« AnteriorContinuar »
was detailed by Col. Jones, of the Sixth Regiment, for that purpose. He left Washington on Monday, arriving at Baltimore the same evening, and received the bodies from City Marshal Kane, in whose charge they were. No objection was made by any of the authorities of the city, and he left there Tuesday morning and came directly to Boston. Mr. Wright did not see the bodies, as the coffins had not been opened since they were put in, and could say nothing concerning the truth of the statement that they had been mutilated.
The bodies were placed upon biers which had been prepared, and each being covered by an American flag, they were borne into the street, where the Cadets had formed in line, and presented arms, while the band played “Pleyel's Hymn," and all the spectators stood reverentially with uncovered heads. The clouds, which had before darkened the heavens, broke suddenly away, and the sun looked down brightly upon the scene where thousands of citizens had gathered with sorrowful hearts to receive the bodies of the martyrs from Massachusetts who fell in the cause of government and law. Hearses were in attendance, in which the coffins were placed, and, surrounded by the Cadets, they moved slowly from the depot. The Governor and the gentlemen who accompanied him, with Mr. Wright, who had the bodies in charge, followed in carriages. The military marched with arms reversed, and the band played solemn dirges as the funeral cortege passed along the streets, which were crowded with people, all preserving a religious silence. The procession passed through Washington Street to West, and thence up Tremont to the State House, over the same spot as that on which they stood but two weeks before and received the banner in defence of which they had fought so bravely. No halt was made until, marching down Beacon Street, they reached King's Chapel, at the corner of School and Tremont Streets, in the vault of which the remains were
deposited, with the same ceremonies which had characterized their reception at the depot.
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, COUNCIL CHAMBER,
Hon. B. C. Sergeant, Mayor of Lowell:
SIR: Mr. Merrill S. Wright, of Lowell, arrived at Boston this afternoon at five o'clock, in charge of the remains of those Massachusetts men who fell at Baltimore on the 19th of April. I met these relics of our brave and patriotic soldiers at the Worcester Railroad depot, accompanied by my military staff and the Executive Council, where we took them in charge, and, under the escort of the corps of Independent Cadets, bore them through our streets, thronged by sympathizing citizens, and placed them in the "Vassall" tomb beneath the ancient King's Chapel, at the corner of Tremont and School Streets. There they remain, subject to the orders of those friends who have the right to decide their final disposition. But it would be most grateful to the Executive Department, in coöperation with those nearest to the lamented dead, to assist in the last funeral honors to their memory; and I should be pleased to meet you and the Mayor of Lawrence and the Selectmen of Stoneham, as soon as you may convene them, at the State House, to consider the arrangements suitable to the occasion.
I am, yours respectfully,
JOHN A. ANDREW, Governor.
During the passage of the procession through the streets the flags on the City Hall and at other points were displayed at half-mast; and several stores on Washington Street-Macullar, Williams & Parker, Kinmonth & Co., George Turnbull & Co., H. M. Smith, Raymond & Cary, G. W. Warren & Co., Washington Building, Shreve, Brown & Co., Williams & Everett, and others—
were draped in black, and showed other emblems of mourning.
The American flag was raised on the steeple of the Old South Church, Boston, with appropriate ceremonies.
The steam transport Cambridge sailed with supplies for the Massachusetts troops at Fort Monroe, Annapolis and Washington, and about one hundred and fifty troops for the seat of war, including Captain Dodd's company of Rifles, nineteen recruits for the New Bedford City Guards at Fort Monroe, ten men for the Taunton Light Guard, and forty-two recruits for Company K, Third Regiment, stationed at Fort Monroe. She carried, in addition to the volunteer troops, a squad of twelve picked men, from the United States Marine corps, to act as a permanent guard to the steamer. The troops were supplied with forty thousand rounds of musket and rifle cartridges, and ammunition for the rifled cannon and broadside guns. The troops, glowing with health and youthful enthusiasm, were in the best possible spirits, and, as the steamer glided into the stream, returned with hearty cheers the parting salutations of their friends. When fairly clear of the wharf, a salute was fired from a heavy broadside gun.
Governor Buckingham, of Connecticut, in his message, recommends an efficient State militia; says that forty-one volunteer companies have already been accepted, and the Fifth Regiment will soon be full; that all parties are acting in harmony on the question; and, referring to the attitude of the South, he remarks :—
"The alternative of submitting to their claims, or to the overthrow of the government, is now presented. The issue is forced upon us, and must be met; not by cowardice and humble subserviency to usurped authority, but by firmness corresponding with the magnitude of the interests at hazard, and in a spirit that shall vindicate the insulted majesty of a nation. The sceptre of authority must be upheld, and allegiance secured. It is no time to
make concession to rebels, or parley with men in arms. We must make no sacrifices of principles vital to freedom, and no indecent haste for conciliation and peace. God makes haste slowly.'
"This is the day of our trial. Freedom and despotism, republicanism and absolutism, civilization and religion, from every corner of this earth, are watching with intense interest, as we vibrate between law and anarchy.
"But indifferent or disloyal we cannot be. Fail or falter we shall not. Through and beyond the clouds and darkness of the present I think I see a bright and glorious future. I hear, too, above the roar and shock of battle, prophetic voices — voices of the patriot dead, who fell at Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill, and on every bloody field of the Revolution. They bid us look over this broad land, with its teeming millions, and all its wealth of prosperity, and to remember that it is the purchase of their blood. What they did for themselves, their children, and us, their children's children, they call on us to do for ourselves and ours. The liberties they conquered have been to us a proud heritage of freedom and national renown for more than three-quarters of a century. Be it ours to reconquer those liberties, and, by the blessing of God, transmit them, unimpaired, as a priceless legacy to those who come after us.
END OF VOL. I.