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Every war in which we have been engaged, except the one with Mexico, has been justifiable in its origin; and each one, without any exception whatever, has left us better off, taking both moral and material considerations into account, than we should have been if we had not waged it.-Ibid.
It has been so habitual among American estimating writers to praise all the deeds, good, bad, and the Fighting
indifferent, of our Revolutionary ancestors, Qualities of the
and to belittle and make light of what we Conti
have recently done, that most men seem not to know that the Union and Confederate troops in the Civil War fought far more stubbornly and skilfully than did their forefathers at the time of the Revolution. It is impossible to estimate too highly the devoted patriotism and statesmanship of the founders of our national life; and however high we rank Washington, I am confident that we err, if anything, in not ranking him high enough, for on the whole the world has never seen a man deserving to be placed above him; but we certainly have overestimated the actual fighting qualities of the Revolutionary troops, and have never laid enough stress on the folly and jealousy with which the States behaved during the contest.-Winning of the West.
The Blue and the
. All of us, North and South, can glory alike in the valor of the men who wore the blue and of the men who wore the gray. Those were iron times, and only iron men could fight to its terrible finish the giant struggle between the hosts of Grant and Lee, the struggle that came to an end thirty-seven years ago this very day. To us of the present day, and to our children and children's children, the valiant deeds, the high endeavor, and abnegation of self shown in that struggle by those who took part therein will remain for evermore to mark the level to which we in our turn must rise whenever the hour of the Nation's need may come.
Addresses and Messages.
A navy's efficiency in a war depends mainly In Time of
Peace upon its preparedness at the outset of that
Prepare war. We are not to be excused as a nation if there is not such preparedness of our navy. This is especially so in view of what we have done during the last four years. No nation has a right to undertake a big task unless it is prepared to do it in masterful and effective style. It would be an intolerable humiliation for us to embark on such a course of action as followed from our declaration of war with Spain, and not make good our
Peace Prepare for War
In Time of words by deeds—not be ready to prove our
truth by our endeavor whenever the need calls. The good work of building up the navy must go on without ceasing. The modern warship cannot with advantage be allowed to rust in disuse. It must be used up in active service even in time of peace.
I believe that no other great country has such fine natural material for volunteer soldiers as we have, and it is the obvious duty of the Nation and of the States to make such provision as will enable this volunteer soldiery to be organized with all possible rapidity and efficiency in time of war; and, furthermore, to help in every way the National Guard in time of peace.-Ibid.
A Square Deal for Colored Soldiers
It is a good thing that the guard around the tomb of Lincoln should be composed of colored soldiers. It was my own good fortune at Santiago to serve beside colored troops. A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.-Ibid.
The Modern Spirit for
We believe that the trend of the modern spirit is ever stronger toward peace, not war; toward friendship, not hostility, as the nor-: mal international attitude. We are glad indeed that we are on good terms with all the other peoples of mankind, and no effort on our part shall be spared to secure a continuance of these relations. And remember, gentlemen, that we shall be a potent factor for peace largely in proportion to the way in which we make it evident that our attitude is due, not to weakness, not to inability to defend ourselves, but to a genuine repugnance to wrong-doing, a genuine desire for self-respecting friendship with our neighbors. The voice of the weakling or the craven counts for nothing when he clamors for peace; but the voice of the just man armed is potent. We need to keep in a condition of preparedness, especially as regards our navy, not because we want war, but because we desire to stand with those whose plea for peace is listened to with respectful attention.-Ibid.
We do not need a large regular army, but we do need to have our small regular army, the very best that can possibly be produced.
Army but the Best
One sad, one lamentable phase of human history is that the very loftiest words, implying the loftiest ideas, have often been used as cloaks for the commission of dreadful deeds of iniquity. No more hideous crimes have ever been committed by men than those that have been committed in the name of liberty, of order, of brotherhood, of religion. People have butchered one another under circumstances of dreadful atrocity, claiming all the time to be serving the object of the brotherhood of man or of the fatherhood of God.-Ibid.
Their blood and their toil, their endurance and patriotism, have made us and all who come after us forever their debtors. They left us not merely a reunited country, but a country incalculably greater because of its rich heritage in the deeds which thus left it reunited. As a nation we are the greater, not only for the valor and devotion to duty displayed by the men in blue, who won in the great struggle for the Union, but also for the valor and the loyalty toward what they regarded as right of the men in gray; for this war, thrice fortunate above all other recent wars in its outcome, left to all of us the right of brotherhood alike with valiant victor and valiant vanquished.-Ibid.