previous next
[166] Gen. Dix, bearing the colors, who, on Mrs. Astor's behalf, said: β€œColonel Ellsworth: I have been requested by the donor of the colors about to be presented to you, to read to you her letter of presentation. I have accepted the service with the greatest of pleasure, and I regard it as an honor second only to that of commanding such a regiment as I see before me, and of marshalling it under a flag presented by so graceful and patriotic a donor.” The General then read the following letter from Mrs. Astor:

Col. Ellsworth--Sir: I have the honor of presenting the accompanying colors to the First Regiment New York Zouaves. In delivering the ensign of our nation into the charge of the brave men under your command, I am happy in the confidence that I intrust it to men whose heads are moved by a generous patriotism to defend it, and whose hearts feel now more deeply than they have ever done that the honor of their country's flag is sacred and precious to them as their own.

Accustomed as we are to think of them in the discharge of their ordinary duties with grateful sympathy and a well-founded pride, these feelings grow stronger the solemn moment when they are going from us to engage in a new and still more perilous service. I pray, Sir, that Heaven's gracious protection may be over you, and over these, to preserve and bring you back in safety to those whose hearts will follow you each day with prayer, and with a hopeful expectation of being gladdened through your success.

Believe me yours, with much respect and true regard,

Col. Ellsworth made a suitable reply.

Three cheers were then given for the presentations, three for the Commissioners of the New York Fire Department, and three more for the Chief Engineer.

Gen. Wool, who is staying at the St. Nicholas, reviewed the men as they passed. Each man, as he went by the veteran general, cheered him most lustily. The regiment was escorted to the boat by about 5,000 firemen, many of whom carried banners. Upon the one carried by Company 30 was inscribed,

If our Country calls, the rest are ready.

The regiment, after leaving Canal street, marched up Broadway to Bond street, then down the Bowery to the Astor House, from thence up Broadway, and down Canal, at the foot of which street the steamer Baltic was lying.

presentation of colors at the Astor House.

Calling a halt at the Astor House, Col. Ellsworth's regiment had another stand of colors presented to them from the ladies of the Astor House. Mr. Charles Stetson, Jr., who made the presentation, said on behalf of the ladies:

Col. Ellsworth and officers of the Fire Zouaves :--I am requested by the ladies of this house to present to your command, the Fire Zouaves of New York, this stand of colors. They will be your battle flags; and those whose fair hands have wrought them know, from the past history of the New York Fire Department, in the great cause of liberty and integrity of the Government these emblems will be manfully sustained. On behalf of the ladies I bid you and your command God speed, their eyes will follow you, and their prayers will be rendered up for you.

In reply, Col. Ellsworth said: Mr. Stetson, I beg of you to return our thanks to the ladies of the Astor House, and assure them for us that we would rather die than commit any act that would bring disgrace upon this flag. They would remember the fair donors with a great deal of gratitude, and he hoped that it would not be long before his regiment paraded again before them in front of the Astor House.

The Baltic was lying at the foot of Canal street. The friends and acquaintances of the men who were going off crowded the dock. The regiment marched on board the boat to the tune of β€œThe red, white and blue.” Many of the men joined in the chorus as they marched along the gangway. All seemed elated at the prospect of a speedy departure. At last the order was given for all those who were not going to go on shore. Hurried adieus were made; women were weeping, and strong stern men were embracing one another with an affection absolutely touching. A few revolutions of the paddle-wheels brought the Baltic into the middle of the stream, and amidst the firing of salutes from the various steamers in port, and the cheers of an immense concourse of persons, she steamed quietly away seawards.

When the regiment was in front of the Astor House, an order was handed to Col. Ellsworth from Gen. Sandford, who made an objection to the departure of the regiment on account of their being more than 770 men. It appears that there are about 101 men in every company of this regiment; by law there ought only to be 77, so Gen. Sandford put his veto on the departure of this regiment. Messrs. Kelly. Stetson and Delatour formed themselves into a committee, and waited on Gen. Sandford, to get him to remove his veto. He could do nothing, but referred them to Gen. Wool, who, upon the case being represented to him, immediately took the responsibility on his own shoulders, and allowed the Firemen Zouaves to start for Annapolis.--N. Y. Times, April 30.

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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Broadway (Virginia, United States) (2)
Annapolis (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
E. E. Ellsworth (7)
Charles Stetson (3)
Sandford (3)
John E. Wool (2)
John Jacob Astor (2)
Eugene Kelly (1)
John A. Dix (1)
Augusta Astor (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.
April 30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: