Mr. Commander and soldiers,—Yesterday you were citizens: to-day you are heroes. Summoned by the sudden call of your country, true to the fortunes of your flag, to the inspirations of your own hearts, and to the mighty example of your fathers, you have hurried from the thronged towns of Essex, and all along the shore from Boston to Cape Ann, famed through all Massachusetts for noble men, brave soldiers, and heroic women. You have come to be cradled anew, one night in Faneuil Hall, there breathing once more the inspiration of historic American liberty, and standing beneath the folds of the American banner. [Applause.] From the bottom of my heart of hearts, as the official representative of Massachusetts, I pay to you, soldiers, citizens, and heroes, the homage of my most profound gratitude; and the heart of all Massachusetts beats with full sympathy to every word I utter. There is but one pulsation beating through all this beautiful domain of liberty, from the shores of Cape Cod to the hills of Berkshire; and the mountain waves and mountain peaks answer to each other. Soldiers, go forth, bearing that flag; and, as our fathers fought, so, if need be, strike you the blow.At the close of the Governor's speech, Colonel Monroe received the colors, and said, ‘We shall do our duty.’ Three cheers were given for the regiments, and three for General Butler, who, being present, advanced, and said,—Where breathes the foe but falls before us,We stay behind, to guard the hearthstones you have left; and, whatever may be the future, we will protect the wives and children you may leave, and, as you will be faithful to the country, so we will be faithful to them. I speak to you as citizens and soldiers, not of Massachusetts, but of the American Confederate Union. While we live, that Union shall last. [Applause.] And until these countless thousands, and all their posterity, have tasted death, the Union of the American people, the heritage of Washington, shall be eternal. [Applause.] Soldiers! go forth, bearing with you the blessing of your country, bearing the confidence of your fellow-citizens; and under the blessing of God, with stout hearts and stalwart frames, go forth to victory. On your shields be returned, or bring them with you. Yours it is to be among the advanced guard of Massachusetts soldiers. As such, I bid you God-speed, and fare-you-well.
With freedom's soil beneath our feet,
And freedom's banner waving o'er us?
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.