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We face the future, not in a spirit of bravado, but in a spirit of deliberation, with the nc ble temper- of mind exhibited by the President the other day when he said, “I have no light or knowledge not common to my countrymen.” I do not prophecy, but I look forward to a tíme when the people of the Philippines will bless the American Nation because it emancipated and redeemed their fatherland, and set then in the pathway of the world's best civilization. [Applause.]
Although, as I understood it, my theme to-night was the volunteer soldier, I cannot stop without paying a passing tribute to he regula · soldier. [Applause.) They are only permanent, instead of temporary volunteers; they .enter the army from choice, not from compulsion. They did their work so magnificently, with such fidelity and devotion, as to command our lasting gratitude and admiration. [Applause.) We are too apt to overlook what they do, to accept their services as a matter of course; and yet, by their steadiness and coolness, they iníused courage in the less experienced men, often snatching victory from defeat and turning what might have been a rout into a triumph. (Applause.)
Our war with Spain has enlarged, enriched and glorified the republic. It has given those who engaged in it a broader outlook on life. They have visited new lands, and formed new associations, personal as well as patriotic ties; they have touched men shoulder to shoulder in the sacred comradeship of danger; have seen heroes die with a smile on their lips because they were dying for country; and with faith serene and courage sublime they will perform their part more worthily as citizens of a greater Republic. It has proved the heredity of courage; that the priceless legacy of heroism has been transmitted from the time of Alfred to that of McKinley; that the young men of to-day are as highminded as was Sir Philip Sidney and as brave as was Sir Walter Raleigh in the age of Elizabeth. It has established a new diplomacy, substituting frankness for indirection, concealment and subterfuge. It has created a new chivalry, whose knight errants do not sally forth to gratify the him or the caprice of some lady fair, who dwells in the seclusion of some castle, but in which princess and knight go hand in hand, he to strike the sturdy blow that will right a real wrong, she to bind up his wounds and comfort and console him. [Applause.] It has stimulated the imagination in raising us out of our isolation and revealing to us an America which is henceforth to be in touch with world motions, an America destined as we believe to do a noble work in the civilization of the race.
We are beginning to realize that a strong and powerful people have duties to perform as well as privileges to enjoy; that our highest concern is not with the amassment of wealth or with the increase of physical comforts, but in the consecration of all our energies to the service of mankind; that our neighbor is any one in distress; that the national boundaries are not the limits of human sympathy. Whenever we have
been in danger of relapsing into materialism, or becoming a Nation of hucksters and traders given up to buying and selling stocks and bonds, and department stores, God, in his mysterious way, has placed his finger upon us and shown us that we were capable of a higher destiny. For over thirty years we had lain fallow in the surrows of peace. We had astonished the world by our industrial activity. We had grown in wealth. Travelers from other countries had deep forebodings as to our future. They wrote books in which they magnified all our shortcomings—and they are many—and minimized all of our virtues, which are not few. (Laughter.] Last May, however, demonstrated that in all the essential qualities which go to make up a true manhood the American of to-day is as strong and vigorous as was the American a hundred, or fifty, or thirty years ago. It was reserved for the close of the nineteenth century to reveal to the world a strong people going to war, not for conquest or pillage, not in a spirit of revenge, not because of any wrong they themselves had suffered, but on account of the cruelties and barbarities inflicted on others. The soldiers in such a war were the forerunners of universal peace, showing that the brotherhood of man is less of a dream and more of a reality as we greet the dawn of a new century than it has ever been before in the history of the world.
Our fathers' God, from whose hand
Oh! keep Thou us through centuries long,
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Solo, "Star Spangled Banner" by Mrs. W. L. Wilson. [Applause.]
The audience joins in the chorus.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. “The Work of the Sailor in the War.” I have the honor of presenting to the audience tonight the Honorable Hilary A. Herbert, former Secretary of the Navy. [Applause.]
Daughters of the American Revolution, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is my pleasant task this evening to speak of the part played by the American sailor in our recent war; and I shall have a sympathetic audience, especially among those who have done me the kindness to extend this invitation, for the Daughters of the American Revolution are bound to the American sailor by many strong ties. Some of you hold places in your association because you have traced your lineage back directly to the heroes who began on the ocean the battle for freedom long before the flag of our country was afloat. But you can go still farther back, ladies, and trace your ancestry, all of you, to the sailor man. The progenitors of your ancestors, of the men who fought at Concord and Lexington, at Saratoga, at the Cowpens and King's Mountain and Yorktown, were sea-going people, living by the sea and many of them on the sea, sea-kings away back in the immemorial past. In the North Sea, in the Channel and along the Atlantic coast of Europe, in the earliest dawn of history they were battling with wind and wave and enemies' ships, training the forefathers of those who braved the dangers of the wide ocean to settle in the wilderness at Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, New Amsterdam and Wilmington. From such an ancestry came the nerve, the endurance, the inflexible purpose of those who fought the battles of the Revolution on land and
It is no marvel, then, that the American should have distinguished himself as a sailor when opportunity offered, in every war in which his country was engaged. It is but another illustration of the fable of the giant Antaeus. In struggling with Hercules, the giant gathered new strength whenever his feet touched his mother earth. So the American is always at his best when his feet stand upon the deck of merchant ship or man of war. He is a sailor by heredity. Glance back for a moment at a few of the deeds that illumine as beacon lights the career of this sailor. See Somers in the war with the Barbary pirates, sailing his dreadful fire-ship by night into that harbor from which no one ever returned to tell the tale of that awful explosion. Look, in the War of 1812, at Isaac Hull, in the "Constitution" battling with the “Guerriere;” at Perry, on Lake Erie; at McDonough, on Champlain, and at men and officers on the seas everywhere covering the flag of their country with imperishable honors in that unequal contest with Great Britain, the mistress of the ocean.
Look again at the sailor in our Civil War; on the Union side, at Cushing blowing up the “Albemarle,” with almost superhuman daring; at Farragut, lashed to the mast of his flag-ship as it rode into Mobile Bay over torpedoes and through a storm of shot and shell; then look on the Confederate side, at Buchanan, in that same battle, with the ram "Tennessee" bravely endeavoring to contend with the whole Union feet; follow the five Confederate crews of men volunteering to go down to what proved to be death, one after another, in a little fish torpedo boat, one of these crews at Mobile and the other four in Charleston harbor; and see the last of these brave crews sinking, as they themselves went down into their graves in the ocean, the great “Housatonic.” Then glance at the ever memorable contest in Hampton Roads between the “Merrimac” on one side and the “Mo or" on the other. American had met American. They repeated the old, old story of valor, while they were astonishing the world by new lessons in the construction of ships.
These are but typical exploits of our sailor in the past. His courage has been always and everywhere the same, and his enterprise and his genius in the building and handling of ships have always kept pace with the progress of our great country as she marched forward to her place in the van-guard of the nations.
Just a third of a century had elapsed between Appomattox and the beginning of our war with Spain—thirty-three years of uninterrupted peace—thirty-three years during which our Navy was quietly and unostentatiously policing the seas, protecting our commerce and the rights of citizens where local authorities were unable or unwilling to protect them.
During this uneventful period the question began to be asked, is the American sailor up to date? Among those who knew the care that is taken in the selection and training of our officers, and the manner in which our enlisted men are chosen and disciplined, there planned or approved by one or more naval officers, in the Bureau of Construction the lines and the general make-up of the ship, in the Bureau of Engineering the engines, in the Bureau of Ordnance the armor, guns, gun-carriages and ammunition, in the Bureau of Equipment anchors, chains and electric lights. If our Navy was ready for the war with Spain, it was because naval officers, with the help, of course, of experienced shipbuilders and under the general direction of the head of the Navy, made the preparations. We were not as ready as we might have been. Congress had not given as much money as had been asked for reserve ammunition and reserve guns, but from the beginning of our new Navy every ship as it was put afloat has been supplied with ammunition to fit it for battle. An American ship in commission is a ship on a war footing.
a moment's doubt. So strict are the examinations for entrance and so rigid are the requirements at the Naval Academy that scarcely more than one-fourth of those selected for examination are able to graduate into the Navy. It is the survival of the fittest. These men coming from every district of the Union, thus selected, constitute the bulk of our officers to-day. With them stand officers who won their places by gallantry and distinguished ability in the Civil War. With them also stand as officers of the Navy men who by their skill and genius have entitled themselves to the highest rank as constructors of ships and builders and planners of engines. Then there are marines, splendidly officered, perfect in drill, skilled in marksmanship, the men who, landing first on Cuban soil, took and held Guantanamo with a courage and constancy that attracted the admiration of the soldiers of the nations. The type of the marine is Sergeant Anthony, who instantly upon the explosion of the "Maine,” amid the indescribable horrors of that awful moment, calmly reported with a salute to Captain Sigsbee, "Sir, the Maine' has exploded and the ship is sinking.” And to these Jackie, our unconquerable tar, the man who never fails at the engine, at the tiller or at his guns, and you have the personnel of our Navy, and the flag of no country ever waved over a more splendid body of men. But officers and men and courage and skill at sea, and even genius, are worth nothing without ships and guns. What has the personnel done for the material of our Navy? This: Every detail of our ships, engines, guns and ammunition was
It has often been urged as an objection to a large Navy that the ambition of naval officers might endanger the peace of the country.
The Navy did not bring on the Spanish-American War-it took no part in the controversy, but stood by ready to carry out the policy of the Government, whatever that might be. Every bureau and every officer was on the alert. When Dewey was making ready to sail if need be to Manila he was furnished with extra supplies of ammunition, with extra provisions, with coal, with extra medicines and surgical supplies, was authorized to buy a transport and stock it with everything needful. When all was ready then came orders from the far-seeing Secretary, who is now the head of Navy, "Seek the Spanish fleet at Manila and capture or destroy it."
And now stood forth the great commander, George Dewey. His will was henceforth to control, his genius was to direct. He might have stopped to reduce the forts at Corregidor and El Fraile, but he chose to pass by them in the night time unharmed. He might have come at once to close quarters and have ended the battle in half an hour, but he chose to fight at such a distance as would give the greatest advantage to the superior coolness and marksmanship of his gunners. The Spaniards had modern ships and modern guns from the best ship-yards and work-shops of Italy, France and England; they had more men than Dewey, and with the guns in their forts, which were aiding them, they were undoubtedly the superior force, but Dewey sank the whole Spanish fleet without the loss of a man. The battle was decisive; it sealed the fate of the Philippines. We had only to send an army if we desired to occupy them.
The Navy had freed our commerce on the Pacific from all fear of the enemy. Our merchant vessels might therefore pursue their ways in peace anywhere in the broad waters of that ocean. In the future, and I trust at no distant day, some great artist is to paint a picture of the beautiful Bay of Manila on that bright morning in May. He will paint the Spanish men of war in battle array, belching forth fire, the smoke curling from the guns in the forts, the American ships