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times seventy-five thousand volunteers could have been furnished had they been asked. All the large cities and towns raised money for the volunteers and their families, and it was believed that abundant means were placed at the disposal of the general government for a speedy quelling of the rebellion.
Everywhere the drum and fife thrilled the air with their stirring call. Recruiting offices were opened in every city, town, and village. No stimulus was needed. The plough was left in the furrow; the carpenter turned from the bench; the student closed his books; the clerk abandoned the counting-room; the lawyer forsook his clients; and even the clergyman exchanged his pulpit for the camp and the tented field, preaching no longer the gospel of peace, but the duty of war. Hastily formed companies marched to camps of rendezvous, the sunlight flashing from gun-barrel and bayonet, and the streets echoing the measured tread of soldiers. Flags floated from the roofs of houses, were flung to the breeze from chambers of commerce and boards of trade, spanned the surging streets, decorated the private parlor, glorified the schoolroom, festooned the church walls and pulpit, and blossomed everywhere. All normal habits of life were suspended, and business and pleasure alike were forgotten.
When, on the morning of Tuesday, volunteers began to arrive in Boston... they were escorted by crowds cheering vociferously. Merchants and clerks rushed out from stores, bareheaded, saluting them as they passed. Windows were flung up; and women leaned out into the rain, waving flags and handkerchiefs. Horse-cars and omnibuses halted for the passage of the soldiers, and cheer upon cheer leaped forth from the thronged doors and windows. The multitudes that followed after, and surged along on either side, and ran before in dense and palpitating masses, rent the air with prolonged acclamations.
As the men filed into Faneuil Hall, in solid columns, the enthusiasm knew no bounds. Men, women, and children seethed in a fervid excitement. "God bless it!" uttered my father in tender and devout tone, as he sat beside me in the carriage, leaning heavily forward on his staff with clasped hands. And following the direction of his streaming eyes, and those of the thousands surrounding us, I saw the dear banner of my country, rising higher and higher to the top of the flagstaff, fling out fold after fold to the damp air, and float proudly over the hallowed edifice. Oh, the roar that rang out from ten thousand throats! Old men, with white hair and tearful faces, lifted their hats to the national
ensign, and reverently saluted it. Young men greeted it with fierce and wild hurrahs, talking the while in terse Saxon of the traitors of the Confederate States, who had dragged in the dirt this flag of their country, never before dishonored. . . .
That day cartridges were made for the regiments by the hundred thousand. Army rifles were ordered from the Springfield Armory. Fifteen hundred workmen were engaged for the Charlestown Navy Yard. Enlistments of hardy-looking men went on vigorously, and hundreds of wealthy citizens pledged pecuniary aid to the families of the soldiers. Military and professional men tendered their services to the government in its present emergency. The Boston banks offered to loan the state three million six hundred thousand dollars without security, while banks outside the city, throughout the state, were equally generous in their offers. By six o'clock on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 16, three regiments were ready to start for Washington, and new companies were being raised in all parts of the state. On the afternoon of the next day, the Sixth Massachusetts, a full regiment one thousand strong, started from Boston by rail, leaving the Fourth Massachusetts to follow. An immense concourse of people gathered in the neighborhood of the Boston and Albany railroad station to witness their departure. The great crowd was evidently under the influence of deep feeling, but it was repressed, and the demonstrations were not noisy. In all hands were evening editions of the daily papers; and as the record of the disloyal behavior of Maryland and Virginia was read aloud, the comments were emphatic in disapproval. With the arrival of the uniformed troops, the excitement burst out into a frenzy of shouts, cheers, and ringing acclamation. Tears ran down not only the cheeks of women, but those of men; but there was no faltering. A clergyman mounted an extemporized platform, to offer prayer, where he could be seen and heard by all, and a solemn hush fell on the excited multitude, as if we were inside a church. His voice rang out to the remotest auditor. The long train backed down where the soldiers were scattered among mothers, wives, sweethearts, and friends uttering last words of farewell.
"Fall into line!" was the unfamiliar order that rang out, clear and distinct, with a tone of authority. The blue-coated soldiers released themselves tenderly from the clinging arms of affection, kissed again, and again, and again, the faces upturned to theirs, white with the agony of parting, formed in long lines, company by company, and were marched into the cars. The two locomotives, drawing the long train slowly out
of the station, whistled a shrill "good-bye" every engine in the neighborhood shrieked back an answering farewell from the crowded streets, the densely packed station, the roofs of houses, the thronged windows, and the solid mass of human beings lining both sides of the track, further than the eye could see, there rang out a roar of good wishes, and parting words, accompanied with tears and sobs, and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs and the Sixth Massachusetts was on its way to Washington. Ah, how little they, or we, foresaw the reception awaiting them in the streets of Baltimore !
Mary A. Livermore, My Story of the War (Hartford, A. D. Worthington & Co., 1889), 86–96 passim.
"It Came to Pass that there was War" (1861) BY RICHARD GRANT WHITE (1863)
White was a prominent journalist, author, and scholar, ranking among the most learned of Shakesperian commentators. He had a fancy for anonymous publication; and his political satire, The New Gospel of Peace, from which this excerpt is taken, was so published. The book was of influence in crystallizing the spirit of loyalty in the North. The characters in the drama are easily recognizable: James Buchanan; the fire-eaters; Stephens of Georgia; Kennedy, chief of police in New York City; Robert Toombs; and Fernando Wood, mayor of New York. Bibliography: Channing and Hart, Guide, §§ 207, 208.
TOW the time drew nigh when James should cease to rule in the land of Unculpsalm.
2. And the men of the North, save the Dimmichrats, among whom were the Pahdees, strove to have Abraham, who was surnamed the honest, made ruler in the place of James Facing-both-ways.
3. But the Phiretahs of the South said, Let us choose, and let the voices be numbered, and if our man be chosen, it is well, but if Abraham, we will destroy the nation.
4. But the men of the North believed them not, because of the Great Covenant, and because they trusted them to be of good faith in this matter. For among the men of the North, even those who lived by casting lots for gold, stood by the lot when it was cast. And the men of the North believed not that men of their own blood, whose sons were married unto their daughters, and whose daughters unto their sons, would faithlessly do this thing which they threatened.
5. But the men of the North knew not how the Niggah had driven out all other thoughts from the hearts of the men of the South, even so
that they would violate the Great Covenant, and set at naught the election according thereunto if it went against them.
6. And there were throughout the provinces of the land of Unculpsalm at the North great multitudes, Dimmichrats, of whom were the Pahdees, who were friends of the Phiretahs of the South, and wished them well, and labored with them; for they said, It is by the alliance of the men of the South, and by reason of the everlasting Niggah, that we rule the land.
7. But they deceived themselves; for it was the Phiretahs which ruled the land, using the Dimmichrats, and by the one thought of the everlasting Niggah.
8. Yet it came to pass that when the voices of the people were numbered, according to the Great Covenant, Abraham was chosen.
9. Then the Phiretahs of the South began to do as they had threatened; and they gathered together in their provinces, and said, Our provinces shall no longer be a part of the land of Unculpsalm, for we will not have this man Abraham to rule over us.
10. Yet there were men of the South, a great multitude, among whom was Stephen, of Joarji, who said, Not so. Why will ye do this great evil and destroy the nation? It is right for us to respect the Great Covenant. If the man who had our voices had been chosen, the men of the North would have received him, and obeyed him as the chief ruler in the land of Unculpsalm; and it is meet and right that we should do likewise, even according to the Great Covenant. Moreover, we have suffered no wrong at the hands of the new rulers; and the old were men of our own choosing. Will ye make this land like unto Mecsicho?
11. But the Phiretahs would not hearken unto these men, and went on their way, and beat some of them, and hanged others, and threatened noisily, and gathering unto them all the people of the baser sort, and inflaming them with hate and strong drink, they set up a rule of terror throughout their provinces. For the Phiretahs were men of blood. So the Phiretahs prevailed over the men who would have respected the Great Covenant.
12. And the men of the North, both they who had given their voices for Abraham and they who had given their voices with the, men of the South against him, were amazed and stood astounded. And they said among themselves, This is vain boasting and vaunting, such as we have seen aforetime, done for the sake of more compromise.
13. (Now in the land of Unculpsalm, when a man humbled himself before another which threatened him, he was said to compromise.)
14. And the Dimmichrats, save those who had hearkened unto the ministers of Belial, said, Let us compromise ourselves again unto our Southern brethren, and it shall be well with us.
15. For they said among themselves, If the men of the South go, they and their provinces, there will be no more everlasting Niggah; and we shall cease to rule the land. And if they go not, behold then they will remember that we have compromised unto them, and they will again be gracious unto their servants, and will admit us unto a share in the government, and we shall rule the land as aforetime.
16. But the Phiretahs were wise in their generation, and they saw that the Dimmichrats were of no more use unto them, and that because the men of Belial had prevailed against the Dimmichrats, their power was gone in their provinces; and so as they could no more use the Dimmichrats, they would not listen to them, and spurned their compromising, and spat upon it, and went on to destroy the nation, and prepared to make war against Abraham if he should begin to rule over them.
17. Now in those days there was a man in Gotham named Ken Edee, who was chief captain of the watchmen of the city and the region round about; and in Joarji was a man named Robert, who dwelt among the tombs, and who was possessed of an evil spirit whose name was Blustah. And Robert was a Phiretah.
18. And Ken Edee, chief captain of the watch in Gotham, found arms going from Gotham to the Phiretahs in Joarji, and he seized them. For he said, Lest they be used to destroy the nation, and against the Great Covenant, which is the supreme law in the land of Unculpsalm, to which first belongeth my obedience.
19. Then Robert, who dwelt among the tombs, being seized upon by his demon Blustah, sent a threatening message unto Phernandiwud. 20. (For at this time Phernandiwud was chief ruler in the city of Gotham.)
21. Saying, Wherefore keep ye the arms of the Phiretahs? Give them unto us that we may make war against you, or it shall be worse for you.
22. Then Phernandiwud, because he hated the chief of the watchmen of Gotham, and because he hoped for the good success of the Phiretahs, compromised himself unto Robert, and crawled on his belly before him in the dust, and said, Is thy servant a man that he should