Page images

in thousands of cases the place that once knew them, would know them no more, forever!

The service which united the country and made it powerful and prosperous, diminished the wealth and added to the poverty of those who, under providence, had wrought it all. Yet they did not complain, nor do they now. The country they saved they have not reproached; the union soldier did not fight for mere pay, or after reward. His reward is not in houses nor lands. It is in the priceless treasure of memory.

In the proud consciousness of duty done even at the peril of life. He does not own so much which he can specifically call his own, and reduce to possession as he might have done had he not enlisted and served in the army. But his undivided portion of the great whole is larger. He can look abroad over the vast domain that his blood and suffering helped cement together, and see the treasure wrested from the soil he helped to redeem. He can WHAT MADE THE YEAR 1865 MEMORABLE. 123

see the wonderful inventions and all of the evidences of a prosperous and diligent people. He can lay his hand on his heart and trustfully say of all this, "I am an integral part. I am an American citizen. If I had not by my blood and service, helped cement together the union, instead of the peaceful fields in which the husbandman can safely labor from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, these would have been divided and waring states, ruin would have reigned supreme, where

prosperity now abound.

The American people would have learned no art but war!" Solong as the love of a country shall survive among the generations of the American people, or liberty make her home under the protection of the republic, the example of the soldier's patriotic devotion will not die for lack of honorable remembrance or worthy imitation.

Many of the noblest, bravest and best who went out did not return. They left them on the hillsides, in the valleys and by the

peace and

streams of the south, where no voice of mother, sister or wife will ever awaken them, where no kind frinds will strew flowers upon their graves, but they will never be for

, gotten. Their heroic deeds and last resting place will always be remembered by their comrades, while their looks will remain bright in the memory of relatives and friends, though dead they will live in the affections of their countrymen, and their country's history. The friendship formed in bivouac and on the battle-field, will never be forgotten, whether in the same regiment, brigade or division, the friendship of the war was strong.

While we are enjoying cheerful surroundings, let us not fail to remember those who have gone before, who sealed their devotion with their blood, and who now sleep in the soil they died to make free. The vanished and nameless army of the republic, who were not merely willing to die but to be forgotten; that the good they did might live after WHAT MADE THE YEAR 1865 MEMORABLE. 125

them; what they died to preserve we enjoy to-day. The ranks of the soldiers are getting thinner, but the lessons they teach should, and will be, deeply impressed upon the mind of the rising generation, in whose hearing all will be recounted; the lesson bequeathed from father to son will not be lost. Its admonitions will prevent future rebellions by keeping alive that spirit of patriotism which finds expression in national unity in equal and exact justice to all men.

In complete obedience to the will of the majority, and in the equal enforcement of all laws.

In conclusion, our government should see that no one who faithfully served his country in the hour of its peril should die in want.

Welcome of 1865.

HERE was shouting in the mansion,

In the lowly cabin, too,
When the hosts of dark rebellion
Said, "we'll fight no more with you,

We'll surrender!"

Welcome, welcome, was the greeting!

From hearts at home it quickly came; The words were caught, and all repeating Come, Oh! come!

Welcome home!"

You have saved our nation for us,

By your blood and suffering, too,

« PreviousContinue »