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test. The story of those battles forms no part of this narrative. It is enough to have observed that he was a supporter of the Administration. His hope was strong that the country would witness a revival of the principles of that old Democratic creed which he still professed, and a return to the ideas and the policy of the age of Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson.*
I have already referred to his duties as President of the Union Pacific Railroad. His connection with that Company began in 1863, while efforts were making to obtain the requisite subscription of two millions of dollars to the capital stock. He became, at that time, a subscriber to the amount of $20,000; and on the organization of the Company, October 27, 1863, was elected its President. Up to the date of his retirement from the army he had not been able to give much attention to the affairs of the Company; which fact he regretted, as he considered the work to be one of the greatest enterprises of the age. Under the early management the Company, composed of men of experience and integrity, enjoyed the confidence of the community, and gave no cause to complain of their conduct of its affairs. The scandals which subsequently arose out of the notorious “ Crédit Mobilier” scheme were the result of a departure from the plan marked out by those who first directed the affairs of the corporation. In this General Dix had no share; he was absent from the country at the time when the new policy was adopt
* The reader is referred, for farther information as to the position of General Dix on the great questions of this period, to an address to the Democracy of the Union opposed to the Chicago platform, delivered in New York, November 1, 1864; and to an address at the National Union Convention at Philadelphia, August 14, 1866. In the former he reviews the history of the Democratic party from the time of its origin to that date; intimates his growing conviction that it had departed widely, if not hopelessly, from its old standards; suggests the measures proper for a reform, and urges its return to the positions which it had abandoned. In the latter he deals with the question of reconstruction, and takes high ground on the right of all the States to an immediate recognition and representation in the National Legislature.
ed; it was strongly disapproved by him; and he derived no advantage whatever from it. At a subsequent date, when in nomination for Governor of New York, political enemies sought to find occasion against him, on the score of alleged responsibility for the operations of the Crédit Mobilier. The charges were false; they were made by unscrupulous politicians; they were but one of innumerable instances of the system of reckless defamation which has become an indispensable weapon in American political controversy. Intending to return to this subject presently, I add, meanwhile, that these calumnious and false allegations were all disproved, and that the motives which actuated the men who invented and circulated them were perfectly well understood.
At this point in my narrative it is in order to mention a brief eulogium, pronounced before the New York Historical Society, on the character and services of Lieutenant-general Scott, and an address delivered at the Academy of Music, at a reception given by the Seventh Regiment of the New York State National Guard. The relations between my father and General Scott were intimate and cordial; their acquaintance and friendship dated from a very remote period. In the month of November, 1813, on the banks of the St. Lawrence, a little funeral train passed through the American lines to a barge on the river. Behind the coffin, containing the body of an officer, walked a youth fifteen years of age, in the uni
, form of an ensign of infantry; and among the sympathizing spectators of the scene was Winfield Scott, then Colonel of the Second Artillery, who said to my father in after years that he had never forgotten the occasion, nor the impression produced on him by the evident struggle between the anguish of the boy in his loneliness and sorrow and his successful effort to maintain the dignity of the officer and the calmness of the soldier. The interest awakened at that time grew, with the passing years, into warm regard. I have already mentioned the wish of General Scott that my father should have the command of the forces near Washington on the breaking out of the war. In this connection I recall another incident which illustrates the sympathy between the two men: it was related by the Hon. E. B. Washburne, in his speech at the banquet in Paris, June 1, 1869, when General Dix retired from the office of Minister at the Imperial Court. Mr. Washburne, on the occasion to which I now refer, stated that he was with General Scott one evening in the month of January, 1861, in company with Governor Grimes of Iowa, when General Dix came to consult the Lieutenant-general on a point of military law on which he found himself somewhat rusty, having been so long out of military service.* “IIe then went on to explain,” continued Mr. Washburne, “that a Captain Breshwood, in command of one of our revenue-cutters at New Orleans, had turned traitor and was about to put the cutter into the service of the rebels. That being the case, the point with General Dix was, whether he had the right to order the second officer of the cutter to put his superior officer under arrest as a mutineer; and he then took from his pocket a despatch which he had prepared on the subject, and which he then read to the Lieutenantgeneral. I shall never forget," said Mr. Washburne, “how the eyes of the old chieftain lighted up when the despatch was read, and how warmly he exclaimed, “Capital ! it is just the thing. You are not at fault, General, in your military law. I hope you will send it right off.? General Dix responded that he had only delayed it to have his opinion, and that it would go at once. After the General had left the room General Scott rubbed his hands with absolute delight, and said to Governor Grimes and myself, “What a glorious thing it is to have a military man associated with you at such a time!!"
I doubt not that my father's mind was filled with memories of those departed days when, on the 19th of June, 1866, he thus addressed the gentlemen of the Historical Society at a
* See Vol. I., p. 372.
meeting held at their rooms, and in the presence of a large assemblage of distinguished guests :
“I have been requested to present to you the resolutions which I hold in my hand, and which are designed to express your sympathy in the general feeling of sorrow caused by the death of our distinguished fellow-countryman, Lieutenantgeneral Scott. And yet it is but one of those losses which we chiefly feel because it breaks up associations long enjoyed or friendships long cherished—losses to be felt rather than deplored; for why should we mourn over the departure of one who, with faculties unclouded and a vigor of mind and body yielding only to the invincible Power which is to subdue us all, goes to his rest full of years, of honor, and of fame? To you, gentlemen, in whose memories all that concerns him is so well preserved, few words need be spoken by me as a prelude to what I am about to read. We do not stand in the same relation to him as to those whose spheres of action in the past or in the present are far apart from our own. Of them we can never have more than an imperfect
. knowledge. The art of the painter may give the features, and even their expression, to the canvas, or the chisel of the sculptor may cut their outlines into the solid marble with a fidelity of imitation which may seem almost miraculous; but these counterfeits afford but feeble glimmerings of the living spirit which constitutes the man, and which is never clearly manifested but through personal association, the exchange of friendly offices, and the direct intercommunication of thought.
“Most of us learned to appreciate and respect our distinguished fellow - citizen through these familiar media of knowledge. His individnalities are impressed on our minds as strongly as they existed in him. If the current of his thoughts and feelings was sometimes inward (and who among us is free from this tendency to self-concentration?) there was nothing in his nature capable of obscuring for a single instant the transcendent patriotism which placed the honor and the welfare of his country before all other considerations-nothing to interrupt that outward flow of genial kindliness which poured itself forth in broad and diffusive streams through the wide domain of his social intercourse. If he had lived at one of the great eras of Rome he would have been called Magnus, like him who, in the last days of her expiring liberties, bore that honorable appellation; not that he was the foremost man of the Republic, but because there was in and around him a moral grandeur which was felt and acknowledged by all who came into his presence, or who were familiar with the great actions of his life.
“We remember our departed friend, not only through his commanding person, which was far above our common stature, but through his brilliant achievements, which placed him as much above the plane of elevation at which most of his contemporaries stood and moved. For more than fifty years his life was one of nearly constant activity, sometimes as a pacificator, averting the scourge of war by his prudence, his courtly address, and his courteous firmness, and at others carrying his country's banner into the battle-field with a chivalrous courage rarely surpassed ; and during his long career of usefulness and honor generation after generation has come into being and gone before him into the unknown world as the harbingers of his fame. Few names will be more conspicuous in our country's annals. In future ages, far remote from our own, when the men and the communities of the present day shall be known through little else than the meagreness of chronological records, he and the comparatively few whose fame is enduring will stand out from the page which preserves their memory, prominent and distinct, like the principal objects in a landscape whose outlines are sharply defined against the distant sky. He will be chronicled as one who, amid the roar of the great American cataract, successfully contended against the best-disciplined forces of Europe, and who, against obstacles far more formidable than