« EelmineJätka »
The Society of the Army of the Tennessee desires to record its very high appreciation of the exceedingly valuable oration prepared and so admirably delivered by Comrade Colonel Jas. F. How, at the great meeting of our Society held in Music Hall last evening. It is, therefore,
Resolved, That the hearty thanks of the Society be tendered to Colonel How for his contribution to the series of addresses annually delivered before our Society; and we commend his wellchosen words to our members and to our fellow-citizens who may be so fortunate as to read his wise and eloquent words.
Which was carried unanimously
Resolved, That the grateful thanks of our Society be extended to our comrades of this army and of the armies resident here and to the citizens of Cincinnatı, for the warm reception we have received.
Colonel Jacobson:-Mr. President, I think every man here knows who the gentleman in this work was; he is a modest man.
The President:-Hickenlooper. [Laughter.]
Colonel Jacobson: I won't say anything of him myself, but I will state a little incident that occurred yesterday where I was standing; some person was trying to thrust us where we didn't belong, and one of his aides said, “I have got my orders from Hickenlooper;” and said he, “I would like to see the fellow that dare disobey them.” (Laughter.]
The President:-Gentlemen, you have heard the resolution and seconded, are you ready for the vote?
The motion was carried.
General Raum here offered the report of the committee on Logan monument, as amended, which was received and adopted.
General Raum:--Mr. President, I have had a conversation with a number of our comrades in regard to the propriety of allowing this meeting to adjourn without giving some little expression to the opinions and feelings of this Society in regard to the subject of pensions. We all know that that matter has been considered, and is acted upon from time to time by all the organizations throughout the country; and it struck me that if the Society of the Army of the Tennessee should meet and go through with its proceedings,
and wind up with a banquet and go home without mak.ng any allusion to the subject of pensions, that we would not be performing our duty (applause]; and so I have in my hand some remarks and resolutions covering that question, which I offer for the consideration and action of this Society.
The President:-- It is in order; you can read it; when read, it will be subject to discussion and acted upon.
General Raum here read the resolution as follows:
The Society of the Army of the Tennessee in annual meeting, assembled at Cincinnati, September 25th and 26th, 1889, take this occasion to put upon record their profound gratification at the extraordinary development and prosperity of the entire country since the close of the war, twenty-four years ago.
We rejoice to know that the great mass of those of our fellowcitizens who joined in the struggle to dismember the Republic and to destroy the Union, now see and recognize the wisdom and patriotism of defeating them in their courageous efforts, and of preserving for them, as well as for ourselves, and for their posterity forever, as well as our own, the union of these States, the unity of this mighty people, the emancipation of the slaves, and the perpetuation of this grand system of self-government born of freedom.
We are now one people; we occupy the grandest subdivision of the earth's surface; we have attained to a population, a wealth, and an influence which is a wonder to ourselves and is the admiration of the rest of mankind.
The Union and the Constitution preserved will constitute for all time an inexhaustable fountain of blessings for qur own people and a profitable example of free government for all other people.
In contemplating these things we cannot forget that these bless. ings now enjoyed by this people were preserved by them by the patriotism, the valor and the suffering of the armies of the Union. We submit that these men have wrought well for their country. We insist that they deserve the grateful consideration of the government.
Resolved, That we favor the most liberal provisions of law for pensioning the old soldiers who saved the Union.
The disabled soldiers and their widows, orphans and dependent parents should not be neglected.
The old soldiers who have been unable to make their way in
the world, and who now find themselves destitute and incapable of making a living should be provided for.
These pensions should be granted graciously and paid freely, and we earnestly commend this subject to the consideration of Congress.
The President:- That is offered as a resolution; what is the pleasure of the Society with reference to this paper?
On motion of Major Towne, the resolution was adopted.
The President:-. It is now declared to be the action of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, and copies of it will be transmitted, I suppose, to the Senators and members of the Committee on Pensions.
Colonel W. J. Fuller:- I will state that I represent a class of men who were faithful in the service, and whom no other one here represents; therefore, I introduce this resolution:
WHEREAS, The military telegraphers of the war of Rebellion having never received any official recognition from the Government for their very faithful and vitally important services rendered during the long and hard contest of those eventful years; and whereas, committees of both Houses of Congress have reported unanimously in favor of such action to several succeeding Congresses, as yet no action has been taken by Congress upon the subject; therefore,
Resolved, That it is the sense of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, that the members of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps, who actually participated in the services of the army during the war of 1861-5, should receive substantial recognition of said services by congressional action at the earliest possible moment.
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution signed by the officers of the Society be furnished to the Society of the U. S. Military Telegraph Corps.
The President:—Gentlemen, you have heard the resolution; are you ready for the vote!
General Hickenlooper:--I don't rise for the purpose of opposing the resolution, but I would like to call the attention of the Society to the fact that this Society was organized for social pur. poses and for the perpetuation of the friendships formed in the war, in the Army of the Tennessee. While it is, in my judgment,
a perfectly legitimate thing for us to do, to pass resolutions of this character, yet it appears to me that we are a little in danger of taking the first step towards dictation to the authorities of the Government, whose province it is to pass upon these questions, who are elected for that purpose; are sent as representatives of the people to Congress, whose opportunity of study and good judgment should be the governing principle. You are perfectly aware, as I am, that there is no resolution of this character, no matter how radical it may be in its scope, that is offered to this Society, that would not be received and endorsed by almost a unanimous vote, without question as to the propriety of the action. But I think you had better give this resolution a second and serious consideration before you open wide the flood-gates for this sort of action.
Colonel Jacobson:- I would like to add a word or two to what General Hickenlooper has said. I think we are in great danger of being flooded with resolutions initiating legislation which is entirely foreign to the objects of this Society. I think we are in great danger of taking all sorts of positions just because it is so ungracious for a man to get up to oppose a resolution like the one offered by the gentleman who sits beside me. I feel very badly about doing it; I don't wish to do it at all; I wish to vote for his resolution and I want him to carry his resolution into effect. I think these men ought to be recognized. They exposed their lives; they were needed; they died in the cause, hundreds of them. They were just as good soldiers as any there were, and I feel it is a most ungracious thing to get up and oppose anything of this sort; yet I feel with all my heart that we ought not to initiate a course of that kind. It is entirely foreign to the objects of this Society.
Colonel Fuller:-Comrades of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee:—The military telegraphers of the war were young men. There were about, I suppose, three thousand of them; young men from fourteen to eighteen years of age when they went to the front. They were from the flower of the youth of the North; they had no organization; they were at the call of their country to do the service they were best fitted to perform for the benefit of their government. They did their work faithfully to the end. They were discharged as any citizen government employe was discharged; paid off and no more. And they have felt hurt at this.
They are now men advancing in years, many of them need assist. ance, and they have felt hurt at this neglect of the Government to give them any proper recognition of their services. General Sherman has recognized them; every General of the army has recognized them, and every soldier recognizes them as far as that goes. But official recognition has never been given them. They have been making an effort to get this resolution passed in Congress, but most of them are poor; they have no monied influence back of them to help them through Congress, and, therefore, Congress neglects them; and it is for this reason that I bring this matter to your attention. I don't desire to infringe on your patience or do anything contrary to the rules of this Society; its object is a good one, social enjoyments; but we ought to try to do some justice to these men who so richly deserve it.
General Fisk:—What kind of recognition do they desire?
Colonel Fuller:-I will state this: At the outset of the Rebellion there were no men connected with the army who could manage the telegraph. They called upon the commercial lines to furnish them men. They furnished them, but when the war broke out heavily, when they saw the trouble we had got into, they merely took a few managers of the lines and made them Quartermasters of the army. The telegraphers themselves had no status in the army; and what they would like now, is for Congress to acknowledge them as part of the army and give them the same status as soldiers.
Lieutenant Brush:-Mr. President, I happened to be one of those telegraph operators. I enlisted as a private soldier, and I was detailed soon afterwards to operate in a telegraph office at Mound City and then sent to Cairo, and I tell
young men who were taken as telegraphers were as brave a set of men, pardon my assurance-as any man in this hall. What they ask and all they ask is that they be recognized as part of the army, that they be placed upon the rolls and recognized as soldiers; that they may be entitled to pensions the same as any other soldiers. They don't ask for rank, or anything of the kind; what they ask is simply the recognition of a brave American soldier; they want the Government to recognize them as such, so that they can apply in their old age and receive a pension for services just as valuable as were rendered by any other service in the war. I had a brother, a very young man, as were all the telegraphers very young men,