[670] at the head of the Government, John A. Andrew was selected. We believe this choice to have been a special providence of God. He had walked amid his fellow-men with quiet and heartfelt respect, with a conscience untarnished, and a heart uncorrupted by love of gain, or vulgar contact with personal strife and mean ambition. He possessed transcendent genius as a leader and executive officer, when those qualities could best be exercised. He has passed away; and, with him, the greatest, the wisest, and noblest of Massachusetts Governors. But his great deeds, comprehensive statesmanship, and good heart, will live in history, and the affections of our people, to the end of time.

We had hoped, that, before this page should be written, the restoration of that Union, for the integrity of which so many of the sons of Massachusetts had exposed and sacrificed their lives in far-off States and on distant seas, would have been effected. Our hopes have not been realized; but it has been from no fault of those brave and noble men. They did their duty, and the nation owes them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid. The dead who are buried in Virginia, the Carolinas, or the States of the Mississippi, at Andersonville, Salisbury, at home, or wherever they may rest; the sick, maimed, and wounded who live among us; and those who escaped unharmed from a hundred battle-fields,—their families, their names, their services, their sacrifices, their patriotism,—will ever be held in grateful remembrance by a generous and enlightened people. And that ‘my father fought or fell in the great civil war to maintain the integrity of our Union, and the honor of our nation,’ will for ever be an inheritance more precious than land or riches, and a title of true republican nobility.

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