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ADDRESS IN BEHALF UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERANS.
CAPT. J. F. SHIPP, COMMANDER OF N. B. FORREST CAMP CONFEDERATE VETERANS.
M R. CHAIRMAN, Visiting Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Through the kindness of the local committee having in charge this 11 reception in honor of our distinguished visitors from Pennsylvania, Colonel Garnett Andrews was to have delivered the address of welcome on the part of N. B. Forrest Camp.
I have been absent from the city for some time and did not know until late this afternoon that on account of the sickness of Colonel Andrews I had been selected to take his place on this most delightful occasion.
By reason of the short notice, lack of preparation and the lateness of the hour my remarks will be brief, but I assure you most cordial and hearty.
Were I prepared to make a speech I should find myself embarrassed in attempting to do so after listening to the fraternal and patriotic addresses of Governor Hastings, General Stewart and General Gobin. Indeed it yould be unjust to this intelligent audience for me to mar the beautiful sentiments so eloquently expressed by those gentlemen.
However it gives me great pleasure to speak a word of welcome as the Commander of N. B. Forrest Camp of Confederate Veterans and extend to you a most cordial greeting and a most hearty welcome to this historic city made sacred by patriotic blood and famous by American valor.
I reflect the sentiments of my comrades when I say we commend your people and your noble Governor for their generous commemoration of their fallen heroes and their greatful appreciation of their surviving veterans. It is the highest evidence of a patriotic citizenship.
In conclusion I wish to state N. B. Forrest Camp is keeping open house in honor of our visiting comrades and friends. You are all cordially invited to call at our rooms No. 9 East Eighth street, any time from 9.30 in the morning to 10.30 at night. You will find a committee from the camp in attendance to meet and welcome you.
Col. L. T. DICKINSON, ADJ. OF N. B. FORREST CAMP, CONFEDERATE Veterans.
MOMRADES of Pennsylvania:-I wish to add a word to the welcome
extended to you by my comrade of N. B. Forrest Camp. We are
pleased to have you with us, and we will endeavor while you are here to make your visit pleasant, and if we succeed it will afford us much pleasure.
When you came to visit us thirty odd years ago we met you, and don't you forget it, we never failed to meet you, and we have no complaint to make of you on that score either, and we gave you the best we had in the shop. To-day we meet you and again give you the best we have, but it is of a different variety.
Then you were all blue, we were all gray and a dead line marked the division. Now, thank God, we are all both blue and gray and the dead line is wiped out forever. For we who wore the gray now wear the blue; we have taken the blue back into our colors; we are blue as far as the hand of man can make us; but look over the uncovered heads of the Grand Army of the Republic, the uncovered heads of the United Confederate Veterans, and you will see that the withering finger of time has touched us and we are all gray, a different gray from that we wore from 1861 to 1865,-a gray woven by a Divine hand. Therefore, we are all blue by the hand of man, but we are all gray by the hand of God. Thus united by all that's human and Divine no man, no set of men, no nation can put us asunder.
CAPTAIN GEORGE W. SKINNER, SECRETARY PENNSYLVANIA CHICKAMAUGA
CHATTANOOGA BATTLEFIELDS COMMISSION
R. CHAIRMAN, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades of the Blue and VI Gray:--I esteem it no light privilege to have been designated to
1 reply to the eloquent addresses of welcome, to which we have just listened, coming from the lips of the two distinguished representatives of the N. B. Forrest Camp of Confederate Veterans of this city. We, of Pennsylvania, who have come here this week to formally dedicate the monuments which our Commonwealth has erected on these fields to the memory of those of her sons who fought here, and many of whom died here more than a third of a century ago, cannot fail to appreciate to the fullest extent the warmth and cordiality of the greeting extended to us by the men and women of this beautiful city, not only as testified by this magnificent audience of thousands, representing the best citizenship of the great State of Tennessee, but as manifested in the many other courtesies extended to us on your streets, in your public places and in your homes, since our coming into your midst.
Especially do we appreciate the cordial greeting of these Confederate veterans, these men with whom we once contended in earnest and deadly battle on so many fields. They have buried the bitter memories of that great fratricidal strife and have come here to-night to extend to us a soldier's welcome. Those of us who stood face to face with them in the heat and flame of the great battles fought here in the fall of 1863, as well as in all the other great struggles of that greatest of all civil wars, know something of the meaning of the words "Confederate Veterans," for these words tell us of an army of men who fought as bravely and desperately as any army the world ever saw. Taking into consideration all the disadvantages under which that great struggle was maintained on the part of our southern brethren, it has often been a matter of wonder and even amazement with me that they should have been able to protract the struggle as long as they did. With an army less brave and determined the war would have ended with the reverberation of the sounds of the last gun fired in the decisive battle of Gettysburg. But these Confederate soldiers seem to have been cast in a different mould from most other soldiers, because they fought on with desperate courage long after it must have been known to every man in the ranks that success was utterly hopeless. To be welcomed and greeted, therefore, on an occasion like this, by so many of the surviving representatives of an army of men so distinguished for their valor is as great an honor as my comrades of the Union army can hope to have accorded them anywhere, and I feel sure I utter the sentiments of every one of the more than two thousand Pennsylvania veterans in this city to-night when I say to you, Captain Shipp and Colonel Dickinson, and to your comrades of the Confederate Veterans' Association, that we feel that there are no words in the English language strong enough to express our entire appreciation of this honor.
Mr. Chairman: I confess to have had some doubts about my own identity since I came into this hall this evening. This immense audience of handsomely dressed ladies and gentlemen, these beautiful decorations, the inspiring music, and above all else this mingling of the north and the south, "the blue and the gray," has somehow seemed to me to be a thing unreal and fanciful. It is all so different from what it was when, as a mere boy, I tramped into your city for the first time on the night of September 20, 1863, coming with many of my comrades here, weary and footsore, and disheartened from the scene of our disasters on the field of Chickamauga. Everything is so different to-night from what it was on that memorable night that one might easily be excused for not wanting to credit the evidence of his own senses. Your city has changed wonderfully, so much so in fact that few of the old land-marks in the shape of buildings remain, and your people have changed just as wonderfully. You meet us now with friendship and smiles, instead of hatred and frowns, with plenty to eat and drink, instead of trying to starve us out as you attempted to do on our first visit, when you were not willing even that we should maintain "a cracker line" over yonder mountains. And what does it all mean? Why, it means that the war between the south and the north is over, that the issues that led up to that war are all dead and buried out of sight forever, and that we are now a great and strong nation, thoroughly united and welded together in every part, and ready in the near future, I trust and believe, to take the place designed for us by Almighty Power as the foremost and grandest nation in all the world.
In closing my remarks on this occasion, may I not express the hope and belief that if any portion of our people should again be called upon to take up arms that it will be in a war in which the sons of the Confederate veterans and the sons of the Union veterans can march shoulder to shoulder, and under the same flag. United as this country now is, north, south, east and west, we need fear no foreign foe. As Bismark once said of the great German Empire, I believe we can now safely say of our own beloved country, and that is that “We need now fear no power but that of God."
After again thanking you for all your courtesies, I desire, as secretary of the Pennsylvania Chickamauga-Chattanooga Battlefields Commission, to extend to you all a cordial invitation to join with us in the various exercises to be held here during the next few days, not only within your city proper, but upon the field of Chickamauga, and at all other points in this vicinity where our Pennsylvania soldiery played a conspicuous part in all the great struggles fought out here, so near to your homes, so many years ago.