passed over to Colonel Von Gilsa
, the regiment saluted Mr. Witthaus
and the assembly on the stoops and balconies.
At half-past 4 Mr. Edward Jones
carried out the American
flag, which was followed by Mrs. Witthaus
, leaning upon the arm of Hon. George Folsom
, who addressed the regiment briefly.
In introducing Mrs
. W., he said:
Officers, Soldiers, and Citizens
:--I have the honor to introduce Mrs. R. A. Witthaus
, who will present to you this American flag, that you are to bear in the war in which you are about to take a part.
, in a clear, silvery voice, addressed Colonel Von Gilsa
and the officers, the latter forming a hollow square, as follows:
Officers and Soldiers of the De Kalb Regiment
:--It affords me much satisfaction to meet you here upon this occasion, to offer you my thanks for your noble response to our country's call, when rebellion and lawless violence have at last compelled us sorrowfully to lay aside the olive branch and draw the sword in self-defence — when treason hath raised its fratricidal arm to strike a death-blow to that Union which our fathers made for us — therefore, I repeat, it is with satisfaction and heartfelt gratitude that I see such men as you bravely standing forth in its defence.
And I desire to present to you our country's flag, emblem of that Union as our fathers gave it into our hands; and as star after star has been added to its azure field, the world's history has recorded the manner in which we have kept the talent committed to our care; and as our fathers bravely fought to make for us that Union, so are we now called upon to prove ourselves worthy of them by defending and preserving that Union and that flag which have proved so great a blessing to ourselves and to the world at large.
Go forth, then, in the name of God, to uphold the authority of law, and to wrest from the lawless rebels this our fair land, which has been truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Not for ourselves alone, but for the loyal hearts South as well as North
; for in my heart I firmly believe there are thousands in the rebel States faithful and true, looking on and waiting with painful anxiety for the hour in which your noble efforts shall release them from the reign of terror under which they are now bowed down; and for their sakes I implore you, in the hour of victory, forget not mercy.
But while, as instruments in the hands of an avenging God, you go forth to punish and subdue those who, for their own selfish ends, would sacrifice our country, forget not that the same God is also the God of mercy, and as you are his soldiers in battle, so are you also his instruments in the protection of innocence and helplessness; and your efforts may preserve unto us many who, when these sad troubles shall have passed away, will gladly return like the prodigal of old to the protection of that time-honored flag, under whose folds we have become so prosperous a nation.
Take, then, this flag, which I intrust to your hands with unbounded confidence; and feeling certain, as I do, that it can only return with you from victory, I shall await with anxious heart that happy day, hoping to meet you again, most if not all of you, in our country's name, for the love which you show for it in thus going forth to its rescue, when, alas!
some of its own misguided members seek to destroy it, becoming, as you will then have done, doubly its sons; sons by adoption, and noble sons, as were our forefathers, who perilled their lives, as you are now about to do, in its defence.
May God watch over you and crown your efforts with success, so that future generations may honor your names even as we do theirs, and may our flag again wave in triumph and peace over every portion of our beloved country.
Colonel Von Gilsa
approached and received the flag, and in a voice choked with emotion said: “Madam
, do not expect a speech from me. I thank you.”
His remarks were checked by the lady saying that she would receive his speech on his return.
, accompanied by the band, sang the Star-Spangled Banner, the chorus of which was chimed in by the thousands of people gathered on the spot.
, the able historian and President
of the “Liederkranz,” stepped forward, holding in his hand a superb steel-scabbard cavalry sword, of French fabric, also a belt and cartridge-box of gilt material.
In a loud, manly voice, ho addressed the Colonel
, the officers, and the regiment, in a patriotic speech, frequently alluding to the chivalrous deeds of Baron de Kalb
, describing how that noble chieftain fought on the field at Camden, S. C.
, and how he fell, pierced by eleven wounds, in the arms of his adjutant.
also deprecate ed the hireling system of the Hessians in furnishing warriors for the Revolutionary war of ‘76, and hoped that the De Kalb
regiment, and, in fact, all the German citizens now engaged in this glorious cause of sustaining the best government man ever instituted, would wipe out the stain resting upon the escutcheon of the German nation, which the Hessians blurred in their fighting against liberty and right.
The speaker was frequently interrupted in his address, and concluded by presenting the sword, belt, and cartridge-box to the Colonel
, hoping that the blade will never be sheathed until the peace of our common country is again restored, and the Star-Spangled Banner waves from the Atlantic
to the Pacific
The entire speech of Mr. Kapp
was a meritorious production.
Colonel Von Gilsa
replied in German
, as follows:--Mr. Kapp
, and members of the Liederkranz, I can only in the name of my regiment offer you my heartfelt thanks, which I feel more deeply than words can express.
In their name I will promise you, that wherever we may be ordered to maintain the honor and integrity of the country, that we will not allow