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Doc. 123.--letter to General Scott.

Philadelphia, April 30, 1861.
To Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, General-in-Chief of the Army of the United States.
Sir:--The shock of a civil war in our beloved country, whose history, for more than half a century, has been illustrated, not less by your wisdom and patriotism than the splendor of your achievements in arms, will, we trust, justify this letter to you, even though it be a departure from usage.

We are your fellow-citizens of the United States. We are devotedly attached to our country. Her renown is precious to us. It is our richest inheritance, and we had fondly hoped to transmit it to our children, untarnished, as it came to us from our fathers.

In the civil strife which has just lighted up our land with an unnatural and deadly glare, we do not stop to inquire into the soundness of conflicting opinions as to the origin of the deplorable controversy. It is enough for us to know that the beloved and glorious flag of our Federal Union has been assailed, and we ask no further questions. In such a crisis, we are for sustaining, to any and every extent, the constituted authorities of the Union, believing, in the language of Mr. Jefferson, that, “The preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, is the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad.” While the Government stands by the flag, we stand by the Government. In this determination we obliterate, for the time being, all traces of party difference, by which many of us have been heretofore widely separated.

As citizens of Philadelphia — a city which, we are sure, must be endeared to your recollections, as it is to ours, by some of the proudest memories of the era of Independence — where the Declaration was signed — where the Constitution was signed, and from whence our illustrious founder issued to his countrymen his immortal Farewell Address — we adopt this mode of testifying our admiration, and offering you our deep-felt thanks for your great services to your country, in this hour of her extremest peril — services which will rival in immortality, and, we trust, in their triumphant results, your early and subsequent renown in the second and third great wars of the United States.

At a time like this, when Americans, distinguished by the favor of their country, entrenched in power, and otherwise high in influence and station, civil and military, are renouncing their allegiance to the flag they have [179] sworn to support, it is an inexpressible source of consolation and pride to us to know that the General-in-Chief of the army remains like an impregnable fortress at the post of duty and glory, and that he will continue to the last to uphold that flag, and defend it, if necessary, with his sword, even if his native State should assail it.

That your career of rare distinction may be prolonged for many years of continued usefulness to your country, and happiness to yourself, and that you may live to see that great country once more in the enjoyment of the prosperity and renown among nations, to which your wisdom in council and your sword in battle have so largely contributed, is the anxious, earnest hope of those who here unite in tendering to you, not only the assurances of their profound respect, but what we believe you will value as highly, the spontaneous tribute of loyal American hearts.

We have the honor to remain,

With the highest consideration, dear sir,

Your friends and fellow-citizens,

--Phila. Press.

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