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it is true, humanity aspires to something higher. War can not last always. Though the day be far off, still we do look for the day of universal peace. Its dawn is rising at Geneva, its early light streams over the Alps, and in that day the world will acknowledge an international judiciary. The judge shall then say to the proudest monarch, to the most turbulent people, “Thus far shalt thou come, and no farther."
Music:—“ The Battle Cry of Freedom."
Response by General John C. LEE.
Mr. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:-I hesitate to take your minds off the sweet but sad memories of the Valley of the Tennessee, and to invite you to take a view of the ground made sacred first by Old John Brown, and then by the Army of the Potomac. When the great Lincoln said, "Give me seventy-five thousand men,” Massachusetts was the first to start, and its troops were the first to shed its young, warm blood on the pavements of Baltimore. Then, under the order of the great General of Lundy's Lane [laughter]-I refer to “Old Hasty Plate of Soup"— and under the direction of civilians, we started on to Richmond. At Bull Run we whipped the civilians, and they started back to Washington at a right smart rate. Then General McClellan was made the commander, and the work of organizing the army commenced in earnest. We all recollect that old thing in the papers, which appeared as often as the Wall street quotation of stocks: “All quiet on the Potomac.” · [Laughter.] But it was not all quiet. I see the brave Baker, as he went up the heights of Ball's Bluff, and fell a martyr to liberty. Following were the brave Phil Kearney, the iron Sumner, and fighting Joe Hooker-leaders brave enough to protect the liberty of the country against the combined world, and to maintain it forever. Then Malvern Hill came, after which we were ordered back to protect Washington. The fact is, we were under two governments; there's where the trouble lies. There was the Government at Washington, and we were to protect them both. [Laughter.] Lee was to keep McClellan out of Richmond, and McClellan was to keep Lee out of Washington. Then, as you all know, we were all kept guarding some poor widow's chickens. But finally dress parade was over, and the hard struggles of the Army of the Potomac commenced. We were ordered to unite with Pope, but we arrived at Manassas too late to save that day. There was a difference of opinion, but I think that we came out second best. After that it again became our principal business to protect Washington.
McClellan again took command of the army, finding it in bad condition. President Lincoln told McClellan to keep the enemy out of Washington, and he said, “I will, if you will keep the Secretary of War off my back.” Lincoln said, "he guessed that he wouldn't bother him much.” And allow me to say here that the name of McClellan will go down to posterity with that of Washington and Lincoln as one of the best and noblest and most patriotic of our soldiers. [Cheers.]
Well, we again met the enemy at Antietam, and drove him howling across the Rappahannock. Then again we change commanders, and McClellan yielded to that noble, and brave, and pure soldier, General Burnside. He said, “McClellan is a better man than I; I can not succeed; let him retain the command.” But he was induced to make the attempt. In front of Fredericksburg appeared the Army of the Potomac! And then there was hard fighting, and brave fighting; and while the Army of the Tennessee has gained untarnished glory, there the Army of the Potomac did itself great credit, and gathered itself a fame that will last while history endures. We were withdrawn, stuck in the mud, and both armies were glad to retreat. Burnside, God bless him! did as much as man could do; and when he goes to Heaven I want to go and be near him. [Applause. Following this came Chancellorsville, with Joe Hooker in command. It is said that we were surprised then; that we were cooking our coffee. Mine was three miles in the rear. We were not surprised, but we were swept off by a superior force. There are some men, you know, who will get out of the way rather than lie down and be run over.
There never was braver, fuller, fiercer fighting than was witnessed on that battle-field. The army came to Gettysburg. You all know on that battle-field the question of Lee entering Washington was ended; and then came the question of defeating the ' army of General Lee.
About that time the little iron man from Illinois came. (Cheers. Abraham Lincoln was informed by his God, as was his namesake
of old, what to do. Grant first saw the army at Mine Run, and then returned to Washington. An incident which I learned from the conductor of the train on which he rode I wish to relate. A private soldier had obtained an eight-day furlough to go home and see his sick wife, and perhaps to see her die. He attempted to get aboard General Grant's car, when General Ingalls saw him and said, “You can not get in here; this is General Grant's car." General Grant happened to be looking out of the window and saw the transaction, and immediately said: “General Ingalls, I occupy but one seat.” [Immense applause.) That had been our trouble before, our Generals occupied too many seats.
Then the country and the Army of the Potomac knew, although it had battles before, it would have a series of battles now; although it had suffered deaths before, dying by the column would take place now, until the end was in victory. The blood of the sacrifice was shed at the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, and the smoking fires went up at Cold Harbor; and the army sat down in front of Petersburg. The country asked: “What does General Grant mean?" He knew what he was about; the Army of the Potomac was under the command of one General; and it moved forward as steadily and as surely as the sun pursues its course. The enemy was given no rest. He found that when he turned his back on Sherman and faced Grant, he didn't turn his back on everybody. [Laughter.]
In the final actions of 1865, the Army of the Potomac was a well-drilled army, composed of educated, intelligent men, who believed in President Grant, who believed in President Lincoln, who believed in the Republic, who knew what they were fighting for. On a memorable Sunday afternoon Jefferson Davis was in church when a telegram was handed him. He opened it and read: - General Lee is compelled to retire before General Grant." He laid that prayer-book down quick and went out doors. “A horse! a horse! my Confederacy for a horse!" [Laughter.] Says he, * Pray, can you tell me the shortest road away from Grant?" We took a short cut to the Appomattox, after General Sheridan had given him Aleck at Five Forks. It was from here, you know, that Sheridan had sent word to General Grant that he thought Lee could be forced to retreat, and broken up, if they should push things. General Grant replied in a laconic manner, “General Sheridan, push things." [Laughter and applause.) And General Sheridan did push them. The result was that the next messenger was for General Grant to receive the reversed sword of my old namesake under the Appomattox apple-tree.
Music:—“When this cruel War is over."
Twelfth TOAST:—“The Sanitary Commission."
Response by Major-General HOWARD.
I have been trying philosophically to account for the assignment of the sanitary theme to me. It looks a little like rear-work, as though that kind belonged to me.
After reflection, however, I have brought the philosophy into this shape: A little more than a year ago, the President made a peace man of me, by sending me to the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico on a peace mission; but to show that by right I am not of the extreme peace type, I will mention a circumstance that may have been partly the cause of my selection. We had in Washington a grand peace meeting, where Elihu Burritt, Mills, and other pronounced advocates of universal and all-time peace were present. We had representatives there from Europe; there were there the Vice-President, Senators and Representatives, and a house full of citizens.
At the end of the meeting the leaders of the meeting urged me to speak—they must hear from the army. I said I had better not speak here; but still I was pressed. I rose and said I did love peace, and so much that, if necessary, I was willing to fight for it. With all my heart I believe in peace—in such a peace as we have procured, and I would embrace in it (would make every proper effort to do it) all the different kinds of people we have within our borders, be they Chinese, black men, or Indians; but these sentiments in no way throw discredit upon such work as we have been obliged to do.
Permit me to vindicate myself still further. While in the Army of the Potomac—after the battle of Gettysburg, when Lee stood facing the Potomac, I attended a council of war at General Meade's headquarters. You know they never fight—these councils of war. Well, in that council, three of us, General Pleasonton, General Wadsworth (who is another of our noblest, now lying low, a sacrifice to our country), with those two I voted to fight. I heard that General Meade said, “How could I attack when my corps commanders voted nay? for on them I depended. I did not give weight to Howard's vote, for he always votes to fight.” Will not the Army of the Tennessee witness that I stood in the front with my comrades in many a battle, and that of right the rear work, however great and worthy, was not mine?
Yet, when I stop to reflect, this Sanitary Commission, and its coadjutor, the Christian Commission, are not simply representatives of the work of those who did not go to the war. Patriotism finds here its grand exponent. This expression is defined "love of country.” It is not simply the love of the mountains and hills bristling with trees, now grouped and variegated like great bouquets, with every tint of the rainbow coloring. It is not simply the love of the broad and fertile fields that were seen as we traversed this noble State of Ohio. It is not confined to the almost innumerable valleys and beautiful rivers that furrow our continent between the Atlantic and the Pacific. It lies not in the love of our material grandeur and growth. No, it is more nearly expressed by the love of home-our homes that contain our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters, our wives and children. These link us to the school, and to the church, and to God. It is our christian homes and what is connected with them that embodies the very gist of our patriotic love.
The Sanitary and Christian Commission connected us with these homes. Our women worked with busy fingers; they held fairs and festivals to raise money; they forwarded supplies that were not part of the regular allowance; pens and paper and envelopes; pins, needles, thread, shirts, socks and garments of all kinds; potatoes, onions, pickles, and other articles to check and drive away incipient scurvy; bandages, scraped lint, and prepared other aids to the surgeon; in brief, everything of bodily relief that love could suggest was procured, made, bundled up and sent.
Neither were our spiritual wants unmet; books, papers, tracts, Testaments, hymn-books and living human lips, men and women, too, chosen and sent to the front. They went to our hospitals and whispered kind words, and sent home messages of love from the wounded, the sick and the dying; they followed even to the bloody field after the battle, and to friend and foe, laid low, they pointed confidently to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.
All honor to that christian patriot of St. Louis, Mr. Yeatınan,