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[168] for legislative interference or censure. A single glance at the names of the petitioners is a sufficient answer to the insinuation that they are unmindful of that self-sacrifice and devotion, the marble and granite memorials of which, dotting the state from the Merrimac to the Connecticut, testify the gratitude of the loyal heart of Massachusetts.

I have seen no soldier yet who considered himself wronged or ‘insulted’ by the proposition. In point of fact the soldiers have never asked for such censure of the brave and loyal statesman who was the bosom friend and confidant of Secretary Stanton (the great war-minister, second, if at all, only to Carnot) and of John A. Andrew, dear to the heart of every Massachusetts soldier, and whose tender care and sympathy reached them wherever they struggled or died for country and freedom. The proposal of Senator Sumner, instead of being an ‘insult,’ was, in fact, the highest compliment which could be paid to brave men; for it implied that they cherished no vindictive hatred of fallen foes; that they were too proudly secure of the love and gratitude of their countrymen to need above their heads the flaunting blazon of their achievements; that they were as magnanimous in peace and victory as they were heroic and patient through the dark and doubtful arbitrament of war. As such they understand it. I should be sorry to think there existed a single son of Massachusetts weak enough to believe that his reputation and honor as a soldier needed this censure of Charles Sumner. I have before me letters from men, ranking


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