Page images
PDF
EPUB

known you from your beginning, but during all this while they have been an important part of you; and I trust it will not be regarded as inappropriate if I here remark that you have not suffered on that account. [Applause.)

Ohio made splendid contributions to the Army of the Tennes. see. [Applause.] In the first place, she gave you three of your grandest and most illustrious commanders. No matter what claims other states may have upon him, we propose that it shall not be forgotten that in Ohio is to be found the birthplace of your first commander, the iron-hearted Ulysses S. Grant. [Applause.] And no memory is dearer to the people of Ohio than the memory of him, who, booted and spurred, fell in the shock of battle on the bloody field of Atlanta. [Tremendous applause.] No name is dearer to the people of Ohio than the name of James B. McPherson. [Cheers.]

And then we gave you another commander, the grand old hero who honors us with his presence here to-night. [Cheers.] How can any man command language that will do justice to General Sherman? [Renewed cheers, accompanied by waving of hats and handkerchiefs.] He was your commander, but he was Ohio's gift to you. [Applause.] He was born in Ohio: he grew to manhood in Ohio; and Ohio not only gave him to you but she gave him to the whole army, to the whole country, to the cause of the Union, of liberty, and of mankind. [Great applause.] May the prayer of the chaplain, as made here to-night, be answered, and his days be lengthened, that he may enjoy the country and the Government he did so much to save. [Tremendous applause,

But, my fellow-comrades, we did more than give you these commanders. Ohio gave you some of the most brilliant of

your subordinate Generals. It was Ohio that gave to the Army of the Tennessee the bold, dashing. brilliant, courageous, intrepid General Hickenlooper [cheers], a man who was never satisfied while the war lasted except only while his guns were belching their fames of fire and storms of shot and shell, and thundering defiance into the columns of the enemy. [Applause.] We gave you another one who is dear to every heart in the city of Cincinnati particularly - - a man who was as tender and gentle as a woman, a scholar, a man of culture and of refinement, as clear, calm, steady and pure as the morning star, and yet as brave as Julius Cæsar. You may search in the military history of the world and you will

not find a record there of a braver, a truer, a more devoted soldier than Manning F. Force. [Tremendous applause and cheers.] I might with equal propriety call attention to others, for the list is long, but the hour is late, and I am admonished by the occasion and the proprieties of the occasion that I should desist. And yet there is one other contribution Ohio made to the Army of the Tennessee that I must mention. We not only gave you these splendid Generals, but we gave you by the thousands that most magnificent product of our civil war, the American private soldier. [Cheers, long continued.] The private soldier who turned his back, at the call of duty, upon home, wife, children, business, ambitions and aspirations, and all that was nearest and dearest, and marched away after the flag to do and to die if need be, that his country might live. (Great applause.) Yes, by the thousands the best and bravest of Ohio's sons marched with you and camped with you, and bivouacked with you, and fought with you, and triumphed with you. [Applause.) They stood shoulder to shoulder with you on every field made sacred by your blood and glorified by your victory. They were with you at Henry, at Donelson, at Vicksburg, at Chattanooga, at Atlanta, and in that resistless march to the sea. So it is, I say, that Ohio has had from the beginning an interest of a special character in the Army of the Tennessee, an interest that made the people of Ohio watch you as you went forward in your illustrious career from battle-field to battle-field, to win victory after victory, until you had excited the admiration and won the confidence of the people of the whole country to a degree that no language can portray. [Applause.] The people of Ohio read about you every day, and they prayed for you every hour. Your heroism and your valor were to them a continuing inspiration; your achievements lit up the darkest hours of gloom and disaster that fell upon us with resplendent rays of hope and faith in final triumph.

Ohio gave more than three hundred thousand men to the Union army. They were to be found in every army, in every corps, in every division almost from the Potomac to the Gulf. [Applause.] All did their duty; did it grandly, did it proudly, did it magnificently, did it with credit to themselves, with credit to their state, with credit to the cause, the flag and to our country. [Tremendous applause.] The people of Ohio hold all in grateful recollection, and for each and every one of the great armies of the

Union in which they have fought the people of Ohio have a near and dear place in their hearts. But I am only stating the truth when I say to you - and you would not have me say any more if I could that no army has in the hearts of the people of Ohio a nearer or dearer place than has the Army of the Tennessee. [Applause.] And that is not all. This high appreciation is increasing and growing stronger as the years go by. The people of Ohio believed in the war then, and they believe in the results of the war now. [Applause. ] They believed then that you were right; they know now that they were. [Renewed applause.] What you did has been grandly vindicated, and if there be any one thing for which the people of Ohio feel more proud than they do for anything else connected with the war, it is that in our lifetime, before the men who participated in that great struggle have passed away, the men at the South, against whom we fought, as well as ourselves, have come to appreciate the fact that our victory was their victory as well (applause]: that we fought for union, for free popular government, for the maintenance of our written constitutions, for one flag and for one destiny for the whole American people [loud applause), and that in consequence the American name stands higher and shines brighter among the nations of the earth than it ever did before. By ali these tokens I gladly join with his Honor, the Mayor, in saying to you that you are welcome, thrice welcome to the State of Ohio. [Tremendous applause.]

Song by Lincoln Glee Club.

General Hickenlooper:--I have now the pleasure of introducing, or rather presenting, for to the loyal men and women of this land it is unnecessary to introduce, General William T. Sherman, the President of our Society.

General Sherman spoke as follows:
The Society will now come to order.

The Local Committee has devolved on your President the task of making a response to the words of welcome from the Mayor of Cincinnati and the Governor of Ohio, to which we have just listened.

Were I to do this rightly I would only turn to them and in your behalf say, we thank you; but I know an audience like this, a

more majestic audience I never beheld in any land, expects more of me than a mere naked word of thanks, for indeed our own local committee is entitled to our thanks. Look around you, my friends of the Army of the Tennessee, and see the familiar names, some of whom have passed away and others remain, all grouped most artistically, tastefully festooned by the same flag on which I rest my hand at this minute, the stars and stripes, the controlling emblem, the emblem of our country and of the Union. I want you to recognize that your local committee, doubtless aided by the good and patriotic citizens of Cincinnati, have so ornamented this hall as to make it a memory, a dream which you can carry back to your homes and preserve in your hearts till you yourselves pass from yonder rank to yonder rank (pointing to the grouping of the living and dead), and care no more for the things of this world.

And now, my friends, in this vast hall and assembly, I thank your Mayor on the part of the Army of the Tennessee for his graceful words of welcome. Not only his words, but the evidences which we behold in the streets and everywhere assure us that the Army of the Tennessee, individually and collectively, are welcome to this goodly city of Cincinnati. We knew such would be the case when we adjourned last year at Toledo, and that is the reason we came here. We did not ask your leave, because the Army of the Tennessee has a fashion of going where it pleases. When we were soldiering a good many years ago, not so long but that many of you remember it, we called this “God's country,” a pretty good name for it after all. And now, Mr. Mayor, I thank you personally for your kindly greeting of the members of this Society, every man of which is as capable of saying the same as I, though for the occasion I am their mouthpiece.

And to you, Governor Foraker, I turn with feelings of love and affection stronger than any official title you may bear, great as the State of Ohio may be in your own estimation, or in the estimation of the world, for you are one of us body and soul.

Well do I remember you; my young friend or boy, as you came through the pine woods that day in North Carolina, your horse covered with lather, like a soldier knight, and reported to me the message from your General Slocum. Now, my friends, there is nothing in life more beautiful than the soldier. A knight errant with steel casque, lance in hand, has always commanded the ad

miration of men and women. The modern soldier is his legitimate successor, and you, my comrades, were not hirelings, you never were, but knight errants transformed into modern soldiers, as good as they were and better.

I tell you that that young man, now Governor of Ohio, and wielding great power, was to me that day in the pine woods a beautiful sight, though he was covered with mud, not fit to be presented to an audience like this, a mere boy as I then thought, sent with a man's message and delivering it like a man and a soldier. From that day this I have watched his upward career with the interest and affection of a father to his son. I have been many times a guest at his house, and often have received from him marks of kindness. I have learned from books and conversation that since the war he has been to college, that he has acquired classical knowledge, mathematical and other good knowledge, so that when he has occasion to speak, as he has this evening, he goes right to the point; no going around the circle with him, his skirmish line straight forward, no dodging or getting behind a hill or behind a log.

I tell you, comrades, that Governor Foraker learned a lesson in war as good as any he ever learned at college, and that is, when he has anything to say he says it like a man and stands by it like

a man.

Now the truth is we fought the holiest fight ever fought on God's earth. A larger measure of results was accomplished by that war than by any of the Napoleonic or Cæsarian wars. We made peace on a continent, we raised the standard of our nationality a thousand fold. We made our credit better than that of England. We gained everything, we lost nothing but slavery, and that fell chiefly upon the people of the South. They should not complain because they deliberately put their slaves in the balance and lost them, they bet on the wrong card and lost.

Now they are betting on another card. They consented to the Amendments of the Constitution as a point of concession for not being otherwise punished, and they came back into the Union with a five-fifths vote of their former slaves for representation in Congress instead of the former three-fifths. Governor Foraker has stated the proposition better than I can do, and stronger than I have heard it from any platform. This is not right, it is not honest, it is not honorable such as soldier knights should do. The

« EelmineJätka »