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General Fuller:-We will now listen to an address by the Lieutenant-Governor of the State, the Hon. William C. Lyon.
SPEECH OF WELCOME BY LIEUT. GOVERNOR LYON.
MR. CHAIRMAN, GENTLEMEN OF THE SOCIETY OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, AND MY COUNTRYMEN:
As I sat back in the back part of this hall this evening, and saw the
ng files of officers and comrades of the Army of the Tennessee falling into their places in this beautiful hall, I recalled an incident that occurred some years since at your neighboring town of Fremont, at which my regiment happened to be in reunion. All day long on that occasion the officers and the orators from the ranks had occupied the platform, and had been dealing out to the people, to the thousands that had gathered there, the glories and the grand achievements of that particular regiment in the service of our country. Just before the shades of night came on, when the sun was sinking beyond the western horizon, some one in the audience espied that grand old General Gibson, and they called him to the stand, and he said that he had sat there during the day, had listened to the men of the 23d Ohio recounting the grand achievements of that regiment until he had become convinced that there was but one regiment in the service, and that that regiment was the 23d Ohio, and that the only thing that he had to regret was that in some way, or under the rulings of Divine Providence, it had not been his good fortune to have been a member of that particular regiment. So I say to you, gentlemen of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, to-night, that as I was noticing the faces as they came into this hall and occupied the seats that they are now occupying, my heart went out toward that grand army, and I almost wished that I had belonged to the Army of the Tennessee.
One hundred years ago, my countrymen, the first organized civilized government was given to this great Northwest territory. Our fathers and our mothers, leaving their homes far beyond the towering ranges of the Alleghanys, in the then far-off New Eng. land States, traversing through the perils and dangers of that trackless forest and wilderness lying between their homes in the far east, they reached the north bank of that beautiful stream, the Ohio river, that flows along our southern borders, and there, in the early month of April of that year, they planted their homes, they settled their families, surrounded by the forest, inhabited only by the wild
savage and the painted-faced red men of the forest and their war tribes. And in July of that year those fathers down there gave to the great Northwest territory its first organized civil government. And during the century that has passed since that time there has been more grandeur, more glory attached to this Union than ever surrounded the history of any like people since the angels first sang together. From this territory there has been carved out and founded five great states, that to-day are teeming with more than 15,000,000 of loyal, patriotic citizens—the grandest government that God ever gave to men. And during that time brave sons and beautiful daughters have been reared to man and womanhood in this great Northwest territory, imbued with the spirit of human liberty and a love of Christian civilization that was handed down to them by the fathers.
They have pushed on further towards the setting sun, and have built there, dedicated to the cause of human liberty, right, and all that is just, other great and grand states. In boyhood days, many of us who are growing grey with years, I remember looking on the map of our country, and seeing half way a great green spot upon that map, across which was printed “ The Great American Desert." Those sons and daughters of these five states, pushing their way out into the great trackless desert, have built up homes, beautiful and prosperous cities, and around those homes have cultivated the fields that are to-day blooming as the rose. When but scarce three-quarters of a century had passed, when the bugle blast aroused Ohio's grand sons, and its cadences were wafted out on the winds, and borne throughout the length and breadth of our country, arousing the spirit and the love of liberty, there came as the result of that spirit and that determination that human slavery should die and human liberty should survive and be built up, a clash of arms that called you from your then peaceful, quiet, happy homes to the bloody scenes of battle and war, with its terrible desolation. You remember how, during those long years, on the tedious march, in the bivouac, on the tented field, and in the charge, on the mountain side and in the valley, your comrades and my comrades, and your sons and fathers, my countrymen, went down in that terrible strife. You remember how many of them lie down there in unmarked but not unwept graves. You remember the sacrifices made in the desolating field of battle. And we all remember something of the sorrows that came to every house. hold in all the great loyal North, East, and West; how that around every fireside, almost, in our northern land, there stood the vacant chair; how the wife, the mother, the sister, and the sweetheart were draped in mourning's deepest dye. You remember then when the war was over, and the boys in blue came marching home, laying down soldiers' lives, and without any shock to the affairs of our country, they picked up the toils of life and marched forward in the grand and glorious march of this Nineteenth Century, helping to build up within our borders the grandest and the best states in which ever man was given to live.
So I say to you, my fellow citizens and my comrades of the army, it is fitting that here, in the first born of the great free states in that Northwest territory, you should meet on the southern shores of the grand lakes, in this beautiful gaslighted and grand, loyal city, and recount deeds of heroism and suffering, and sacrifices through which you passed during those long and tedious years. And as these thoughts crowd upon my mind, I rejoice in the fact that to me was assigned the privilege (for I deem it such) to welcome you on behalf of the great state of Ohio and all of our loyal people.
We recollect that our state gave to the service during those years, to the cause of human liberty her Grant, Sherman, Sheri. dan, Steedman, Hayes, and the lamented Garfield, with 300,000 more of her bravest sons. It seems to me, my countrymen and my comrades, that it is fitting that the Army of the Tennessee should always meet in Ohio and recount their deeds of valor and glory.
I have thought, sometimes, my comrades, while we are recounting the deeds of glory that surround the services of these men who are sitting here, and of their comrades who have fallen by the way in life's struggle, that there is a neglected class; that among all the legislation of our country; that among the great mass of speechmaking that is indulged in in our country, that there is a class that has not received that attention that they should. During the days of the war when we were down there in the tented field, we left our wives at home to nurse and care for our children; we left our old mothers there, and we left our sisters. And I sometimes think that the pangs and tears of those patriotic women far outstripped
anything that you and I indulged in. And it does seem to me, my comrades, that as we are recounting the deeds of valor, that they should not be neglected. The Nation has kept her plighted faith largely with the soldier. She has built her palatial homes in which, when you have tired in the race of life and are no longer able to keep in the race, that you may go and spend the remainder of your shattered life in comfort and ease. Our great patriotic state of Ohio has built her home on the northern border of the state. And you, my comrades, if you fail in the race, come up there, and we will give you a home. But while they are saying that to you and I, they are saying to your wives, and our mothers, that when you leave to go to that home, they must take the trip across the hill to the poor-house. It seems to me, my comrades, that the time has come when you and I should raise our voices in their behalf, and insist that the men who make laws and give to us these homes, should build them large enough to take with us our wives, when they fail in the race of life.
Realizing what I am, and that I represent here to-night, and speak for one of the grandest people that ever graced the face of God's green earth-a people that are patriotic through and through; a people that believe in humanity and humanity's cause-I rejoice in the fact that I am permitted here on this occasion to welcome and to greet so grand and noble a body of men, headed by the illustrious General Sherman.
General Fuller:-The last but pleasantest duty assigned me to. night is to call on the President of our Society to respond to the speeches that have been made, and to turn over the charge of this meeting into his hands.
RESPONSE BY GENERAL SHERMAN.
FRIENDS OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE:
I cannot distinguish you in this vast audience. I know how you feel. And in thanking the Mayor and the Lieutenant-Governor of Ohio for their eloquent remarks, we assure them that we knew we were welcome here to Toledo; for this is classic ground, and we have been here before. We are none the less, however, touched by their eloquent remarks, and by the evidence that they remember well, too well almost, the thousand and one incidents which
make up our lot and surround our lives. I do not intend to prolong this, for we have selected our own orator, Colonel Gilbert A. Pierce, and I propose in one or two minutes to introduce him to you as the orator of the occasion. But I can thank the Mayor for his hearty greeting, and assure him that we feel that we are at home-not only at home in your streets, but in your families, and in the hearts of your people, as loyal and true as any that stand upon God's earth. And for the people of Ohio, LieutenantGovernor, you may be assured that the Army of the Tennessee remember them well-remember the cheering tones which came to us in the far away land when we turned to Ohio, and Indiana, and Illinois as “God's country,” and spoke of it as such. Yea, in the heart of every member of the Army of the Tennessee, espe. cially of them who are before me, a few survivors of the many, that spark of love is easily kindled into flame; it merely wants a word.
I do not intend to occupy any time. An orator, Captain Gilbert A. Pierce, will address us, and during the time I beg for your closest attention.
Music by the Oratorio Society.-"Soldiers' Chorus,"
The President presented Captain Pierce, who spoke as follows:
There was some delay in arranging a desk for the speaker and pending this, Colonel Pierce talked in an off-hand way to the audience; his remarks being very pleasantly received. This part of the address is copied from the reports of the Toledo Commercial and Blade.
Governor Pierce began by paying a compliment to the Oratorio Society and in this manner secured the instant attention of the audience. The society had just finished the stirring air the “Soldiers, Chorus,” and the speaker said he wondered why there was not more music and fewer speeches on the programme. For his part he would rather listen to such harmony than to break in upon
such pleasant sensations with a speech which, of necessity must be more or less tiresome to that vast audience.
My first introduction to the Army of the Tennessee, or what