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[378] great plains of the far West. With all, our love and confidence have been cemented by common dangers and sufferings, on the toilsome march, in the dreary bivouac, amid the clash of arms, and in the presence of death on scores of battle-fields. West Point, with her large heart, adopts us all,--graduates and those appointed from civil life, officers and privates. In her eyes we are all her children, jealous of her fame and eager to sustain her world-wide reputation. Generals and private soldiers, men who have cheerfully offered our all for our dear country, we stand here before this shrine, ever hereafter sacred to our dead, equals and brothers in the presence of the common death which awaits us all, perhaps on the same field and at the same hour. Such are the ties which unite us,--the most endearing which exist among men; such the relations which bind us together,--the closest of the sacred brotherhood of arms.

It has therefore seemed, and it is, fitting that we should erect upon this spot, so sacred to us all, an enduring monument to our dear brothers who have preceded us on the path of peril and of honor which it is the destiny of many of us to tread.

What is this regular army to which we belong?

Who were the men whose death merits such honors from the living?

What is the cause for which they have laid down their lives?

Our regular or permanent army is the nucleus which, in time of peace, preserves the military traditions of the nation, as well as the organization, science, and instruction indispensable to modern armies. It may be regarded as coeval with the nation. It derives its origin from the old continental and State lines of the Revolution, whence, with some interruptions and many changes, it has attained its present condition. In fact, we may with propriety go even beyond the Revolution to seek the roots of our

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