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[216] their characters as soldiers and as gentlemen, unblemished with their arms. ‘Remember,’ said he, ‘that the first convert to Christ from the Gentiles was a soldier. Inscribe the Cross upon your banners, for you are fighting for liberty. May God protect you in your absence. Our hearts will follow you, our ears will be open for tidings of your condition, and our prayers will ascend for your safety and return.’

After the discourse, the colors presented by the ladies were placed in front of the chancel, and the benediction pronounced, the entire congregation rising.

Monday, the 27th day of May, 1861, the twenty-first anniversary of which eventful day we are here now assembled to commemorate, was ushered in with a blazing sun and intense heat. At an early hour it was manifest, from the crowds upon the streets, there was something that had aroused the sentiment of the community at large; business was in a great measure suspended, stores were closed, and all the avenues to the arsenal and upon the streets through which the battalion was to pass on their way to the train were crowded to suffocation. The balconies were filled with ladies, showering flowers upon the troops as they marched by. All distinctions were ignored in the eager endeavor of all to show their affection and to do honor to the soldiers going to the war.

The march from the arsenal to the depot, with the mercury marking 90 degrees Farenheit, the soldiers with everything they possessed in their knapsacks upon their backs, was one of great trial and suffering, scarcely compensated by the pride and happiness experienced through the overwhelming evidence of kindness, sympathy and love exhibited by the people.

Arrived at the train which was to bear us away upon our patriotic mission, the battalion was speedily embarked, by companies, in good order. In a few minutes the signal was given that we were ready, when, amid the booming of cannon, the music of the bands, the deafening huzzas of the multitude and the weeping of the women, the train moved slowly on, and was soon beyond the view of the surging multitude. The scene was deeply and painfully impressive, exhibiting an unexampled display of patriotism, certifying to the determined sentiment the occasion had aroused among all classes of our fellow-citizens.

I am admonished now, Mr. Chairman, that the part allotted to me, to respond to the first toast to the Washington Artillery has been, however indifferently, performed, and that if I proceed, I shall encroach upon the preserves of my friends, who, in their turn, are to tell


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