An Address in
Commemoration of the Re-Establishment of the National Flag at Fort
Sumter., Boardman, Reverend George
Dana, April 14, 1865,
Church of Philadelphia.
RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL FLAG
AT FORT SUMTER,
April 14, 1865.
DELIVERED IN THE MEETING-HOUSE
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA,
On the Same Day,
REVEREND GEORGE DANA BOARDMAN,
SHERMAN & CO., PRINTERS
PHILADELPHIA, April 21st, 1865
THE REV. GEORGE DANA BOARDMAN.
REVEREND AND DEAR SIR: Many of the undersigned were present at the First Baptist Church on Friday, the 14th instant, during the impressive services there held in commemoration of the re-establishment of the National Flag at Fort Sumter. Some of us were also present the following Sabbath, and on Wednesday, the 19th instant, when our joy had so suddenly been changed into mourning and our rejoicing into deep grief.
The occasion of the delivery of your noble, patriotic, and eloquent Address being the fourth anniversary of the day when the gallant Major Anderson and his brave compatriots were compelled to evacuate the Fort, and being also the day and hour when, by direction of the President of the United States, the same officer was ordered to raise the same flag over Sumter's ruined battlements,-once more in our possession,-rendered your remarks peculiarly fitting and appropriate.
Your words of cheer and hope, of joy and gratulation, stirred every heart, and they deserve to be handed down to posterity, so that future generations may know how Christians in this city felt at such a crisis in the history of our country. We believe that at a time when, even amid the sound of cannon and the smoke of our battle-fields, we can behold the dawning of Peace, such sentiments as fell from your lips should be disseminated far and wide.
The reference to our beloved President was as touching and truthful as it was eloquent, and the tribute to his eminent worth, to his nobleness of heart and integrity of purpose, is all the dearer to us now since the dastard hand of a traitor has deprived us, in our time of greatest need, of his wise counsels and safe guidance.
The addresses delivered by you last Sabbath and on the day of his funeral, when the whole country was weeping and mourning as for the death of a dearly loved parent, well deserve to be pondered over by us in our homes,-by the quiet of our firesides.
Our noble President no longer lives on earth, but he will live forever in the hearts of the people; and in all future history ABRAHAM LINCOLN will be known and revered as the Martyr President of the American Republic.
We therefore request a copy of your several Addresses for publication; and, while sorrowing at the great loss we have sustained as a Nation, we can heartily unite with you in rendering thanks to Almighty God for the gift of so pure a patriot and for the victories which have been achieved by the armies of the Union.
We remain, with sentiments of high regard,
Your brethren and fellow-citizens,
THOMAS WATTSON, WASHINGTON BUTCHER,
WM. S. HANSELL BENJAMIN BULLOCK,
JAMES POLLOCK, JOHN C. DAVIS,
HORATIO GATES JONES, CHARLES H. AUNER,
ARCH. A. MCINTYRE STEPHEN A. CALDWELL
JOSEPH W. BULLOCK EDWIN HALL,
JOSEPH F. PAGE ALEXANDER T. LANE,
H. C. HOWELL, ISAAC H. O'HARRA,
S.F. HANSELL, HENRY CLAY BUTCHER
No. 1712 VINE STREET, April, 25, 1865.
TO THOMAS WATTSON, ESQ., WILLIAM S
HON. JAMES POLLOCK, HORATIO GATES JONES, ESQ., AND OTHERS.
GENTLEMEN: Your courteous note of the 21st instant, requesting for publication the addresses delivered in the meeting-house of the First Baptist Church on the 14th, 16th, and 19th days of April, has been received.
Aware that the interest which attaches to these addresses springs altogether from the grandeur of the events which occasioned them, I accede to your generous request, feeling assured that their imperfections will be hidden in the intensity of the gloom which oppresses us all.
I am, gentlemen, with profound respect,
Your brother and townsman,
GEORGE DANA BOARDMAN.
On the night of December twenty-sixth, eighteen hundred and sixty, a sudden stir began in the historic fort of Moultrie. Men hurried to and fro, in silent haste, gathering together the rations, accoutrements, ammunition, and other movable property of the fort; gun after gun was silently spiked, and every gun-carriage burned. Last of all, the flagstaff was cut down; for the gallant Anderson had resolved that the staff which had once borne the Star-spangled Banner should never bear the accursed weight of a traitor's ensign. And then the entire garrison, numbering scarcely sixty men, crept into the boats, and, with muffled oars, under the lustrous gaze of the full moon, sped straight under the bows of the South Carolina guard-ship Nina, across the sleeping waters to the securer ramparts of Sumter. The Charleston Courier of the next day makes the following announcement: "Major Robert Anderson, U. S. A., has achieved the unenviable distinction of opening civil war between American citizens, by an act of gross breach of faith. He has, under counsels of a panic, deserted his post at Fort Moultrie, and, under false pretexts, has transferred his garrison and military stores and supplies
Come, children, leave your playing this dark and stormy night; Shut fast the rattling window-blinds, and make the fire burn bright; And hear an old man's story, while loud the fierce winds blow, Of gallant Major Anderson and fifty years ago.
After a recital of the evacuation, the scarred veteran continues:
I never can forget, my boys how the next day, at noon, The drums beat and the bands played a stirring, martial tune, And silently we gathered round the flagstaff strong and high, Forever pointing upward to God's temple in the sky.
Our noble Major Anderson was good as he was brave, And he knew without God's blessing no banner long could wave; So he knelt with head uncovered, while the chaplain made a prayer, And as the last amen was said, the flag rose high in air.
Then our loud huzzas rung out, far and widely o'er the sea! We shouted for the Stars and Stripes, the standard of the free! Every eye was fixed upon it; every heart beat warm and fast, As with eager lips we promised to defend it to the last!
'Twas a sight to be remembered, boys, the chaplain with his book, Our leader humbly kneeling, with his calm, undaunted look; And the officers and men, crushing tears they would not shed, And the blue sea all around us, and the blue sky overhead!
Three and a half months now crept away; months of gloom and terrible apprehension. I need not go into particulars; it is enough to remind you that meantime Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina followed the example of South Carolina, and deluded themselves with the idea that, because they had passed ordinances of secession, they had voted themselves out of the Union. The halls of Congress echoed with the infamous valedictories of senators and representatives, never, I trust in God, to enter those halls again, save as prisoners, to be impeached of high treason before the nation's judgment bench. One bright scene alone relieved the darkness of this horrible panorama; it was when the Old Public Functionary, nervously swinging between the God of his fathers and the Baal of slaveholding treason, on the fourth of March yielded the chair of Washington to God's anointed champion of American freemen, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, crowned by the Grace of God and the National Will
During these three months and a half, Fort Sumter was closely besieged. The South Carolina insurgents had strengthened the armament of Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney, and erected many new batteries, so as to place Sumter under the fire of nearly three-fourths of a circle, mounting one hundred and forty guns in all, many of them of very heavy calibre, while the besieging host numbered seven thousand. They had also cut off all supplies, so that the garrison was almost reduced to the point of starvation. On the eighth of April they learned that Government was about to relieve the garrison by sending supplies and reinforcements. You will be interested, doubtless, if I recall to you some of the correspondence which then took place. It is historic.
MONTGOMERY, ALA., April 10, 1861.
"TO GENERAL P. G. T. BEAUREGARD,
"If you have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent who communicated to you the intention of the Washington Government to supply Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its evacuation; and, if this is refused, proceed in such a manner as you may determine, to reduce it.
" L. P. WALKER,
"Secretary of War."
CHARLESTON, S.C., April 10, 1861.
"TO HON. L.P. WALKER,
"Secretary of War.
"The demand will be made to-morrow at twelve o'clock.
" P. G. T. BEAUREGARD."
"HEADQUARTERS PROVISIONAL ARMY C.S.A.,
CHARLESTON, S.C., April 11, 1861, 2 P.M.
"To MAJOR ROBERT ANDERSON,
"Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C.
"SIR: The Government of the Confederate States have hitherto forborne from any hostile demonstration against Fort Sumter, in the hope that the Government of the United States, with a view to the amicable adjustment of all questions between the two Governments, and to avert the calamities of war, would voluntarily evacuate it . . . . . . But the Confederate States can no longer delay assuming actual possession of a fortification commanding the entrance to one of our harbors, and necessary to its defense and security.
"I am, therefore, ordered by the Government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with arms and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may select...My aids, Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee, will, for a reasonable time, await your answer.
"I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"P. G. T. BEAUREGARD,
"HEADQUARTERS, FORT SUMTER, S.C.,
April 11, 1861.
"To BRIGADIER GENERAL P. G. T. BEAUREGARD.
"GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor and of my obligations to my Government prevent my compliance. Thanking you for the fair, manly, and courteous terms proposed, I am, General,
"Very respectfully, your obedient
Major U. S. Army, Commanding."
HEADQUARTERS PROVISIONAL ARMY
"CHARLESTON, April 11, 1861, 11 P. M.
"Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston, S. C.
"MAJOR: In consequence of the verbal observations made by you to my aids, Messrs. Chesnut and Lee, in relation to the condition of
"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"P. G. T. BEAUREGARD."
"HEADQUARTERS, FORT SUMTER, S.C.,
2.30 A.M., April 12, 1861.
TO BRIGADIER-GENERAL P.G.T. BEAUREGARD.
"GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your second communication of the 11th inst., by Colonel Chesnut, and to state, in reply, that, cordially uniting with you in the desire to avoid the useless effusion of blood, I will, if provided with the proper and necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter by noon on the 15th inst., should I not receive, prior to that time, controlling instructions from my Government, or additional supplies; and that I will not, in the mean time, open my fire upon your forces, unless compelled to do so by some hostile act against this fort, or against the flag of my Government by the forces under your command, or by some portion of them, or by the perpetration of some act showing a hostile intention on your part against this fort, or the flag it bears. I have the honor to be, General,
"Your obedient servant,
"Major U. S. Army, Commanding."
You see from this correspondence just how matters stood. Major Anderson frankly states to the insurgents that, in consequence of the extreme scarcity of provisions in the fort, he would be compelled in all events to evacuate by noon of April 15th, unless supplies for the garrison should meantime arrive. Now observe the mad, atrocious haste
FORT SUMTER, S.C., April 12, 1861, 3.20 A.M
"SIR: By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time."
In an hour the bombardment commenced. O, my countrymen! what a scene then opened! I do not wonder that they did not wait till the sun rose, dreading to have that burning eye of God witness the inauguration of the dreadful fratricidal massacre. Fiercely thundered for thirty-four hours the balls of one hundred and forty guns against the walls of the doomed fortress, and fiercely replied from rampart and casemate the guns of the little patriot band. It was a most gallant defence. Human powers could do no more. But it was all in vain. And from the steamship Baltic, off Sandy Hook, April 18,1861, the heroic Anderson sent the following stirring despatch to Mr. Cameron, then Secretary of War:
"SIR: Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge wall seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames, and its doors closed from the effects of the heat, four barrels and
"Major First Artillery."
Since then four years, I could almost say four centuries, have rolled away. O God! what years of national humiliation and agony have they been! Verily, Thou hast given us the bread of affliction to eat and the cup of tears to drink. Thou hast led us by way of the wilderness and the desert, through rivers of blood, and hast laid us down in the hospital, the dungeon, and the unslabbed grave. But all glory be to Thee! God of our fathers! Thou hast never deserted us. If, for a small moment Thou didst seem to hide Thy face from us, it was only that with greater mercies Thou mightest gather us together again. Thou hast gone forth with our hosts in the day of battle. Thy pillar of cloud has led us by day, and Thy pillar of fire by night. And when, at times, the national heart has grown faint, and we have felt that all was lost, Thou hast renewed before our eyes the vision of the Hebrew Seer, and permitted us to behold on every side, swarming over every hilltop and through every valley, Thy chariots and steeds of fire bounding to our deliverance. And now Thou hast brought us to see the day for which heroes have fought and sighed and prayed and died. Thou hast girded on Thy sword, O Most Mighty! and led us forth conquering and to conquer, till now we see this Confederacy, born of the pit, cloven in
"Sing, then, unto the Lord a new song,
For He hath done marvellous things;
His right hand and His holy arm
Hath gotten Him the victory!
Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like unto Thee, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders
Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power!
Thy right hand, O Jehovah, has dashed in pieces the enemy!
Thou hast sent out Thine arrows, and scattered them!
Thou hast shot out Thy lightnings, and discomfited them!
So let all Thine enemies perish, O Jehovah!"
To-day we have met to celebrate this great victory. "But why," you ask me, "do you select this particular day, rather than that, for instance, which commemorates the fall of Richmond, or the surrender of Lee?" For this simple reason: The National Flag is the symbol of the National Authority. It so thoroughly represents and even incarnates to the popular heart the Government of which it is the symbol, that wherever the flag is, there the Government itself
What now are some of the lessons which the scene transpiring to-day at Fort Sumter teaches the ages?
The first is this: The American Republic is not a league, but a nation; not a confederacy, but a people; not a congeries of States, but a Union; being in fact the United States, which is but another name for the American State. This question has long been a matter for grave meditation among political thinkers. But now it has been decided in the crimson court of war. That decision is this: The American Union is a vital, organic nationality, pervaded by a common life, which binds together in indissoluble union each and every member, thus making the whole absolutely ONE. The Union is no mere series of States, joined to each other by no organic bond, simply touching each other like the grains of silex in a sand-box. Neither is the Union some vast polyp, as many seem to imagine, capable of division and subdivision, and still thriving on, each fragment becoming the centre of a new life. But the American Union is a vital, throbbing, indivisible organism; so that secession is something more than subtraction, or even amputation: it is vivisection, suicide, murder, a death as real as that proposed in King Solomon's order for bisecting the child brought before him for adjudication.
Another lesson which the scene now transpiring at Fort Sumter teaches, is one which is addressed to foreign nations. Democracy has been on trial, and we see the result. When we take into consideration the awful magnitude of the rebellion, gaining more and more of stupendousness as time revealed more and more of its colossal proportions; when we recall the long continuance of this painful, desolating war, the hopes long deferred, and the terrible defeats which ever and anon have befallen our arms; when we take into consideration the oppressive burdens of taxation, and the enormous rise of prices; when we remember the forebodings of oft-repeated and merciless conscriptions; when we reflect that every widow who has lost a husband, and every parent a child, and every family a member, has been tempted to call in question the justice of the administration and the righteousness of the war; when we remember how sensitive the Americans, sons of revolutionary fathers, are to the slightest encroachments on their personal rights as citizens, and then recall the sonorous and everlasting oratory about constitutional rule, and arbitrary arrests, and military despotism, and star-chamber courts, and the ambitious schemes of the chief magistrate; when we remember how every city and hamlet of the North has been infected with discontented men, secretly sympathizing with the insurrection, and doing their utmost to discourage the people and paralyze the Government; when we remember that thousands and tens of thousands of men have been secretly banded together as Knights of the Golden Circle, or as Sons of Liberty, for the atrocious purpose of making organized resistance to the powers that be; when we re-
Thoughts crowd upon me; but I must not detain you with them. The occasion is too simple for argument, too self-suggesting and exultant for explanation. Yet I cannot forbear alluding to a point which the swift rush of events is forcing on our attention. "What shall be done," you ask me, "with the insurgents in this hour of our triumph?" A grave, perplexing, baffling question this. I implore you, fellow citizens, to answer it calmly, with generous regard for those who may differ from you. Learn caution, considerateness, generosity, from our noble, thoughtful, sagacious, far-sighted, inflexibly just, magnanimous Chief Magistrate. He who, with the blessing of the God of hosts, has safely brought us through the wilderness to the Jordan, will, with the same blessing, provide some means by which we shall cross the Jordan itself, into the promised land. Unquestionably, if ever the halter was a fit instrument for ridding the earth of monsters, it is in the case of these murderous, fiendish traitors, who inaugurated and guided this colossal and gory treason. But let us be careful how we permit these miscreants to become martyrs. The veriest caitiff that ever cowered beneath the majesty of the law may gather around him the semblance of heroism, if you
But while I would thus sternly dispose of the leaders and arch-conspirators, I would speak words of forgiveness and
In conclusion, I congratulate you, my countrymen, of the bright portents which are gilding the horizon. Watch man! what of the night? Watchman! what of the night?
---Dipt into the future, far as human eye could
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro' the thunder-storm;
Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
Then shall dawn that blessed era, foretold by seers of every time, and sighed for by holy men of every clime, when all men's good shall
Be each man's rule, and universal Peace
Lie like a shaft of light across the land,
And like a lane of beams athwart the sea,
Through all the circle of the Golden Year.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end!
At the request of numerous friends, the Order of Services observed on the 14th inst. is subjoined.
ORDER OF SERVICES.
I. THE LORD'S PRAYER.
II. TE DEUM LAUDAMUS.
III. READING FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
THE TRIUMPHAL SONG OF DEBORAH IN COMMEMORATION OF THE HEBREW VICTORY OVER THE CANAANITISH CONFEDERACY, 1300 B.C.
Thus sang Deborah and Barak, Son of Abinoam,
In the day of victory thus they sang:
For the avenging of Israel,
For the free self-offering of the people,
Praise ye Jehovah!
Hear, O ye kings! Give ear, ye Princes!
I to Jehovah, even I will lift the song,
I will sound the harp to Jehovah, God of Israel.
O Jehovah! when Thou wentest forth from Seir,
When Thou marchest through the fields of Edom,
Quaked the earth, and poured the heavens,
Yea, the clouds poured down with water;
Before Jehovah's face the mountains melted,
Sinai itself before Jehovah's face,
The God of Israel.
In the days of Shamgar, Son of Anath,
In Jael's days, untrodden were the highways;
Through the winding by-path stole the traveller;
Upon the plains lay the deserted hamlets,
Till I, Deborah, arose,
Till I arose, a mother in Israel.
They chose gods that were new;
Then war was in all their gates;
Shield was there none or spear
Among forty thousand sons of Israel.
My soul is yours, ye chiefs of Israel!
And ye, the self-devoted of the people,
Ye that ride on white-dappled she asses,
Ye that sit to judge on rich carpets,
Ye that plod in the way,
Come meditate the song!
From amidst the shouting of the dividers of the spoils,
Between the water-troughs and by the springing wells,
There let them rehearse the righteous acts of Jehovah,
The righteous acts of His headship in Israel,
And let the thronged gates repeat the song!
Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead captive thy captives,
Thou son of Abinoam!
THE GATHERING TO THE RENDEZVOUS.
With Barak went down a valiant force against the mighty;
With me, Deborah, went down Jehovah's people against the strong;
First: Ephraim, from the Mount of Amalek;
And after Ephraim the hosts of Benjamin;
From Machir came down lawgivers;
From Zebulun those that bear the marshal's staff;
And Issachar's brave princes came with Deborah,
Issachar, the strength of Barak;
They burst into the valley in his footsteps.
By Reuben's fountains there was deep debating;
Why sattest thou between the sheepfolds?
Was it to hear the piping of the flocks?
By Reuben's fountains deep were the searchings of the heart;
And Gilead beyond the Jordan lingered;
And Dan, why dwelled he among his ships?
Asher reposed on the shore of the sea,
And in his harbors dwelt.
But Zebulun was a death-defying people,
And Naphtali on the high places of the field.
Came the kings and fought,
Fought the kings of Canaan
By Taanach, on Megiddo's waters;
Gain of silver took they not.
From the heavens they fought;
The stars from their courses
Fought against Sisera;
The torrent Kishon swept them down,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
Trample down, O my soul, their might!
Then stamped the clattering hoofs of prancing horses
At the flight, at the flight of the mighty.
Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of Jehovah;
Curse ye with a curse the inhabitants thereof;
Because they came not to the help of Jehovah,
To the help of Jehovah, with the heroes!
Blessed above women be Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite,
O'er all the women blessed, that dwell in tents!
Water he asked, milk she gave,
The curded milk in her costliest bowl.
Her hand she stretched out to the tent-pin,
And her right hand to the hammer of the workmen.
Then Sisera she smote, she clove his head,
She bruised, she pierced his temples;
Between her feet he bowed: he fell: he lay:
Between her feet he bowed: he fell:
Where he bowed, there he fell dead.
THE MOTHER OF SISERA.
Through the window stretched forth and lamented
The mother of Sisera through the lattice;
"Why is his car so long in coming?
Wherefore tarry the wheels of his chariots?"
The wise ones of her princesses answer,
Yea, she repeats their answer to herself:
"Surely they are finding, are dividing the prey;
One damsel, two damsels for each hero;
To Sisera prey of divers colors,
A many-colored robe, and richly broidered,
Many-colored, and broidered round the neck!"
So perish all Thine enemies, O Jehovah!
But they that love Thee,
Are as the sun, when he goes forth in his might.
IV. SINGING, NATIONAL HYMN.-"My country, 'tis of thee."
V. PRAYER-BY REV. THOMAS H. STOCKTON, D.D.
VI. SINGING, THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER.
VII. ADDRESS-BY THE PASTOR.
VIII. SINGING, BATTLE-HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC.-"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
IX. BENEDICTION-BY REV. J. NEWTON BROWN, D.D.