previous next

Doc. 263.-Fourteenth Regiment, N. Y. S. V., arrived at New York, June 18.

The regiment landed at the foot of West Fourteenth street. The Oneidas of the Metropolis, to the number of two hundred or upwards, decorated with an appropriate badge, and under the direction of William W. Backus, the marshal of the occasion, assisted by John A. Bryan, Morris S. Brown, James M. Tower, A. D. Barber, Robert J. Hubbard, J. O. Candee, and Albert T. Battel, assistant-marshals, formed a line and received the volunteers with the usual honors; and, preceded by a city band of music, escorted them through Fourteenth street and Fifth Avenue to Washington Parade Ground, where the flag presentation took place. A large concourse of ladies and gentlemen, many of them natives of Oneida County, witnessed the ceremony. The welcoming speech was made by Charles P. Kirkland. He said:--

Col. McQuade and the Officers and Men of the Fourteenth Regiment:

In the name and on behalf of the “Sons of Oneida,” residents of New York and Brooklyn, I most cordially welcome you to this city on your way to the defence of that blessed Constitution and Union, which are now attempted to be overthrown by parricidal hands — by those who owe to them all the blessings they have ever enjoyed. The contest in which you are about to be engaged, is the most interesting and important that ever occupied the attention of men; for this war is emphatically a war to sustain the only truly free government on earth. Its only object is to maintain and to transmit to future generations the great boon of civil and religious liberty purchased for them by the blood of our fathers. It is, indeed, a glorious cause; and the lovers of liberty everywhere are watching the contest with the deepest interest. On its result may well be said to depend the momentous question of man's capacity for self-government.

We, your old friends and neighbors, welcome you with the most earnest heartiness; and we, at the same time, congratulate you on the fact that the result can by no possibility be doubtful. You go to certain victory, you march to certain triumph; for who so mad as to believe that seven millions of people, resting on a volcano of four millions of slaves, can resist twenty millions led on by the holiest patriotism, and with no such dreadful element in their midst? You come, my friends, from a county distinguished in the history of our great Revolution; and as long as the battle of Oriskany and the siege of Fort Stanwix are remembered, so long will the men of Oneida remember the brave deeds of their fathers, and be eager to imitate their example. This war is not second in importance to that of the Revolution. That made us a nation; this is to preserve and perpetuate that nation, now among the first of the world. I may be allowed to say that my greatest honor at the present moment is that my two sons are in the ranks of the 71st New York regiment, at Washington, engaged in the same holy work of duty and of patriotism on which you are about entering. They are both native sons of Oneida. Thrice welcome, my friends! Your watchwords are “our Constitution — our Union--our Country.” You and your brave compatriots, from more than twenty States, will march hand in hand to victory, as certainly as a just and beneficent God rules on earth and in Heaven. Your cause is the cause of truth, of right, of civil and religious liberty, and human history records no defeat in such a cause. I will add one word: if, in the course of events, it be your good fortune to fall in with any one or more of five men named Cobb, Floyd, Thompson, Twiggs, or Davis, do not, I pray, permit them to escape you. They are wanted to satisfy the stern demands which humanity makes on traitors more infamous than any [414] whose names have yet been mentioned among men.

Our best wishes attend you. Again I say — welcome, thrice welcome, ye gallant men of the Fourteenth!

The regimental color was now brought forward, and Charles Tracy addressed the regiment as follows:

Col. McQuade and Officers and Members of the Regiment:

The Sons of Oneida County residing in New York and Brooklyn present to you this regimental color. The Oneidas here, not forgetting the land of their nativity and the associations of their boyhood, were unwilling that the third regiment from that county — the first which passes by our present home — should go to the field without some token of our fraternity. This is the most we can do, except to assure you of our sympathy in the glorious cause you have adopted. The memory of Oneida County, to a man who has passed his boyhood among its green hills, its rich valleys, and its noble woods, never dies out, but deepens with growing years. But beyond the charms of its external beauty and the thrift of its people, the county is full of inspiring associations. It was there that the Baron Steuben, celebrated for his gallant part in the war of the Revolution, passed the closing years of his life, and found his grave. It was there, in 1777, that the patriot forces in Fort Schuyler, a hundred miles from any relief, endured a siege of twenty days, and repelled their besiegers. It was there that the farmers of the Valley of the Mohawk, under General Herkimer, met the enemy in the forest of Oriskany, resisted two attacks in the same day, and drove away both British and Indians. During that battle, the general, dismounted, and bleeding from a mortal wound, sat upon his saddle on a log, continued the direction of the fight, and smoked his pipe with his usual calmness. Any one familiar with those old battle-fields, who has traced the hacks of the tomahawk, and clambered over the ruins of the ancient forts, and now witnesses the uprising at the same place, may truly exclaim:

Again there breathe that haunted air
The sons of sires who conquered there
With arm to strike, and soul to dare,
As quick, as far, as they.

Upon the flag you see emblazoned, in a single shield, the arms of the Union and the arms of the State of New York--the Stars and Stripes quartered with the rising sun — the morning rays bright with promise, the motto always Excelsior — higher. Well joined! What State is more identified with the American Union? The very first Congress of the colonies, long before the revolution, was held in Albany. The first Congress under the Constitution was held in this city, in 1789. The first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated in Wall street, and was sworn into office by the Chancellor of this State. In the war of 1812, New York furnished vastly beyond its quota both of militia and volunteers; and now, to this sacred war of liberty, she sends forty thousand men. These united arms will fly together upon the flags of our volunteers, until secession and treason shall be crushed out of the whole land.

Ours is a war of defence. The whole area of the Union is our country. Upon every acre of this soil we are at home, until our feet step into the Gulf of Mexico. We paid for Florida, and our army will see to it that our national flag again waves over its entire territory. It is a holy war — a war for principles, a war for our kind. This country, for three-quarters of a century, has stretched out its hands to the oppressed of all nations. The victims of tyranny and of want have fled hither, and found a place of refuge and an abode of prosperity. What a spectacle is now presented to the world, when traitors rise among us to crush this beneficent Government, and dishearten all men who struggle for liberty I What crime can surpass secession I If it could prevail, the heart of every man sighing for liberty in Europe must sink, and every dungeon of tyranny must deepen its gloom. The time has come, in the affairs of men, when liberty and justice in this country must be maintained. To wage war against such treason is to wage it against the enemies of humanity.

War is now a necessity. Alas I politics, theories, philosophy, arts and the like, do much to ameliorate the condition of man; but in the matter of civil government, there never was, there never can be, any great deliverance secured to man, except by the sword. Some may shrink from this proposition; but it is inevitable truth; and it makes the profession of arms a sacred calling.

It is no pastime, no mere parade, no Fourth of July celebration to which you are going. Yours are the actual and mortal risks of war. Lamartine has eloquently said:--“Every revolution must have its birth; every birth its throes; every throe its pang; every pang its groan.” The hazards of camp and battle are before you. Great is the sacrifice. Yet deem yourselves fortunate that you can thus devote your lives to such a cause. Many who are kept at home, by various but controlling causes, are ready to envy your lot so full of honor. Whatever your fate may be, the people of this day and of the future will not forget you. If, in the perilous duties which are before you, any shall receive the last summons, then, though the call of death come by a singing bullet, yet shall

Its voice sound like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow notes be heard
The thanks of millions yet to be.

Go forth, gallant men. Go with no doubt of your perfect success. Go, assured that you are remembered by us in every thing that can serve you, and not forgotten in our prayers. May the Almighty Upholder of the Right, the [415] God that Judgeth in the earth, guard your heads in the day of battle, and bring you back with the triumphs of victory.

Mr Tracy thereupon placed the banner in the hands of Col. McQuade, who responded as follows:

Mr. Tracy and gentlemen:--I regret that an unfortunate detention on the river will not give me time to make a fitting response to the very eloquent address which has been delivered to us. I can say, sir, we shall ever cherish this color on account of the donors. We shall defend it in the great and holy cause in which we are embarked. I assure you, sir, that those of us who may live to return it shall return it without blemish, except it may be the blood of traitors shed in the struggle.

He then turned to his regiment, and said:--“If there is any man in the ranks who is not determined to defend the flag to the last drop of his blood, let him now leave.”

Not a soldier moved; and, after a moment's silence, a deafening shout of hurrah arose along the ranks and from the spectators, testifying that all were true.

The citizens of Oneida were again formed in column by their marshal, and marched in front of the regiment through Broadway (both flags flying) to the Park barracks, where the regiment took up its quarters for the night. On the following day the Volunteers were escorted in like manner to the New Jersey Railroad Station, and took the cars for Washington.

The regiment contains the full quota of 780 men, enlisted for three years. The officers are as follows:

field.--Colonel, James McQuade; Lieutenant-Colonel, Chas. H. Skillen; Major, Chas. B. Young.

commissioned Staff.--Surgeon, A. Churchill; Quartermaster, Thomas H. Bates; Adjutant, John F. McQuade; Surgeon's Mate, J. E. West; Chaplain, Rev. George M. Hewes.

non-commissioned Staff.--Quartermaster-Sergeant, James P. Ballou; Sergeant-Major, Cassius B. Mervine; Drum-Major, Thomas J. Hines; Fife-Major, Samuel E. Catlin.

line.--Company A--Thomas M. Davies, Captain; George H. Cone, Lieutenant; R. D. Crocker, Ensign. Company B--Wm. P. Brazee, Captain; Rufus Dugget, Lieutenant; Geo. T. Hallingworth, Ensign. Company C--Fred. Harrer, Captain; Joseph Smith, Lieutenant; Wm. Rantenberg, Ensign. Company D--Wm. L. Cowan, Captain; Robert H. Foote, Lieutenant; George E. Lee, Ensign. Company E--Lewis Michael, Captain; Alfred Sears, Lieutenant; William War, Ensign. Company F--Chas. A. Muller, Captain; Wm. A. Rowan, Lieutenant; Dilos Craymer, Ensign. Company G--J. Babcock, Captain; Seth L. Wadworth, Lieutenant; John Stryker, Jr., Ensign. Company H--Samuel E. Thompson, Captain; Henry Goss, Lieutenant; Geo. Morgan, Ensign. Company I--Horace B. Lake, Captain; Geo. W. Bartlett, Lieutenant; Sterling W. Hazen, Ensign. Company K--Wm. H. Seymour, Captain; Leman Bradley, Lieutenant; Fayette Butler, Ensign.

Among the officers and soldiers there are several naturalized Welshmen.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1812 AD (1)
1789 AD (1)
1777 AD (1)
July 4th (1)
June 18th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: