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families of soldiers; certainly no one will be there who has not had sufficient interest to write a special communication for a ticket of admission.
The decoration committee have decorated the hall under the charge of Major McComas, of the Krebs Lithographing Company of this city, who has devoted himself to the wcrk, and I think it will be very fine and very much enjoyed. The First Regiment will occupy the back ground of the stage, numbering probably three hundred seventy-five or five hundred; the President of the Society, the Governor, Mayor, the Orator, Chaplain, the Recording and Corresponding Secretaries and Treasurer will occupy the front seats of the stage. Immediately behind them will be eight or ten distinguished guests of the Society, and behind them will be twelve chairs for the Vice-Presidents. These will be the only persons that will be invited to a seat on the stage.
I am perfectly aware in making this announcement that the hearts of some, particularly of one individual to whom my attention has been called, has been made sad by this unfortunate announcement.
Captain McCrory:-Let him stand up..
General Hickenlooper:-1 took occasion, as chairman of that committee, to write a special letter to each Vice-President of this Society, saying that I desired to ascertain positively whether he did or did not intend to be present, as necessary to the arrangements for the Vice-Presidents to occupy stage. This gentleman very kindly wrote in answer that he had received my communication; that he was much honored by the compliment I had given him; that he had looked over the list however, and that I was mistaken; that he wasn't one of the Vice-Presidents of the Society; but, nevertheless, if I could get him on the stage, he would be very much gratified. [Laughter.] It is needless for me to say that that gentleman was from Chicago. [Laughter.] I found afterwards that I had unfortunately taken up the previous year's report, and had written to the Vice-Presidents of the preceding year. I was compelled to rewrite them, stating that I would have to take them down from the pedestal of fame.
Colonel Jacobson:-Mr. President and gentlemen, I could not make a better presentation of the facts than General Hickenlooper has stated them. I want, however, to contrast his conduct with my generosity in trying to keep the headquarters of the Society in
the place where he lives. I have been importuning him, ever since I have been here, to please let me sit on the stage, and he has refused. [Laughter.]
The Society here adjourned and marched in a body to the Chamber of Commerce.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Lee H. Brooks, presented the Society to the members of the Chamber of Commerce as follows: GentleMEN OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:
Cincinnati may well feel proud to think that they have been selected as the place of meeting of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee. It gives our citizens an opportunity to give them a hearty welcome and an expression of their most grateful regard for the defense of their homes when defense was needed so badly. I have to present to you, and it is a duty that I feel proud to perform, a soldier of the Army of the Tennessee whose name and fame are known in every part of the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific; a soldier who, at the head of his army, went marching through Georgia and on to the sea, thereby severing one of the vital cords of the rebellion. I will now present that soldier whom you all know by name and reputation, General William Tecumseh Sherman. General Dodge was then introduced, who said:
The citizens may not know, but the Army of the Tennessee does, that when the commanders send an order that we were not able to carry out ourselves, they said to us, “ Find some person that can do it better.” Now right here, at my left, is a gentleman that can speak better, give you more pleasure and entertain you far better than I can, and I will introduce him, General Fisk.
General Fisk:-You will notice what a way these commanders of the Army of the Tennessee have of passing the honors along.
Now it gives me great satisfaction to look upon the faces of the merchants of Cincinnati. I feel somewhat at home in a Board of Trade, a Chamber of Commerce. On the 8th of January, 1862, in the city of St. Louis, it fell to my lot to be one of the leaders in a revolution that overthrew the society of the Chamber of Commerce and established on a firm foundation the Union Merchants' Exchange [applause), and that event gave great courage to the soldiers at the front. We took the position, those of us who trained under the old flag in St. Louis, that we would hold St. Louis loyal to the Union forces; that we would largely receive our business from the states that were contributing their sons to the army that was fighting for the Union. So all through this land, the Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce were a bulwark of support to the army in front. The regiment I had the honor to take into the field was called “The Merchants' regiment of Missouri.” I was assisted in its recruiting by the loyal, liberal merchants of our great city. Chicago, from its Board of Trade, sent regiment after regiment. The Chamber of Commerce of Cincinnati sent its share most generously, in those times of need, to the recruiting forces of the Union; and one of the best things that came out of the war was the fact that the members of the old Army of the Tennessee left their ranks, after victory was achieved, and melted away into their old places, and you found them again on the Boards of Trade, in the merchant's counting-room and in the lawyer's office of Cincinnati. Here they are, as faithful as citizens as they were brave and devoted as soldiers. Now there is no other army officer here on the platform that I can call up, but there are a hundred men of the Army of the Tennessee in the crowd here, any one of whom can make a better speech than any you have listened to from this platform. [Laughter.] I wonder if I don't see the face of General Poe; he is in this crowd somewhere; the man to whom the commerce of this country is grandly indebted for the great highway to Lake Superior and Duluth. Our men are everywhere; here is Dodge, the man who just spoke to you, who has built railroads all over the wilderness of this country, and is sighing that there are no more wildernesses for him to conquer; the man who tied his war horse in the stable within sight of the iron horse of the railway, and being of a pacific nature, as all the Army of the Tennessee were [laughter), he went ahead and built the Pacific road, and watered his horse in the Pacific. [Laughter.] Turning back to Denver, he marshaled his war horses down to the Gulf; and here he is; if you want a railroad built anywhere eight hundred miles long in five hundred days, Dodge will do it for you. You of Cincinnati know what a railroad is. When you put up your money and built this great Cincinnati Southern road, reaching down to the ore beds and cotton fields of the South, you knew what you were about, and
the business of Cincinnati has realized your anticipations. I will say no more, gentlemen, but thank you for this hearty greeting which you give to us, chiefly to him, our great leader, the great soldier and the great citizen of this day. [Applause.)
General Alger, being called upon, spoke as follows:
As I stated in the hall awhile ago, I am an infant member of this organization. I belonged to it until it became too dangerous to be with you, and then I left it. General Poe, whom you have called and who will show himself in a moment, with some other gentlemen and myself have just been down over the track where your great distinguished General led you from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and General Poe pointed out the great battles that were fought and the incidents that occurred along the line of march, and I didn't wonder that the Army of the Tennessee should claim that they saved the Union. The fact is, comrades, in the last two weeks we have seen more Union saviors than we supposed existed in the country. Almost every man held a Federal point somewhere, or he was directed to do something that turned the tide of a great battle that turned the tide of the Rebellion that saved the Union. But we gather them all up in our memories, and we will place them to your credit, General Sherman, for we know that to honor you we honor ourselves. Now I want to say just a little thing about General Sherman that may not be pleasant for him to hear, but which I have never seen in print. When I was a captain in the cavalry at Benton barracks, and we were under the command of Brigadier William T. Sherman — that, as I told the General one day, was during the period of his insanity. [Laughter.] That is all pleasant enough, comrades, to laugh about, but when the smile that passed over the General's face had given place to a more serious look, he said: “I have thought it all over many a time, and I am satisfied it was a great boon to the country; that it was a good thing for the United States and for the Union cause that I was considered insane when I said it would take two hundred thousand men to march to the Gulf.” Because, if the people of the North could have been brought to the belief that that was true at the time, the task would have seemed so great that possibly they might have become discouraged and given it up. But as they grew familiar with the extent of the uprising of the Rebellion, they began to appreciate the genius of the great man who knew these people in the Soutlı at the beginning, and knew very well what it would cost in the end, and how many men it would take to crush the Rebellion. And now, Mr. President, we here of the old army are the more pleased to enjoy the hospitality of the city of Cincinnati that we have been traveling through the South and have seen the building up of its industrial cities, and we can see very well that here may be the fountain-head that has pushed the money south, and has directed the developing of that country, and I hope in the near future we may see it growing in prosperity equal to the North. [Applause.]