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[401] von Gilsa, I now close in presenting, in the name of my children, this standard and guides to the De Kalb Regiment. May they prove to each patriotic heart a beacon in the battle field; may your regiment honor them, guard them, and protect them, and when victors, remind them of mercy and humanity; and when the curtain of peace rises, and the martial clouds have disappeared, may the banner of the De Kalb fraternize with the glorious flag of the Stars and Stripes in its full and undiminished constellation.

At the conclusion of this address Mr. Witthaus handed the standard to the Colonel, who faced his regiment, waving the same several times. As with one instinct the entire regiment uncovered, and the cheers that greeted that flag could only be uttered by brave and hardy men, as those constituting the De Kalb regiment are. The guide colors, held by Master Rudolph Witthaus, were also handed to the Colonel, who handed them over to the right and left general guides. The American ensign is manufactured of heavy red, white, and blue silk, trimmed with heavy gold fringe; the staff is made of hickory, surmounted by a gilt eagle; the cords and tassels are of massive gold bullion. In the centre of the lance, on a metal plate, appears the following inscription: “Presented to the De Kalb Regiment, New York Volunteers, by Mrs. R. A. Witthaus, June, 1861.” On the blue field is a shield bearing this inscription, “De Kalb regiment, N. Y. V.,” around which are clustered the thirty-four stars, indicative of the thirty-four States of the Union.

The regimental standard, presented by Miss Pauline A. Witthaus, is a gem of art and workmanship. It was apparently manufactured regardless of cost, and the skill that was lavished upon this emblem challenges the admiration of the beholder. The ground is double dark blue satin, trimmed with heavy yellow silk fringe. On the front of the flag, in a centre piece of drab colored silk, worked with silk chenille, is a life-like portrait of the renowned General De Kalb. Above it appears the American shield, worked in lively colors. Underneath the portrait are the American and German flags interwoven. Around the edges, worked with yellow silk, in German text, is the following inscription:

The generous stranger who left his home
To water with his blood the tree of our liberty.

On the reverse, in the centre, is the Star-Spangled Banner, across which are worked the implements of warfare. The following motto is likewise embroidered in the same style as that of the front:

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The staff is made of mahogany, surmounted by a spear head, from which are suspended a red, white, and blue, and red, gold, and black straps and tassels. In the centre of the lance is a silver shield bearing the inscription, “Presented to the De Kalb regiment, N. Y. V., by Miss Pauline A. Witthaus, June, 1861.”

Among the distinguished guests invited were: Gov. E. D. Morgan, Governor Hamilton Fish, Major-General John A. Dix, Brig.-General Yates, the Union Defence Committee, Colonel Franklin, Hon. George Bancroft, Hon. George Folsom, John Jacob Astor, jr., Abiel A. Low, Hon. Edward Pierrepont, Gen. P. M. Wetmore, Hon. Samuel Sloan, Henry Grinnell, Archibald Russell, Capt. M. Cogswell, Col. M. Lefferts, Dr. Alexander B. Mott, Elie Charlier, G. H. Witthaus, Egbert L. Viele, Col. Maidhoff, Col. Tompkins, Major Eaton, Amos F. Eno, Edward Jones, and others.

After the presentation the officers of the regiment and the invited guests were invited into the dining-room of Mr. Witthaus, where a collation was already prepared and partaken of with a good deal of gusto.

The festive scene of the occasion was such as will be long remembered by both the donor and recipient. The great interest manifested by Mr. Witthaus in the welfare and full equipment of the De Kalb regiment has endeared that gentleman to the hearts of not only his fellow countrymen, but to all who have the honor and welfare of our glorious country at heart. Whatever the regiment stood in need of was furnished by Mr. Witthaus, and what the Union Defence Committee did not furnish was purchased from the private fortune of the gentleman whom the regiment have elected as their honorary chief. It must, indeed, have been a proud moment for Mr. Witthaus to view upwards of one thousand brave and stalwart warriors drawn up in front of his mansion, whom, as it were, his indomitable energy and perseverance has called into existence at a short notice of about six weeks, ready, fully armed and equipped, to go forth and battle for the rights of the Constitution and in defence of our beloved flag.

History must certainly reserve one page for the record of the disinterested and patriotic achievements of Mr. R. A. Witthaus. The regiment, after the presentation, returned to their Headquarters via Fifth avenue, Twenty-third street, and Third avenue.

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