now and forever.”
(Renewed applause.) As I look upon this demonstration of yours, I believe it to be prompted by a love of the common cause, and our common country — a country so great and good, a Government so kind, so beneficent, that the hand from which we have only felt kindness is now for the first time raised in chastisement.
(Applause.) Many things in a man's life may be worse than death.
So, to a Government there may be many things, such as dishonor and disintegration, worse than the shedding of blood.
(Cheers.) Our fathers purchased our liberty and country for us at an immense cost of treasure and blood, and by the bright heavens above us, we will not part with them without first paying the original debt, and the interest to this date!
(Loud cheers.) We have in our veins the same blood as they shed; we have the same power of endurance, the same love of liberty and law. We will hold as a brother him who stands by the Union
; we will hold as an enemy him who would strike from its constellation a single star.
(Applause.) But, I hear some one say, “Shall we carry on this fratricidal war?
Shall we shed our brothers' blood, and meet in arms our brothers in the South
I would say, “As our fathers did not hesitate to strike the mother country in the defence of our rights, so we should not hesitate to meet the brother as they did the mother.”
(Sensation.) If this unholy, this fratricidal war is forced upon us, I say, “Woe, woe to them who have made the necessity.
Our hands are clean, our hearts are pure; but the Union
must be preserved, (Gen. Butler
was interrupted here by an intense cheering.
When silence was restored, he continued:) at all hazard of money, and, if need be, of every life this side the Arctic Regions
(Cheers.) If the 25,000 Northern soldiers who are here are cut off, in six weeks 50,000 will take your place; and if they die by fever, pestilence, or the sword, a quarter of a million will take their place, till our army of the reserve will be women with their broomsticks, to drive every enemy in the Gulf
(Cheers and laughter.) I have neither fear nor doubt of the issue.
I feel only horror and dismay for those who have made the war. God help them I we are here for our rights, for our country, for our flag.
Our faces are set South, and there shall be no footstep backward.
(Immense applause.) He is mistaken who supposes we can be intimidated by threats or cajoled by compromise.
The day of compromises is past.
The Government must be sustained, (cheers;) and when it is sustained, we shall give every one in the Union
his rights under the Constitution
, as we always have, and every one outside of the Union
the steel of the Union
, till he shall come under the Union
(Cheers, and cries of “Good, go on.” ) It is impossible for me to go on speech-making; but if you will go home to your beds, and the Government
will let me, I will go South fighting for the Union
, and you will follow me.--N. Y. Times
, May 17.