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right hand and on the left, and you have not forgotten how bravely he bore up under all the grievous disappointments to which he was subjected. You have seen him assuming command again at the solicitation of the President, at an hour of the greatest peril to our capital and our country, — re-organizing as by magic the brave but broken battalions of the Army of the Potomac, and achieving the glorious victory of Antietam on the very birthday of the Constitution. And you have not failed to read his admirable despatch from Harrison's Landing, his brilliant oration at West Point, and his noble letter accepting the nomination for the Presidency. No words of mine, no words of anybody, could add any thing to such a record. No words of his enemies can take away one jot or one tittle from that record. I have no disposition to exaggerate his services or his merits, much less to disparage those of others. We all know that other commanders have done nobly, and have achieved victories which have entitled them to the honor and gratitude of the whole country. It has been their fortune, however, to be let alone. Many of them, too, are still in the field, privileged still to lead the armies and fight the battles of their country, instead of being unjustly deprived of their command and inexorably doomed to inaction. There will be an opportunity for doing full justice to their deserts hereafter. But what can be more fit, than for the people of the United States now to take up this young and gallant leader whom the rulers have so wantonly rejected, and to place him where his experience and abilities may be turned to account for the rescue of his country? In the full vigor of manhood, without a stain or a shade upon his character, a man of virtuous life and Christian principle, brave, prudent, patriotic, a stranger to all mere party politics, a perfect stranger to any thing like political management or political intrigue, one who has known how to command a great army and has never forgotten how to command himself, with no pledges on his lips or in his heart, except to the enforcement of the laws, the vindication of the Constitution, and the restoration of the Union :- what is there wanting in him to attract the confidence and support of all loyal men, and to secure the respect and admiration even of his enemies? Let me not forget, however, to remind you, my friends, that he has in his veins, in common with so many of you, and in common, as I am glad to remember, with myself, too, a little good old Connecticut blood, coming down from an ancestor who settled here a century ago. I am sure you will not think any the worse of him for that.
I fear, my friends, that I have already detained you too long. My own strength, certainly, will hardly hold out longer, even if your indulgence and your patience be not already exhausted. But I must not take my leave of you without giving you a little piece of testimony of the highest interest and importance. Among the refugees from Atlanta, immediately after its capture, there came within our lines, not many days ago, a person of the most estimable and excellent character, who had enjoyed the best opportunities of understanding the Southern heart. And what said he, do you think, on being interrogated as to the prospects of the future? I can give you his remarks from the most authentic source. They were communicated to me by a good friend of the Union in one of the border States. 66 If Mr. Lincoln is re-elected," said he, “the people of the South will fight for thirty years, for they feel that they can do nothing better, but if McClellan is elected, such an overwhelming Union party will be formed in the South, that peace will be the almost immediate result.” “I speak,” said he," the sentiments of the people, not the officials. The leaders of the rebellion are anxious for the re-election of Mr. Lincoln, as giving most hope of the ultimate success of the rebel cause. But the people,” he added, "respect McClellan, and believe in his honesty, capacity, and patriotism; and, being heartily tired of the war, they will be willing to trust him.” Such is the latest and most authentic testimony from the very heart of the Southern Confederacy. It was communicated to me from a source entitled to the highest confidence, and it concurs, I need hardly say, with every opinion which I have been able to form for myself. I do firmly and honestly believe that, if by the aid of this good old State of Connecticut, George Brinton McClellan shall be proclaimed President of the United States of America on the fourth day of March next, as I hope and trust he may be, another year will not have expired without witnessing the final termination of the rebellion; and that the succeeding fourth of July will find us celebrating such a jubilee as has not been seen since that day was first hailed as the birthday of American independence. I do not forget the danger of indulging in these ninety-days, or even twelve-month, prophecies. I do not forget how many memorable warnings we have had of their fallacy. I can only say, that in that hope, in that trust, in that firm and unswerving confidence, I shall give my vote to the candidate of the Democratic party; and whether that vote shall prove to have been cast with the many or with the few, with majorities or with minorities, I shall feel that I have followed the dictates of my own best judgment, of my own conscientious convictions of duty, and of my own unalterable attachment and devotion to the Constitution and the Union of my country.
I will not undertake to calculate the chances of success. The results of the late elections seem to decide nothing, except that the great battle is still to be fought, and that a victory is still within our reach. But whatever may be the results of the electiori, let us resolve never to despair of the republic. We are on the eve of one of the most memorable anniversaries in our history as a nation. Eighty-three years ago to-morrow, on the 19th of October, 1781, the soil of Virginia was the scene of a far different spectacle from that which it unhappily witnesses at this hour. The soldiers of the North and of the South, instead of confronting each other in deadly strife, were then standing triumphantly side by side, under the glorious lead of Washington, to receive the final surrender of the forces which had been so long arrayed against our national independence. Would to Heaven that the precious memories of that event might be once more revived in every American heart! Would to Heaven that even now the associations of that day might overpower and disarm the unnatural hostility of our adversaries, and that the soldiers of the North and South might be seen, like the soldiers in the old Roman story, rushing into each other's embrace under the old flag of our fathers ! But even if such a result is to be longer, and still longer, and still longer postponed, let us never despair that such a day of final surrender will come; a day when rebellion will be everywhere suppressed and extinguished; a day when a policy of Christian statesmanship, breathing something better than threatenings and slaughter, and based upon a juster idea than that the whole Southern people are barbarians and outlaws, shall accomplish its legitimate work of restoring Union and peace to our afflicted land ; a day when, by the blessing of God, that glorious vision of Daniel Webster may again be verified for us and for our children, from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico, and from ocean to ocean:
66 One country, one Constitution, one destiny." And when that day shall come, I can desire for myself no other distinction than to be thought not unworthy of some humble share in that inscription which was engraved on the old tomb of my ancestors two centuries and a half ago, — before New London, before even Boston, had a name or a local habitation on the American continent, –
“ Beati Sunt Pacifici," — Blessed are the Peacemakers. I can desire for myself no other distinction than to be remembered among those who, in the words of our noble candidate, “would hail with unbounded joy the permanent restoration of Peace, on the basis of the Union under the Constitution, without the effusion of another drop of blood."
THE POLICY OF THE OPPOSITION.
A SPEECH MADE AT THE MUSIC HALL IN BOSTON, NOVEMBER 2, 1864.
I CANNOT but regard it as a special compliment, fellow-citizens, to have been called on to preside over this meeting, and I desire to return my most grateful acknowledgments to all to whom I am indebted for so agreeable a distinction. The worthy President of the Association, under whose auspices the meeting has been convened, might well have occupied the chair himself on this occasion, He has chosen, however, the humbler position of a seat at my side; and I need not assure you how glad I am to be supported by one whose courage and whose patriotism have been tested on so many hard-fought fields. This is not the first time, as we all know, that he has occupied a lower place than he deserved. Most heartily do I wish that he had always owed his failure to obtain his deserts, as he certainly does to-night, to his own modesty, and not to the persevering neglect and injustice of others. He may well be content, however, with the consciousness of having done his duty; with the abundant testimonials of those who were eye-witnesses of his career; and with the assurance that he enjoys the respect and regard of so many of his fellowcitizens without distinction of party at home.
And now, my friends, you will not expect from me, on taking the chair tonight, any very extended or elaborate address. I am here only to introduce others, — only as a medium for drawing out manifestations from some of the brilliant spirits around me. A few opening remarks are all that I have promised, and all that will be in my power. Indeed, I have hitherto resolutely declined attending any meetings in my own city or Commonwealth during