whose names have yet been mentioned among men.
Our best wishes attend you. Again I say — welcome, thrice welcome, ye gallant men of the Fourteenth!
The regimental color was now brought forward, and Charles Tracy
addressed the regiment as follows:
Col. McQuade and Officers and Members of the Regiment
The Sons of Oneida County
residing in New York and Brooklyn
present to you this regimental color.
here, not forgetting the land of their nativity and the associations of their boyhood, were unwilling that the third regiment from that county — the first which passes by our present home — should go to the field without some token of our fraternity.
This is the most we can do, except to assure you of our sympathy in the glorious cause you have adopted.
The memory of Oneida County
, to a man who has passed his boyhood among its green hills, its rich valleys, and its noble woods, never dies out, but deepens with growing years.
But beyond the charms of its external beauty and the thrift of its people, the county is full of inspiring associations.
It was there that the Baron Steuben
, celebrated for his gallant part in the war of the Revolution, passed the closing years of his life, and found his grave.
It was there, in 1777, that the patriot forces in Fort Schuyler, a hundred miles from any relief, endured a siege of twenty days, and repelled their besiegers.
It was there that the farmers of the Valley of the Mohawk
, under General Herkimer
, met the enemy in the forest of Oriskany
, resisted two attacks in the same day, and drove away both British and Indians.
During that battle, the general, dismounted, and bleeding from a mortal wound, sat upon his saddle on a log, continued the direction of the fight, and smoked his pipe with his usual calmness.
Any one familiar with those old battle-fields, who has traced the hacks of the tomahawk, and clambered over the ruins of the ancient forts, and now witnesses the uprising at the same place, may truly exclaim:
Again there breathe that haunted air
The sons of sires who conquered there
With arm to strike, and soul to dare,
As quick, as far, as they.
Upon the flag you see emblazoned, in a single shield, the arms of the Union
and the arms of the State of New York
--the Stars and Stripes quartered with the rising sun — the morning rays bright with promise, the motto always Excelsior — higher.
What State is more identified with the American Union?
The very first Congress of the colonies, long before the revolution, was held in Albany
The first Congress under the Constitution
was held in this city, in 1789.
The first President
of the United States
, George Washington
, was inaugurated in Wall street, and was sworn into office by the Chancellor
of this State.
In the war of 1812, New York furnished vastly beyond its quota both of militia and volunteers; and now, to this sacred war of liberty, she sends forty thousand men. These united arms will fly together upon the flags of our volunteers, until secession and treason shall be crushed out of the whole land.
Ours is a war of defence.
The whole area of the Union
is our country.
Upon every acre of this soil we are at home, until our feet step into the Gulf of Mexico
We paid for Florida
, and our army will see to it that our national flag again waves over its entire territory.
It is a holy war — a war for principles, a war for our kind.
This country, for three-quarters of a century, has stretched out its hands to the oppressed of all nations.
The victims of tyranny and of want have fled hither, and found a place of refuge and an abode of prosperity.
What a spectacle is now presented to the world, when traitors rise among us to crush this beneficent Government, and dishearten all men who struggle for liberty I What crime can surpass secession I If it could prevail, the heart of every man sighing for liberty in Europe
must sink, and every dungeon of tyranny must deepen its gloom.
The time has come, in the affairs of men, when liberty and justice in this country must be maintained.
To wage war against such treason is to wage it against the enemies of humanity.
War is now a necessity.
Alas I politics, theories, philosophy, arts and the like, do much to ameliorate the condition of man; but in the matter of civil government, there never was, there never can be, any great deliverance secured to man, except by the sword.
Some may shrink from this proposition; but it is inevitable truth; and it makes the profession of arms a sacred calling.
It is no pastime, no mere parade, no Fourth of July celebration to which you are going.
Yours are the actual and mortal risks of war. Lamartine
has eloquently said:--“Every revolution must have its birth; every birth its throes; every throe its pang; every pang its groan.”
The hazards of camp and battle are before you. Great is the sacrifice.
Yet deem yourselves fortunate that you can thus devote your lives to such a cause.
Many who are kept at home, by various but controlling causes, are ready to envy your lot so full of honor.
Whatever your fate may be, the people of this day and of the future will not forget you. If, in the perilous duties which are before you, any shall receive the last summons, then, though the call of death come by a singing bullet, yet shall
Its voice sound like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow notes be heard
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Go forth, gallant men. Go with no doubt of your perfect success.
Go, assured that you are remembered by us in every thing that can serve you, and not forgotten in our prayers.
May the Almighty Upholder
of the Right, the