rapidly recover from this discomfiture, which, after all, will serve only to nerve to yet more extraordinary exertions the nineteen millions of people who have sworn that this republic shall not perish; and perish it will not, perish it cannot, while this oath remains.
When we look away to that scene of carnage, all strewed with the bodies of patriotic men who courted death for themselves that their country might live, and then look upon the homes which their fall has rendered desolate forever, we realize — what I think the popular heart in its forbearance has never completely comprehended — the unspeakable and hellish atrocity of this rebellion.
It is a perfect saturnalia of demoniac passion.
From the reddened waters of Bull Run
, and from the gory field of Manassas
, there is now going up an appeal to God and to millions of exasperated men against those fiends in human shape, who, drunken with the orgies of an infernal ambition, are filling to its brim the cup of a nation's sorrows.
Woe, woe, I say, to these traitors when this appeal shall be answered!
I must offer you my sincere congratulations on the leadership of that true patriot and soldier, around whose standard you have gathered.
When others hesitated, he was decided; when others faltered, he was bold.
The Government laid its hand upon his loyal bosom and found it burning with the inextinguishable fires of patriotism at a time when so many others, from the best motives in the world, were carefully packing themselves away to keep in the ices of neutrality.
I honor him, Kentucky
will honor him, the nation will honor him.
When you move, as soon you may, to the seat of war, Kentucky
, despite the whispered caution of politicians, will cheer you on, and will hang with prayerful solicitude over you, alike upon your march and amid the heady currents of battle.
Loyal men everywhere are exclaiming “God speed you,” and “All hail to your courage and patriotism.”
Glory beckons you onward and upward, and could the illustrious dead hear you in the graves where they sleep, your every footfall, as you advance to your country's battle-fields, would be music to their ears.
I am grateful to you all, but especially to our fair countrywomen, for this distinguished reception.
It can never be forgotten that it was from a Spartan mother that came those words of heroic patriotism which have never been equalled by any that have fallen from the lips of man. For more than twenty centuries the deepening shadows have fallen upon the rivers and the seas, upon the mountains and the plains of the past, and yet, from the midst of all this gloom, these words still gleam out upon us like lightning from a summer's cloud.
For more than two thousand years the earth has been convulsed and shaken to its moral foundations; nations and generations of nations have risen and perished by slow decay or amid the shock of battles, and the wail of our stricken race has gone up over the sepulchres alike of men and of empires; yet above all this these words have floated down to us, and still float abroad upon the airs of the world like some kindling strain of music, ever caught up and ever repeated with flashing eyes, and heard with wildly pulsating hearts.
Such is the power of patriotism, and such the spell its truthful expression exerts over the great spirit of humanity.
To woman, ever timid in the sunshine, but ever brave in the storm, we offer our thanks for this, and we feel that we must shut our ears to the voices of her love and veil our souls from the illuminations of her presence, before we can cease to be willing to live and to die in defence of those institutions which, more than all others that have existed, have given to her that position of dignity and moral power which the shining impress she bears from her Creator's hands so fully entitles her to occupy.