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Doc. 128. Zagonyi's letter to the ladies of Springfield, Missouri.

Headquarters, Fremont Body Guard, Springfield, Nov. 2, 1861.
To Mrs. Worrell and others, ladies of Spring-field:
Ladies: Your flattering offer to present a flag to the Fremont Body Guard is appreciated and gratefully acknowledged.

Some intimation of such a gift reached me late yesterday afternoon, and I much regret the mistake or misunderstanding which prevented a proper recognition of your kindness at that time.

But it is with far more profound sorrow that I find myself compelled to decline the proffered presentation. It would be idle to affect ignorance of the fact that the same distinction has been conferred upon a body of men who, though placed under my command upon the occasion to which your partiality obliges me to refer, deserted me at the very moment of conflict, and exposed the officers and men of the Body Guard to a fate which the hand of Providence alone could avert.

The honor of the soldiers under my command, dear to me as my own, I must not permit to be sullied or tarnished in the slightest degree.

The Union women of Springfield are too noble and generous to misinterpret this rejection of a testimonial which, under other circumstances, would be so thankfully received and so highly prized. To the forlorn band which entered this city a few days ago, they gave a cordial welcome; to its patriotism their approval has added zeal; their sympathy and tenderness are now softening the tedious confinement of its wounded, and they will pardon that scrupulous self-respect which forbids the Body Guard to share the rewards of a victory with those who refused to participate in its hazards.


Charles Zagonyi, Major Commanding Body Guard.

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