-night, who, by their presence, testify to their appreciation and interest in the services you rendered to the country during the most critical period in its history. [Applause.] It is their wish and our sincere desire that when the hour of separation comes you may each and all carry with you to your homes the most pleasant recollections of this, the twenty-second reunion of our Society. The exercises of the evening will be opened up with prayer by a comrade whose wounds testify to his valor in the field of battle.
Rev. Washington Gardner offered prayer as follows:
Our Father who art in Heaven, we lift our hearts to thee as the source of all good. Thou art the same yesterday, to-day and for
ever; thou who art the God of Nations as of individuals, we come to Thee with grateful hearts to-night and to thank Thee that thou wert with our forefathers when they came in weakness and in peril to plant in this western world by faith the seeds of civil and religious liberty; wert with revolutionary sires through the long and dreary contest for political independence; with the builders of the constitution, while they were laying broad and deep the foundations upon which to rest the superstructure of a great government in security. We thank Thee that thou wert with the patriotic sons who by their valor, their heroic devotion, sought to perpetuate our government in its integrity and to preserve unbroken our union of States. We devoutly thank Thee, Oh God, that to-day the flag of our country as the emblem of national authority and of civil liberty floats unchallenged over all the land, and that its shadow does not fall on one human being who is not by birthright a freeman, and under the majesty of the law an equal with every other.
Continue Thy blessings upon us, our Father in Heaven, we pray Thee. Preserve us as a nation in peace at home and abroad. We pray that Thy blessings may rest upon the President of the United States, and upon all others in authority. We invoke Thy blessings upon the surviving veterans of the war for the Union. And we pray Thee to bless the sacred memories of our comrades dead, and have in Thy keeping their widows and orphans. We pray that Thy blessing may rest upon the Society under whose auspices we are meeting to-night. We thank Thee for its sustained fidelity, its heroic devotion, its grand triumph, that makes illustrious its history in the annals of our country. We thank Thee that thou hast spared so many participants in this great army through the perils of war, and permitted them again to assemble and renew the friendships of other years; and we thank Thee that thou hast graciously prolonged the life of him who is the President of this Society now, and its most conspicuous leader in the field of action. God, in mercy, prolong his days, we pray Thee. Spare him to the nation he served so well in war, and in whose hearts he is gratefully enshrined in peace. Father, may Thy blessing rest upon this assemblage to-night, and upon all the exercises. Go thou with us in life and grant that we may so live here, that when the reveille of the eternal morning shall sound, we shall wait to hear from Thy lips, Thou Great Commander, “Well done, good
and faithful servant." Lord. Amen.
We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, our
Music by Quartette.—“ Nearer My God to Thee."
Music by Drum Corps.-" The Soldier's Return."
General Hickenlooper then introduced Hon. J. B. Mosby, the Mayor of Cincinnati, who spoke as follows:
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE TEYNESSEE:
Gathered as you are at this, your regular annual reunion, it has been assigned to me, as the Mayor of this great municipality, to welcome you on behalf of the whole people to loyal old Cincinnati, the citizens of which, during the unfortunate years of the rebellion, were steadfast in supporting with their money, influence and words of cheer the more hazardous work you men doing away down in Dixie Land. The war, now over almost twenty-five years,
fortunately so, only recalled on occasions like these, when you who drank from the same canteen meet and recall camp-fires, scenes, your bivouacs, marches, battles, victories and reverses—but, thank God, the grand old Army of the Tennessee, under the leadership of Grant, Sherman, McPherson, Logan and Howard, don't have to spend much time talking about defeats.
When this young man, Hickenlooper, of whom perhaps the most of you have heard before, secured my consent to welcome you to-night, my response was without hesitation, and like other natural-born orators I began skeletonizing what I would say, and at once it was apparent that if I should pretend to recall all your deeds of glory, or the illustrious names answering to your roll-call in the present and the past, that all the rest of you would be shut out, or rather shut up, the same as you chaps did Pemberton at Vicksburg. I know of your valor, that you had shed imperishable luster by your achievements in your heroic support of the flag while battling for the Republic, but it must be confessed that my information was meager indeed, until, to sort of brush up my memory for this evening, I looked over a history of the late war, or rather so much of it, which was a rather big slice by the way, as pertained to the Army of the Tennessee, and then, and not till
then, did I realize the full debt of gratitude the country owes you, one it can never repay if it would give each of you, from Billy Sherman down to the powder monkey of Hickenlooper's battery, a pension equal to the pay of a General during the balance of your lives.
How a few regiments under Grant- all honor to his memory gathered at Cairo and met with a slight reverse at Belmont.
How the disaster at Bull Run was countermatched by your capturing Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and the great victory of Shiloh, then the siege of Corinth, luka, Talehatchie, Chicasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Big Black river, and finally Grant closing his immediate command over you by capturing Vicksburg and its army of gallant defenders. Sherman now picks up the task,
inscribe on your banners, Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Knoxville and Meridian, when he is promoted, and McPherson, the great engineer and typical leader, is the master mind. Resaca is fought - God bless all who fell on that day. New Hope Church, Dallas, Kennesaw mountain, Nick-a-Jack creek, Roswell factory, Decatur, Atlanta, where McPherson at his post of duty, and when just on the point of gaining victories which have placed his name alongside of those of Alexander, Napoleon, Von Moltke, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and other greatest Generals of all ages, is killed.
A sad, sad day it was for you men, who had learned to love and trust in him. Then Logan for a brief time, and then Howard, the sleeveless hero, is your Captain; and, true to your training of the past, you cut your way through, and Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Altoona and Macon are fought, and the march to the sea begins, closing by you handing the city of Savannah over to the Nation as a Christmas present.
You have cut the Confederacy in twain, the back-bone of the rebellion is broken, but your work is not quite done. Pocatalago Salkahatchie, Orangeburg, Columbia, Cheraw, Fayetteville Averysborough and Bentonville are fought. Joe Johnston follows Lee, surrendering, and the frightful drama is closed. The Republic, by your heroism, sufferings and the offerings up of the noblest blood ever shed in any cause, is saved. The flag which had been sullied and insulted by those now our brothers, who are as ready to defend it as we, was again raised over Sumter's battered, ruined walls, and the boys, with hearts full of gladness came
marching home, on the way visiting Richmond to invite your comrades of the Army of the Potomac, who had done great fighting, but little marching, to a race for Washington City. What a struggle that was! How you stripped for the contest, throwing away guns, accoutrements and other paraphernalia of war to lighten your burdens to be the more like the trained greyhounds. you were only retaining the banners on which your eyes had rested in many a battle.
How that race ended has never been recorded, but it is safe to say that the Army of the Tennessee did not get left, if it was on the left.
But now, men-boys, I mean-of the Army of the Tennessee, welcome-welcome to Cincinnati; feel that our whole people extend to you and join in this welcome. You have suffered to save this country, and now all we have is yours. Enjoy yourselves as only soldiers know how; have a good time, so that, in after years, when you recall recollections of your soldier life, one of the brightest spots, I hope, will be the reunion at this time in Ohio's metropolis.
Welcome, one and all.
General Hickenlooper:- I now have the pleasure of introducing a comrade who for four long years shared with his comrades the privations and joys - if there were any — of a soldier's life, and when the war was over and the victory won, had the patriotism and manhood to declare that “ No Rebel flags shall be surrendered while I am Governor.” [Applause.]
Governor Foraker spoke as follows: MR. PRESIDENT AND FELLOW-COMRADES OF THE ARMY OF
THE TENNESSEE: You have heard the words of welcome that have been spoken by our Mayor. They were earnest, kind, cordial words of welcome. They were spoken, however, on behalf of only the citizens of Cincinnati. I have been asked to add a word on behalf of the people of the State of Ohio. It is a pleasure for me to speak that word, for the people of Ohio want the Army of the Tennessee to feel welcome in their midst. [Applause.] This is so, my comrades, because the people of Ohio know who you are. They have been acquainted with you ever since 1861. They have known you from your very beginning, and they have not only