In the vestibule of the Capitol of the Commonwealth, you pass to this hall of your deliberations beneath a hundred battle-flags, war-worn, begrimed, and bloody. They are sad but proud memorials of the transcendent crime of the Rebellion, the curse of slavery, the elastic energy of a free Commonwealth, the glory and the grief of war. There has been no loyal army, the shout of whose victory has not drowned the dying sigh of a son of Massachusetts. There has been no victory gained which her blood has not helped to win. Since the war began, four hundred and thirty-four officers, whose commissions bore our seal, or who were promoted by the President to higher than regimental commands, have tasted death in the defence of their country's flag. The names of nine general officers, sixteen colonels, seventeen lieutenant-colonels, twenty majors, six surgeons, nine assistant-surgeons, two chaplains, one hundred and ten captains, and two hundred and forty-five lieutenants, illustrate their roll of honor; nor will the history be deemed complete, nor our duty done, until the fate and fame of every man, to the humblest private of them all, shall have been inscribed upon the records of this Capitol, there to remain, I trust, until the earth and sea shall give up their dead; and thus shall the Capitol itself become for every soldier-son of ours a monument. . . . And whatever may hereafter tide, or befall me or mine, May the God of our fathers preserve our Commonwealth.The roll of honor was not yet completed, when Governor Andrew's address was delivered. Many of our brave and gallant officers and men were yet to ‘taste of death,’ before the day of our deliverance should come. The Army of the Potomac was yet in the trenches before Petersburg and Richmond, and Lee held the Confederate Capitol; Sherman had not yet completed his gallant march to the sea, and Thomas still faced the enemy behind his breast-works in front of Nashville. But in April, before the apple-trees of New England had put forth their leaves and blossoms, the Confederate armies had laid down their arms at the demand of Grant and Sherman, but not before many of the sons of Massachusetts and of other loyal States had offered up their precious lives, and watered the greensward of the South with their blood. We will state here that the number of officers who were
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