their skill and bravery, and claimed for them the credit of the results.
Before the grand armies were disbanded he issued the following address, which told, once for all, after all their battles were fought, and their toils ended, and the victory won, the estimation in which he, speaking for the country, held them:--
By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm, your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance, you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws and of the proclamations forever abolishing slavery,--the cause and pretext of the rebellion,--and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil.
Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution, and brilliancy of results, dim the lustre of the world's past military achievements, and will be the patriot's precedent in the defence of liberty and right in all time to come.
In obedience to your country's call you left your homes and families, and volunteered in its defence.
Victory has crowned your valor, and secured the purpose of your patriotic hearts; and with the gratitude of your countrymen, and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens.
To achieve these glorious triumphs, and secure to yourselves, your fellow-countrymen, and posterity the blessings of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen, and sealed the priceless legacy with their lives.
The graves of these a grateful nation bedews
Boston: Samuel Walker and Company. 1868.
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