Soldiers of Massachusetts!--a title rendered illustrious in the early struggles for freedom on this continent, and now established by your prompt and heroic inauguration of the present war for the Union, is the proudest title any citizen of the world can bear. Soldiers of Massachusetts! with honor you have borne the beautiful ensign of your native State, even within the confines of the enemies of human freedom. Having rendered the capital of our beloved country safe, you now march towards the Gulf!--ready “to do and to dare,” for the true and the right, which is your country's cause, and that of liberty. And we bring you now, and here, on this dividing-line between loyalty and treason, the flag of our common country — the flag of the forever-United States. Soldiers! thus far your acts are matters of history, and noble acts. But we come to give expression to the feelings of pride which we feel as Massachusetts men, at the universal praise accorded, by all the citizens of Washington, for your gentlemanly bearing and noble conduct while quartered in the capitol. Not a single complaint has been made by any citizen of Washington, friend or foe, of any uncivil conduct by any Massachusetts volunteer. Bearing this high reputation, you now advance, not as a conquering army to subjugate and enslave, but as the advance guard of the grand liberating army of deliverance, bearing the “stars” of hope to the oppressed lovers of liberty in the South, and the “stripes” of justice for all their traitorous oppressors. For bear in mind, that, though you will contend with desperate villains of the darkest hue, assassins, and poisoners, and perjured traitors, there are yet millions of the white race in the South, who, like good old Daniel, daily, with their hands outstretched towards the heavens, and their faces eastward, pray God for a sight of your advancing columns, as their only hope of salvation from a bondage worse than death, an oppression more terrible than Siberian convict rule. As soon as these noble men shall dare to speak, your hands will be strengthened, and your hearts cheered. Go on, then, ye heralds of civilization, establishing in your march the church, the school-house, the Bible, and the Constitution, as the only sure foundations of human liberty. In your veins flow the blood which ensanguined the fields of Lexington and Concord, and rendered immortal the heights of Bunker Hill, and which has rebaptized the cause of human liberty in the streets of Baltimore. With you, we can safely trust this glorious flag, assured that it will be borne to higher places of honor, and will never cease its triumphant march until every secession symbol shall have been trampled in the dust, and every traitorous enemy shall have been hung in mid-heaven, or be forever exiled from a land which he has cursed. Bear this flag proudly in every battle-field for liberty, guard it well and long, until triumphantly it shall forever wave “o'er the land of the free,” and no home of a slave!The gallant Colonel, evidently much affected by this tribute of his friends, received the flag with a few felicitous remarks and with many thanks, and the column, with three cheers and many a “God-bless-you,” resumed their onward march. The night was indeed a beautiful one. A full moon, just mounting the eastern sky, cast its silvery sheen over the rippling waters of the majestic Potomac, and sparkled on the bayonets of a thousand muskets. Camp-fires and signal-lights dotted the hills on both sides, making a picture of quiet beauty never to be forgotten.--Washington National Republican, May 27.
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