many of our comrades gave their lives; and to this we are all personally pledged in all honor and fidelity.
Shall such a devotion as that of our dead comrades be of no avail?
Shall it be said in after-ages that we lacked the vigor to complete the work thus begun?--that, after all these noble lives freely given, we hesitated, and failed to keep straight on until our land was saved?
Forbid it, Heaven, and give us firmer, truer hearts than that!
O spirits of the valiant dead, souls of our slain heroes, lend us your own indomitable will, and, if it be permitted you to commune with those still chained by the trammels of mortality, hover around us in the midst of danger and tribulation, cheer the firm, strengthen the weak, that none may doubt the salvation of the Republic
and the triumph of our grand old flag!
In the midst of the storms which toss our ship of state, there is one great beacon-light to which we can ever turn with confidence and hope.
It cannot be that this great nation has played its part in history; it cannot be that our sun, which arose with such bright promises for the future, has already set forever.
It must be the intention of the overruling Deity that this land, so long the asylum of the oppressed, the refuge of civil and religious liberty, shall again stand forth in bright relief, united, purified, and chastened by our trials, as an example and encouragement for those who desire the progress of the human race.
It is not given to our weak intellects to understand the steps of Providence
as they occur: we comprehend them only as we look back upon them in the far-distant past.
So is it now.
We cannot unravel the seemingly tangled skein of the purposes of the Creator: they are too high and far-reaching for our limited minds.
But all history and his own revealed word teach us that his ways, although inscrutable, are ever righteous.
Let us, then, honestly and manfully