For nearly two years past we had been wondering at the total eclipse of that great Yankee luminary and representative man, Phiness T. Barnum
That this celebrated man should be absent from the roll of Yankee Major-Generals
we could easily understand, the effect of Confederate bullets on the Yankee
constitution being thoroughly appreciated by that worthy; but that such a chip of the old Plymouth
block should remain at home in inglorious case, whilst the Butlers and the Yankees
were achieving elsewhere unfading laurels and cramming their pockets with untold plunder, was something wholly unaccountable.
We are indebted to the New York Tribune
for a solution of this strange phenomenon.
still lives — his inventive genius yet shines with undiminished lustre; but from an exhibitor of woolly horses and mermaids he has now become the great engineer of the Northern Loyal Leagues
and the patent manufacturer of Yankee enthusiasm.
In his editorial account of the meeting of the Loyal League
thus unconsciously lets the cat out of the bag:
"More than one thousand of those in attendance were soldiers, honorably discharged from service on the expiration of their respective terms of enlistment, and now rallying under the flag for which they had braved privation, perit, and death, to proclaim their invincible resolve that the Union
must be preserved.
Of these soldiers, about half went up from this city, on invitation, the expense of their transportation being defrayed by a subscription here, while at Utica
the noblest women ministered to their wants with a bounteousness and sapidity which left nothing to desire.
Their breakfast, dinner, and supper were good enough for an Emperor; and had they been twice as numerous all would have had enough and to spare.
We are sure our soldiers will long cherish a lively and grateful remembrance of the hospitalities of the loyal women of Utica
, and that they returned to our city more eager, if possible, than before to serve and save their country.
And as the burden of defraying the cost of their trip was generously assumed by Mr. Leonard W. Jerome
, we trust others will gladly contribute to divide and lighten it."
The devoted patriotism which impelled the aforesaid discharged soldiers "to rally again under the flag," to ride, free of expense, to Utica
and back; the reckless daring with which they stormed and carried the successive meals, "fit for an Emperor," set before them by the "noblest women of Utica
," and the "glorious" feelings with which they sallied forth, forgetful of the disabilities which had procured their discharge from the Yankee
service, ready "to serve and save their country," present to the mind a succession of grand and overpowering images, forming all together a picture of unsupportable moral sublimity.
Pity that the effect of the whole should be somewhat marred by the concluding paragraph, in which Leonard W. Jerome
, of course,) delicately calls upon an admiring public "to divide and lighten the cost," there by practically ignoring the fact stated by Greeley
just above, that the "expense of their transportation had been defrayed by a subscription here." The slight discrepancy between these two apostles of freedom, however, being reducible to a mere question of dollars and cents, which may have gone to swell the famous Slievegammon fund of the Tribune
philosopher, to the permanent injury of P. T's pocket, it is not our purpose to endeavor to clear up; but the bold and original expediency of having a lot of discharged soldiers always on hand, ready for shipment, whenever and wherever wanted — this happy conjunction of free dinners and free speech, of beefsteaks and buncombe, is a conception worthy of the genius of the great Connecticut
showman, and should secure for him the first vacant seat in Abraham's Cabinet.