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Resolved, That the President of the Society appoint a committee of five persons to be known as the “ General Sherman Statue Committee."
That said committee is hereby authorized and directed to proceed, in the name of this Society, to obtain subscriptions from its own members, and to secure the co-operation of the public in general, and of other societies and organizations, for the purpose of raising funds for said work.
And said committee shall memorialize the Congress of the United States requesting the selection of a suitable site for said statue and an appropriation of money to aid in this work.
Resolved, Further, that said committee is hereby authorized to appoint committees and to take such other steps as may be deemed necessary and proper to secure the end in view, and said committee shall keep a record of its proceedings and report to this Society from time to time.
On motion of General Hickenlooper the resolutions were adopted; and on motion of Colonel How the President of the Society was added to the committee as chairman.
The meeting then adjourned.
THE RECEPTION AT MRS. POTTER PALMER'S.
Through the kindness of Mrs. Potter Palmer, a reception was given at her residence on Thursday afternoon, October Sth, in order that the members of the Society might meet Mrs. Grant.
The reception was from 2 to 4 o'clock, and the following members of the Society composed the Committee of Arrangements:
General John E. Smith, General J. D. Bingham,
Captain R. H. Mason, Colonel John Mason Loomis, General G. M. Dodge stood at the right of Mrs. Grant, and introduced the members of the Society. On Mrs. Grant's left was Mrs. R. J. Oglesby, with U. S. Grant, Jr. next to her. In this receiving group were also Mrs. Walter Q. Gresham, Mrs. John Mason Loomis and Mrs. A. L. Chetlain.
It was a very pleasant social event, and more than that, it was the meeting, over a quarter of a century after the war, of the wife of their great commander and the officers who served under him in many successful campaigns, and all their admiration and reverence was given to her, who had so long been by the side of him who was the organizer and first commander of their army, and who had immortalized it by its victories under his command.
The members of the Society felt deeply grateful to Mrs. Palmer for her kindness and courtesy, and at the banquet at the Palmer House that evening passed the following resolution, offered by General Joseph B. Leake:
Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be given to Mr. and Mrs. Potter. Palmer for their courteous and generous hospitality extended to us this afternoon, and for affording us the fitting opportunity, so much desired, to pay our respects to Mrs. Grant.
The Society met in the Palmer House Club-room, and marched to the banquet hall, with the invited guests. Over five hundred ladies and gentlemen were at the tables, General G. M. Dodge presiding Music was furnished by the Imperial Quartette and Hand's Orchestra.
Grace was said by General Samuel Fallows.
After the dinner, General Dodge called the Society to order, and announced the
First TOAST.-" The Memory of General Grant."
Response by General HORACE PORTER.
MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
When a man from the armies of the East finds himself in the presence of the men of the army of the West, he at once feels that he cannot strike their gait. He can only look at them wistfully and say, in the words of Charles II., “ I always admired virtue, but I never could imitate it.” If I had known that such a Aank attack as this was to be made on me at the very opening of this evening's campaign, I might have tried to beat a hasty retreat, and I think I should have succeeded; for one lesson the war taught is that a man may retreat successfully from almost any position, if he only starts in time. If I do not, in the course of my remarks, succeed in seeing each one of you, it will be because the formation of the Army of the Tennessee to-night is like its formation in the field when it won its matchless victories, the heavy columns in the center.
Most of the conspicuous characters in history have risen to prominence by gradual steps, but Ulysses S. Grant seemed to come before the people with a sudden bound. Almost the first sight they got of him was in the flashes of his gun; in the blazes of his campfires in those wintry days and nights in front of Donelson. From that hour until the closing triumph at Appomattox, he was the leader whose name was the harbinger of victory. From the final sheathing of his sword until the tragedy on Mount McGregor, he was the chief citizen of the republic and the great central fig. ure of the world. The story of his life savors more of romance than reality. It is more like a fable tale of ancient days than the history of an American citizen of the nineteenth century. As light and shade produce the most attractive effects in a picture, so the singular contrast, the strange vicissitudes in his marvelous career, surround him with an interest which attaches to few characters in history. His rise from an obscure lieutenancy to the command of the veteran armies of the republic; his transition from the frontier posts of the undeveloped West to the executive mansion of the nation; his sitting at one time in his little store in Galena, not even known to the congressman from his own district; at another time striding through the palaces of the old world, with the descendants of a line of kings rising and standing uncovered in his presence; these are some of the features of his extraordinary career which appeal to the imagination, excite men's wonder, and fascinate all who read the story of his life.
General Grant possessed in a striking degree all the characteristics of the successful soldier. His methods were all stamped with tenacity of purpose, with originality and ingenuity. He depended for his success more upon the powers of invention than of adaptation, and the fact that he has been compared, at different times, to nearly every great commander in history, is, perhaps, the best proof that he was like none of them. He was possessed of the moral and physical culture which was equal to every emergency in which he was placed, calm amidst excitement, patient under trial, never unduly elated by victory or depressed by defeat. While he possessed a sensitive nature and a singularly tender heart, he never allowed his sentiments to interfere with the stern duties of the soldier. He knew better than to attempt to hew rocks with a razor. He realized that paper bullets cannot be fired in warfare. He felt that the hardest blows bring the quickest results; that more men died from disease in sickly camps than from shot and shell in battle. His magnanimity to foes, his generosity to friends, will be talked of as long as manly qualities are honored. You know after Vicksburg had succumbed to him, he said in his order: “ We will march out to-morrow. Instruct your command to be quiet and respectful as the prisoners pass by, and to make no offensive remarks."
After his surrender at Appomattox, when the batteries began to fire triumphant salutes, he at once suppressed them, saying in his order: “ The war is over, the rebels are again our countrymen; the best way to celebrate the victory will be to abstain from demonstrations in the field.” After the war General Lee and his officers were indicted in the civil courts of Virginia by direction of a President who was endeavoring to make treason odious and succeeded only in making himself more odious than treason. General Lee appeals to his old antagonist for protection. He did not appeal to that heart in vain. General Grant at once took up the cudgels in his defense, threatened to resign his office if these men were indicted, and such was the logic of his argument and the force of his character that those indictments were soon after quashed. He penned no idle platitudes. He fashioned no stilted epigrams. He spoke the honest convictions of an honest heart when he said, “Let us have peace.” He never tired of giving unstinted praise to worthy subordinates for the work they did. Like the chief artists who weave the Gobelin tapestries, he was content to stand behind the cloth and let those in front appear to be the chief contributors to the beauty of the fabric.
One of the most beautiful chapters in all history is that which records the generous relation existing between him and that great soldier who for so many years was the honored head of this Society, that great chieftain whom men will always love to picture as a legendary knight moving at the head of conquering columns, whose marches were measured not by single miles but by thousands; whose field of military operations covered nearly half a continent; whose orders always speak with the true ring of the soldier, who fought from valley's depths to mountain heights, and marched from the inland rivers to the sea. Their rivalry had manifested itself only in one respect; the endeavor of each to outdo the other in generosity. With hearts untouched by jealousy, with souls too great for rivalry, each stood ready to abandon the path of ambition when it became so narrow that two could not tread it abreast. One single word in all the wealth of the English language best describes the predominating trait of his character, and that word, I unhesitatingly say, is "loyalty." Loyal to every great cause and work he was engaged in; loyal to his friends; loyal