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And ye, who throng, beside the deep,
Few, few were they whose swords of old
The grim resolve to guard it well.
William Cullen Bryant, Thirty Poems (New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1864), 104-107.
77. A War Meeting (1862)
FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Under the editorship of Joseph Medill, the Chicago Tribune became one of the most prominent Republican papers in the West and a firm supporter of Lincoln's administration. The meeting described in this extract is typical of those held in all the larger cities of the North in answer to the president's call, on July 1, 1862, for three hundred thousand more volunteers. Bibliography as in No. 75 above.
ATURDAY night was a night long to be remembered in the municipal annals of Chicago, as well as in the history of the State of Illinois. One occasion only has furnished its parallel — the public gatherings at the fall of Sumter. .
Bryan Hall was jammed to overflowing; Metropolitan Hall was full; five thousand people were in the Court House square. Earnest, able and eloquent speakers addressed them; patriotic songs were sung; voluntary contributions poured in; by unanimous vote men asked to be taxed to meet the present emergency. The vast assemblages were moved by one common impulse.
Perhaps the most gratifying feature of these meetings was the fixed
determination that Chicago traitors must be rooted out. Let it be done, root and branch. Spare none of them, males or females. They must leave this city instantly, every traitor and every sympathizer with a traitor. . .
A prevailing characteristic of all the meetings was the unanimous and hearty approval of every sentiment favorable to the confiscation of rebel property, foraging upon the enemy, and the employment of the blacks in fighting against the rebels. Every allusion to either of the measures was greeted with thunders of applause. Every man was in favor of employing the negro upon the trenches, of arming him to fight, if necessary, and of giving him his freedom for it. These sentiments most eloquently urged by noted speakers, spoken in plain terms by common men, found a lodgment in the great popular heart, and that heart gave back a response with no uncertain sound. . . . Vox populi, vox Dei was never better exemplified. The people always loyal, always true, have indeed risen to the full appreciation of the crisis and now demand in thunder tones that every means God has placed in our hands [are] to be used for the vigorous prosecution of this war, the swift and terrible retribution of its authors. . .
Precisely at the ringing of the bells and firing of cannon, the doors of Bryan Hall were thrown open, and the immense crowd surging around the entrance rapidly poured in and filled up the hall, until every available inch of standing or sitting room was occupied. The stage, which had been handsomely decorated with flags, was reserved for the speakers, prominent citizens, the committees and the band - Barnard's Light Guard Band.
About eight o'clock the band came forward and played Hail Columbia, Star Spangled Banner, and Yankee Doodle in a manner which appealed to the patriotism of the assemblage and called out the most enthusiastic applause.
After the close of the music, Eliphalet Wood, Esq., announced the . . . officers of the evening, who were elected.
The meeting was then opened with a solemn and impressive prayer by Rev. Wm. H. Ryder, delivered amid profound silence.
Dr. O. H. Tiffany came forward amid the most prolonged applause, which continued for several minutes. He congratulated his fellowcitizens upon the character of the gathering. . . .
They were here to-night not for talk, but to provide for the removal of traitors from our homes, as well as the South; to provide means for action. . . .
We first sent 70,000 men. The South sneered at us and said, "Send five to our one and you will not have enough." We would have been wise had we done so. Then we sent 500,000 men. With the first enlistment we taught them to skedaddle, with the second the Virginia reel, and with both the "Rogue's March." Now we propose to send 300,000 to teach them to keep step to the music of the Union. Will you do it? (Cries "We will.") Casting the horoscope of the nation's future, I dare believe when the hour of victory strikes in the hearing of the nations, it will ring out the same old note the first bell of liberty sounded, proclaiming "liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants." Our first struggle was for existence; our second is for carrying liberty to all the earth. Southrons, your doom comes swiftly! A gloom of settled resolution and determination rests on every countenance in the whole land. Men think as, they never thought, feel as they never felt before, and will carry out their purposes with a fearful daring. The Southern almanacs are predicting an eclipse. That eclipse will come soon enough. God has made their sun so dark that they can see our stars in day time. Lay the stripes of our flag about traitors till they revere our stars. Say, brothers, you will be with our brave volunteers now in the field, and never lay down your arms till our flag waves triumphantly over every city and citadel in this country. (Tremendous applause.)
Hon. Robert S. Wilson was introduced amidst great cheering.
It is well known that we all cannot fight and will not fight. He had a practical proposition to make to his friends Steele, Scammon and Kinzie. They had made a great deal of money under this government. His proposition to his friends who could not fight, was substantially this He would furnish a list of all the property he had got, and he wanted the rest to do it. He would then give a deed of $200 worth of land to each of two men two straightforward, honest, sober, straighthaired men who would volunteer. He would say to all these men, your property is good for nothing if the Republic is gone. If these men who have made their thousands can't contribute, they don't deserve the protection of the government. We have lived so long prosperously that we have forgotten our benefits. If you don't give down, I don't care how much the Southerners take from you if they ever get up here.
Hon. J. Y. Scammon being called for, said: This war had already cost him $50,000, and he was willing to give $50,000 more if it was necessary. He had given his only son. He would give $1,000 to the volunteers if it was necessary. . .
Geo. C. Cook, Esq., in behalf of his firm offered $200 additional bounty to the first two men who would enlist.
J. H. McVicker, Esq., had no land except that covered by mortgages. He wanted two good men to come to him Sunday or Monday and he would give them $100 a piece, green backs.
Judge Manierre, Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, then read the following:
RESOLUTIONS. . .
Resolved, That the people of Chicago reviewing the present position of our national struggle to put down this infamous "Hell born" rebellion, against the mildest, most beneficent government, vouchsafed to man, see nothing to discourage or dampen our hopes of the ultimate triumph of our arms, and the restoration and firm establishment of our glorious constitution in every part of our country.
Resolved, That the people of Chicago having entire confidence in the ability, integrity and patriotism of our chief magistrate, do most heartily approve of his call for 300,000 men, and relying with firm and unshaken confidence in the valor and patriotism of our young men, we here solemnly pledge our city to the State, and to the nation, for our full quota of men to share with our brothers already in the field, the perils and the glory of this terrible war, waged by ambitious traitors and the dupes of their perfidy, so long as a rebel hand shall dare to desecrate our flag, the emblem of our Union, or to resist the constitutional power of the government.
Resolved, That this assembly hail with delight and satisfaction, the omens of a more energetic and vigorous policy in the prosecution of the war, and that our soldiers are to be relieved from the fatigues, exposures and privations incident to the situation, as far as possible, by the use and application of every species of property claimed by rebels, which can be made to contribute to the comfort and efficiency of our soldiers or weaken the power of our enemies; that we are firmly convinced such policy will arouse new energies and hopes in the hearts of our loyal people, and spread terror and dismay in the ranks of traitors, and will receive the approval of that God who ever giveth victory to the cause of truth and justice, without whose countenance no people can prosper, no government can stand. . . .
The President announced that J. G. Lumbard, Esq., would give a song. Mr. L. came forward and sang the Marseillaise in splendid style, the audience joining in the chorus. .
The . . . poem, entitled "Three Hundred Thousand More," was read amid great enthusiasm. . .
Col. Hough read the following resolution:
Resolved, That this meeting in mass assembled instruct the Board of Supervisors of Cook county to meet at once and vote a tax of $200,000 to be used as a bounty for the first two regiments raised in this county, and the same be paid on his enlistment and being mustered into service at the rate of $100 to each man.
Upon motion the resolution was unanimously adopted.
T. J. Sloan of Sloan's Commercial College, then took the floor, and said that he and others had already planned a regiment, and as the
spokesman he offered convertible collaterals to the amount of $25,000. He stated that two full companies were already organized and had offered themselves for the regiment, and asked all the fighting young men present to call at his commercial hall and enroll forthwith...
. . . Mr. Prior, the "heavy man of McVicker's theatre, was called for, and made a brief, business like appeal to the young men to join his company.
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 21, 1862.
78. "Voice of the Northern Women
BY PHOEBE CARY
Phoebe Cary and her sister Alice both attained distinction as writers. Phoebe, the younger sister, is remembered chiefly for her lyrics. The intense patriotism engendered by the crisis of civil war found voice in many passionate verses both north and south.. For the Cary sisters, see Mrs. M. C. (Ames) Hudson, Memorial of Alice and Phabe Cary. - Bibliography as in No. 75 above.
OUSE, freemen, the foe has arisen,
O, fathers, who sit with your children,
Would you leave them a land that is free?
And put them away from your knee.
O, brothers, we played with in childhood,
Shall trample them under his feet.
O, lovers, awake to your duty
From visions that fancy has nursed;