Metropolitan Hall, and soon swelled in numbers as they approached Union Square, where they met the regiment at 4 o'clock.
The display of society banners, badges, and mottoes was numerically fine, the most common being those of Turner Societies exhibiting an ogling night owl with a torch in one claw and a sword in the other, superscribed by the word “Bahnfrei,” (Clear the track.)
In front of the City Hall, a review by the Common Council, and presentations by private citizens, took place.
The Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles
presented a flag, and said:
Colonel Weber and the Officers and Soldiers under your command
In behalf of Mrs. Charles Edward Strong
, and other patriotic ladies of the City of New York
, I present you this National Flag for your Regiment, which they commit, with undoubting faith, to your brave and loyal keeping.
To whom could they more properly entrust it than to you, the lineal descendants of the Germans of those early ages who, amid the verdant forests and sparkling waters of the Fatherland, bravely battled for liberty and freedom against the cruel domination of imperious, slaveholding, and all-enslaving Rome
Friends and brethren!
we hail you as fellow-countrymen and co-equal heirs of our nation's destiny.
The land of poetry, of song, of science; the birthplace of Schiller
, and Mozart
, and Kepler
, has given you to us, to share our fortunes and our fate.
This goodly Western continent is not less yours than ours; upon its broad and teeming bosom we stand or fall together.
Side by side, we now battle for our nation's life.
For this very purpose it was that you sought this western world.
You came here that you of the present generation might enjoy that long-deferred but dearly-cherished object of every German heart, a comprehensive and united nationality.
You left your native land, dismembered and disintegrated by long centuries of strife, that you might here breathe in freedom the invigorating air of a great, united, indivisible Republic.
You left without regret the rival and contending Hapsburghs and Hohenzollerns, that you and your descendants, through coming ages, might inhabit and enjoy the land of Washington
; that you might lawfully inherit and peacefully occupy the one great continental nation of the globe, stretching in unbroken expanse from ocean to ocean.
Will you now permit this goodly heritage to be rudely torn from you?
Will you abandon, without a struggle, this your magnificent domain, your own chosen land of refuge, to dismemberment and ruin?
With the example fresh in memory of the fatherland, frittered by internal strife into dozens of petty principalities, can you now consent to dash down and demolish this majestic Republic, a dominant power among the nations of the earth, to set up in its place four and thirty rebel “sovereignties,” falsely so-called, “all in a row” ?
Thanks to the excellence of your German schools, you are men of education.
Have you not been taught, and do you not instinctively know, that men in these modern days must live in nations and can no longer live in tribes?
But what is the present treasonable attempt, alike wicked and weak, to throw down the united, organic sovereignty of our nation, but an attempt to restore the ancient rule of chieftains and tribes; to substitute the rattlesnake for the eagle; to hold aloft, not the immortal ensign of the Republic
, radiant with its united stars, but local emblems, suited only for Chickasaws and Choctaws, the aboriginal and veritable inventors of “State sovereignty” ?
Intelligent and patriotic Germans You now go bravely forth to arrest this suicidal work of madness and ruin.
Trebly armed with the justice of the cause, you march to battle to uphold the priceless boon of national existence, vital not alone to us, the natives of the soil, but to the hundreds of thousands of loyal German hearts thickly congregated in all our cities, and already counted by millions between our two great oceans.
You go to prevent dismemberment, not alone from the misguided South
, but from all your brethren of the German race clustered around our widespread western waters; to preserve the national unity, not only of this great Republic, but of your race itself.
In this flag as a symbol, you carry with you the affectionate regards, the fervent prayers, of the men and women of New York, invoking in your behalf the gracious protection of that All-Wise Being, the Great Architect of Nations, to uphold and reward your bravery, your patriotism, your public virtue.
At the conclusion of Mr. Ruggles
' remarks, Mrs. Rupp
, on behalf of a committee of ladies, presented, with a brief speech, a regimental standard, with mottoes of the society of Turners.
Miss Sophie L. Beisel
presented (also in behalf of a committee of ladies) the German colors of black
, and gold
, and made a neat speech, reminding the soldiers that the present was given to remind them of the donors and those left behind, their brothers and weeping sisters, hoping, too, that they would be gallant, and return with the prestige of many victories.
, a tall, masculine, but finely-spoken and intelligent lady of forty-five, who served as a private, disguised, under Hecker
, in the revolution of 1848, delivered a stirring speech, calling upon the soldiers to be courageous, to fight nobly for their second father-land; as they loved their sisters and wives, to promise to contend fitly for universal freedom, so that cannons and church bells might welcome them back with honor, pride, and general joy.
made a brief reply, thanking the