previous next
[466] the men whom we have invited to meet us this evening. Such are the men who ought ever to receive our sympathies and our efforts for their good. And I am sure that every heart in this assembly will respond to me when I give them a cordial welcome.

At the close of Mr. Perit's address, he formally introduced the sailors, and, amid tumultuous applause and waving of handkerchiefs by the audience, a huge flag was run up from the stage, the sailors saluting lt with three cheers.

The band played the Star-Spangled Banner.

The Rev. Dr. Hitchcock, who was then introduced, said that he was proud of New-York, and of these heroic men.

At his call and the boatswain's Jack gave flag three cheers again, and New-York gave Jack “three cheers and a New-York tiger.”

Dr. Hitchcock proceeded to speak of the dark days of a year ago, of the iron-faced and ironhearted general who saved the capital, and the noble-hearted man who had made Sumter a doubly heroic word. He spoke of Bull Run as a blessing in disguise, and said that it was the navy that turned the tide of victory in our favor. He referred to Hatteras, to the elliptic dance at Port Royal, and good Parson Foote, who held the rebels so long in conference meeting, at Island Number10, and when they ran away before the benediction, resolute Dissenter as he was, sent the Pope after them. [Laughter.] But, he said, we had met to resolve that the widows and children of the brave men who fell in Hampton Roads should not suffer. Those men fought, not for glory, but for duty's sake; but glory they should have. He believed that the providential care which watched over us was especially marked in the Yankee cheese-box on the raft which entered Hampton Roads that Saturday night. Fear not for the Republic. The decree had been registered in heaven that it should not perish. The Cross alone should float above our flag, and they should go down together, shedding benedictions on all hands until the crack of doom. These brave men had taught us a noble lesson of duty. In regard to this war, our duty was as plain as a turnpike road: it was to fight. If the fighting of this hour did not settle the question, the duty of the next hour was to fight, and so on, fight, fight, fight, until the end. He heard men on all hands saying that we were running into debt that we should never pay. These men had taught us to fight and let the debt take care of itself. He never knew a man who had a family starving, to think twice about incurring debt enough to feed them. Men said the South hated us and never would love us; we might as well let them alone. But he never knew a good father to desist from the punishment necessary for the reformation of his son, for fear of any resulting alienation. He inflicted the chastisement and let the alienation take care of itself. A great many people also were troubled about the “contrabands.” He thought we need not trouble ourselves about this matter. Sufficient unto the day was the good thereof as well as the evil thereof. [Marked applause.] In conclusion he exhorted all, by land and sea, to do their duty of fighting boldly, and God would defend the right.

The Chairman then read the following letter from Gen. Scott:

I would be most happy to meet with you and join in felicitating our noble tars officers and men, of the frigates Cumberland and Congress, but for my lameness and the fear that the excitement would be still more hurtful to me.

Respectfully yours,


He also read a letter from Capt. Radford, which contained at the close a complimentary mention of Lieut. Morris, who was in command when the Cumberland went down.

Three cheers were given for Lieut. Morris.

Miss Maria Brainerd sang a charming song — Viva l'america — which was very warmly applauded.

A sailor of the Cumberland was then introduced. He said: My friends, the task that I have before me is at once painful and pleasant — painful when I think of my lost shipmates, and pleasant when I see so many smiling faces here. It is my task to detail as near as I can the engagement of our ship with the Merrimac. It was about eight o'clock on Saturday morning, the eighth day of March, when we first saw the Merrimac. We beat to quarters, and so did the Congress. She went on the passage down to Fortress Monroe, instead of coming toward our ship; afterward she stood for the ship. As she passed the Congress the brave ship poured two or three broadsides at her, but they were not any more than throwing peas or apples at her, when she came at us. Could we have kept her off at arm's length she never would have taken us, but she ran her steel prow into us, when Mr. Buchanan, the man who commanded her, asked our commander: “Will you surrender?” He answered, “Never will I surrender!” and he took his infernal machine off and ran it into us again. He then asked again, “Mr. Morris,” calling him by name, “will you surrender that ship?” “Never,” says he, “if you sink her!” Then a marine from our ship drew a bead on Mr. Buchanan, and I rather think that he is dead now. The paper that tells he was only wounded, I think, tells an untruth, for the marine drew a sure bead on him. Well, my friends, the Cumberland had to go, and we tried to do our duty, as I hope that every seaman that has to come after us will do his duty in like manner. [Loud applause.]

In response to loud cries for “Morris,” the Chairman stated that Lieut. Morris had been ordered to Washington.

A voice.--What is the sailor's name?

The Chairman —— James Marlow.

One of the Cumberland's crew, George McKenney, sang the Red, White, and Blue, the crew joining in the chorus. The song was received with vociferous applause.

Three cheers were given for the Red, White,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George M. Morris (5)
Winfield Scott (2)
E. S. Hitchcock (2)
Frank Buchanan (2)
William Radford (1)
Pelatiah Perit (1)
George McKenney (1)
James Marlow (1)
Jack (1)
Hatteras (1)
A. H. Foote (1)
Maria Brainerd (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 8th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: