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[347] and as an evidence to any who may dare to doubt, whether abroad, at home, or in the rebellious States, that the people of this portion of the country intend to support to the last the Union of our great nation, the sacredness of its Constitution and laws, against whoever may attack them. I do not flatter myself that this kind demonstration is a mark of personal regard to me, but that it means far more than that. You add to the cogent arguments afforded by the deeds of your sons and brothers in the field the sanction and weight of your opinion in favor of the justice and vital importance of the real cause for which we are fighting, and the cause which should never be perverted or lost sight of.

It has been my good fortune to have had near me in very trying times many of your near relations. In truth, there must be among you now men who went with me through the memorable seven days of battle that commenced just two years ago to-day. It is only just that I should thank you now for the valor and patriotism of your sons and brothers who were with me in the Army of the Potomac, from Yorktown to Antietam. Yet how could they be other than brave and patriotic? for they first saw the light amid scenes classical in our earliest history, and sprang from ancestors who won and held their mountains in hundreds of combats against the Indians, the French, and the English. After a gallant defence of the now ruined ramparts of William Henry, the blood of many of your grandsires moistened the very ground on which you now stand, in a butchery permitted by the cruel apathy of Montcalm, who, two years afterwards, suffered for his crimes in the great battle under the walls of Quebec, where others of your ancestors bore a most honorable part. Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Saratoga, are all names made sacred to you by the bravery of your fathers, who there made illustrious the name of American troops.

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