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gles as that which ended in ensuring independence to Cuba, and in giving to the Philippines a freedom to which they could never have attained had we permitted them to fall into anarchy or under tyranny. It was a pleasant thing to see the way in which men came forward from every walk of life, from every section of the country, as soon as the call to arms occurred. The need was small and easily met, and not one in a hundred of the ardent young fellows who pressed forward to enter the army had a chance to see any service whatever. But it was good to see that the spirit of '61 had not been lost. Perhaps the best feature of the whole movement was the eagerness with which men went into the ranks, anxious only to serve their country and to do their share of the work without regard to anything in the way of reward or position; for, gentlemen, it is upon the efficiency of the enlisted man, upon the way he does his duty, that the efficiency of the whole army really depends, and the prime work of the officer is, after all, only to develop, foster, and direct the good qualities of the men under him.
Well, this rush into the ranks not only had a very good side, but also at times an amusing side. I remember one characteristic incident which occurred on board one of our naval vessels. Several of these vessels were officered and manned chiefly from the naval militia of the different States, the commander
and executive officer and a few veterans here and there among the crew being the only ones that came from the regular service. The naval militia contained every type of man, from bankers with a taste for yachting to longshoremen, and they all went in and did their best. But of course it was a little hard for some of them to adjust themselves to their surroundings. One of the vessels in question, toward the end of the war, returned from the Spanish Main and anchored in one of our big ports. Early one morning a hard-looking and seemingly rather dejected member of the crew was engaged in “squeegeeing" the quarter-deck, when the captain came up and, noticing a large and handsome yacht near by (I shall not use the real name of the yacht), remarked to himself: "I wonder what boat that is?” The man with the squeegee touched his cap and said in answer: “The Dawn, sir.” “How do you know that?" quoth the captain, looking at him. “Because I own her, sir," responded the man with the squeegee, again touching his cap; and the conversation ended.
Now, it was a first-rate thing for that man himself to have served his trick, not merely as the man behind the gun, but as the man with the squeegee; and is was a mighty good thing for the country that he should do it. In our volunteer regiments we had scores of enlisted men of independent means serving under officers many of whom were dependent for their daily bread upon the work of their hands or brain from month to month. It was a good thing for both classes to be brought together on such terms. It showed that we of this generation had not wholly forgotten the lesson taught by you who fought to a finish the great Civil War. And there is no danger to the future of this country just so long as that lesson is remembered in all its bearings, civil and military.
Your history, rightly studied, will teach us the time-worn truth that in war, as in peace, we need chiefly the every-day, commonplace virtues, and above all, an unflagging sense of duty. Yet in dwelling upon the lessons for our ordinary conduct which we can learn from your experience, we must never forget that it also shows us what should be our model in times that are not ordinary, in the times that try men's souls. We need to have within us the splendid heroic virtues which alone avail in the mighty crises, the terrible catastrophes whereby a nation is either purified as if by fire, or else consumed forever in the flames. When you of the Civil War sprang forward at Abraham Lincoln's call to put all that life holds dear, and life itself, in the scale with the nation's honor, you were able to do what you did because you had in you not only the qualities that make good citizens, but in addition the high and intense traits, the deep passion and enthusiasm, which go to make up those heroes who are fit to deal with iron days. We can never as a nation afford to forget that, back of our reason, our understanding, and our commonsense, there must lie, in full strength, the tremendous fundamental passions, which are not often needed, but which every truly great race must have as a well-spring of motive in time of need.
I shall end by quoting to you in substance certain words from a minister of the gospel, a most witty man, who was also a philosopher and a man of profound wisdom, Sydney Smith:
“The history of the world shows us that men are not to be counted by their numbers, but by the fire and vigor of their passions; by their deep sense of injury; by their memory of past glory; by their eagerness for fresh fame; by their clear and steady resolution of either ceasing to live, or of achieving a particular object, which, when it is once formed, strikes off a load of manacles and chains, and gives free space to all heavenly and heroic feelings. All great and extraordinary actions come from the heart. There are seasons in human affairs when qualities, fit enough to conduct the common business of life, are feeble and useless, when men must trust to emotion for that safety which reason at such times can never give. These are the feelings which led the ten thousand over the Carduchian mountains; these are the feelings by which a handful of Greeks broke in
pieces the power of Persia; and in the fens of the Dutch and in the mountains of the Swiss these feelings defended happiness and revenged the oppressions of man! God calls all the passions out in their keenness and vigor for the present safety of mankind, anger and revenge and the heroic mind, and a readiness to suffer—all the secret strength, all the invisible array of the feelings—all that nature has reserved for the great scenes of the world. When the usual hopes and the common aids of man are all gone, nothing remains under God but those passions which have often proved the best ministers of His purpose and the surest protectors of the world.”..