In long-distant ages, when this incipient monument has become venerable, moss-clad, and perhaps ruinous, when the names inscribed upon it shall seem, to those who pause to read them, indistinct mementos of an almost mythical past, the name of Winfield Scott
will still be clear-cut upon the memory of them all, like the still fresh carving upon the monuments of long-for-gotten Pharaohs.
But it is time to approach the present.
In the war which now shakes the land to its foundation, the regular army has borne a most honorable part.
Too few in numbers to act by themselves, regular regiments have participated in every great battle in the East
and in most of those west of the Alleghanies
Their terrible losses and diminished numbers prove that they have been in the thickest of the fights, and the testimony of their comrades and commanders shows with what undaunted heroism they have upheld their ancient renown.
Their vigorous charges have often won the day and in defeat they have more than once saved the army from destruction or terrible losses by the obstinacy with which they resisted overpowering numbers.
They can refer with pride to the part they played upon the glorious fields of Mexico
, and exult at the recollection of what they did at Manassas
, Gaines's Mill
, Stone River
, and the great battles just fought from the Rapidan
to the Chickahominy
They can also point to the officers who have risen among them and achieved great deeds for their country in this war,--to the living warriors whose names are on the nation's tongue and heart, too numerous to be repeated here, yet not one of whom I would willingly omit.
But perhaps the proudest episode in the history of the regular army is that touching instance of fidelity on the part of the non-commissioned officers and privates, who, treacherously made prisoners in Texas
, resisted every