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has not been felt in California; it has not been felt that side the Rocky Mountains. It is a localism, and I am one of those who believe that our system of government is not to be destroyed by localisms, North or South! (Cheers.] No; we have our private opinions, State prejudices, local ideas; but over all, submerging all, drowning all, is that great sentiment, that always, and nevertheless, we are all Americans. It is as Americans that we are known, the whole world over. Who asks what State you are from, in Europe, or in Africa, or in Asia? Is he an American—is he of us? Does he belong to the flag of the country? Does that flag protect him? Does he rest under the eagle and the Stars and Stripes? If he does, if he is, all else is subordinate and worthy of little concern. [Cheers.]
Now it is our duty, while we live on the earth, to cherish this sentiment, to make it prevail over the whole country, even if that country should spread over the whole continent. It is our duty to carry English principles—I mean, sir (said Mr. Webster turning to Sir Henry Bulwer), Anglo-Saxon American principles, over the whole continent—the great principles of Magna Charta, of the English revolution, and especially of the American Revolution, and of the English language. Our children will hear Shakespeare and Milton recited on the shores of the Pacific. Nay, before that, American ideas, which are essentially and originally English ideas, will penetrate the Mexican—the Spanish mind; and Mexicans and Spaniards will thank God that they have been brought to know something of civil liberty, of the trial by jury, and of security for personal rights.
As for the rest, let us take courage. The day-spring from on high has visited us; the country has been called back, to conscience and to duty. There is no longer imminent danger of dissolution in these United States. [Loud and repeated cheers.] We shall live, and not die. We shall live as united Americans; and those who have supposed that they could sever us, that they could rend one American heart from another, and that speculation and hypothesis, that secession and metaphysics, could tear us asunder, will find themselves dreadfully mistaken. [Cheers.]
Let the mind of the sober American people remain sober. Let it not inflame itself. Let it do justice to all. And the
truest course, and the surest course, to disappoint trose who meditate disunion, is just to leave them to themselves, and see what they can make of it. No, gentlemen; the time for meditated secession is past. Americans, North and South, will be hereafter more and more united. There is a sternness and severity in the public mind lately aroused. I believe that, North and South, there has been in the last year, a renovation of public sentiment, an animated revival of the spirit of Union, and, more than all, of attachment to the Constitution, regarding it as indispensably necessary; and if we would preserve our nationality, it is indispensable that the spirit of devotion should be still more largely increased. And who doubts it? If we give up that Constitution, what are we? You are a Manhattan man; I am a Boston man. Another is a Connecticut, and another a Rhode Island man. Is it not a great deal better, standing hand to hand, and clasping hands, that we should remain as we have been for sixty years—citizens of the same country, members of the same Government, united all-united now and united forever? That we shall be, gentlemen. There have been difficulties, contentions, controversies — angry controversies; but I tell you that, in my judgment,
those opposed eyes,
[Mr. Webster, on closing, was greeted with the most hearty, prolonged, and tumultuous applause.]
THE AMERICAN SOLDIER
(Speech of Joseph Wheeler prepared for the tenth annual banquet of the Confederate Veteran Camp of New York, New York City, January 19, 1898. Edward Owen, Commander of the Camp, presided. As General Wheeler was ill and unable to attend the banquet, his speech was read by J. E. Graybill.]
History has many heroes whose martial renown has fired the world, whose daring and wonderful exploits have altered the boundaries of nations and changed the very face of the earth. To say nothing of the warriors of biblical history and Homeric verse, as the ages march along every great nation leaves us the glorious memory of some unique character, such as Alexander, Hannibal, Cæsar. Even the wild hordes of northern Europe and the barbaric nations of the East had their grand military leaders whose names will ever live on history's pages, to be eclipsed only by that of Napoleon, the man of destiny, who, as a military genius, stands alone and unrivalled: Grand, gloomy, peculiar, he sat upon the throne, a sceptred hermit, wrapped in the solitude of his awful originality."
The mediæval ages gave us noble examples of devotedness and chivalry; but it belonged to the American Republic, founded and defended by Freedom's sons, to give to the world the noblest type of warrior; men in whom martial renown went hand in hand with the noblest of virtues, men who united in their own characters the highest military genius with the loftiest patriotism, the most daring courage with the gentlest courtesy, the most obstinate endurance with the utmost self-sacrifice, the genius of a Cæsar with the courage and purity of a Bayard.
Patriotism and love of liberty, the most ennobling motives that can fire the heart of man, expanding and thriving in the atmosphere of free America, added a refining touch to the martial enthusiasm of our forefathers and elevated the character of the American soldier to a standard never attained by fighting men of any other age or nation.
To recall their names and recount their deeds would lead me far beyond the time and space allotted. Volumes would never do justice to the valorous achievements of George Washington and his compeers, the boys of '76—of the heroes of 1812 and of 1848; of the men in blue who fought under Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, and Farragut; of the men in gray who followed the lead of Johnston, Jackson, and Lee from 1861 to 1865; of the intrepid band that sailed with Dewey into Manila Bay, or of the small but heroic army of 1898 that fought at Las Guasimas, El Caney, and San Juan, and left the Stars and Stripes floating in triumph over the last stronghold of Spain in the New World.
But above the grand heroic names immortalized by historian and poet shines with an undimmed lustre, all its own, the immortal name of Robert Edmund Lee.
Ah, Muse! You dare not claim
A nobler man than he-
Nor fame-another Lee."
The late Benjamin H. Hill, of Georgia, in an address delivered at the time of General Lee's death, thus beautifully describes his character: “He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression, and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guile. He was Cæsar without his ambition; Frederick without his tyranny; Napoleon without his selfishness, and Washington without his reward. He was as obedient to authority as a servant, and royal in authority as a true king. He was gentle as a woman in life, and modest and pure as a virgin in thought; watchful as a Roman vestal in duty; submissive to law as Socrates, and grand in battle as Achilles!”
Forty-four years ago last June, I found myself in the presence of Colonel Lee, who was then Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. I have never in all my life seen another form or face which so impressed me, as embodying dignity, modesty, kindness, and all the characteristics which indicate purity and nobility. While he was then only a captain and brevet-colonel, he was so highly regarded by the Army that it was generally conceded that he was the proper officer to succeed General Scott.
His wonderful career as leader of the Army of Northern Virginia, as its commander, is so familiar to all of you that any comment would seem to be unnecessary. But to give some of the younger generation an idea of the magnitude of the struggle in which General Lee was the central and leading figure, I will call attention to the fact that in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania (which really should be called one battle), the killed and wounded in General Grant's army by the army under General Lee, was far greater than the aggregate killed and wounded in all the battles of all the wars fought by the English-speaking people on this continent since the discovery of America by Columbus.
To be more explicit: take the killed and wounded in all the battles of the French and Indian War, take the aggregate killed and wounded in the Revolutionary War, take the aggregate killed and wounded in the War of 1812, take the aggregate killed and wounded in the Mexican War, take the aggregate killed and wounded in all our wars with the Indians, and they amount to less than the killed and wounded in Grant's army in the struggle from the Wilderness to Spottsylvania.
In order further to appreciate the magnitude of the struggle, let us make a comparison between the losses in some of the great battles of our Civil War, and those of some of the most famous battles of modern Europe. The official reports give the following as the losses in killed and wounded of the Federal Army in seven, out of nearly a thousand severely contested struggles during the four years' of war: Seven Days fight, 9,291; Antietam, 11,426; Murfreesboro,