Ohio History Journal

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242 Ohio Arch

242       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.





All history may be searched in vain for a spectacle more

pathetic than that of which we are today the witnesses; no scene

could appeal more deeply to our sympathies, and none could be

more inspiring. It infinitely refreshes our patriotism in this day,

when the trimmer and truckler are abroad in the land, to revive

the glorious memories of a desperate war fought for a noble

purpose. As we gaze, with moistened eyes, upon these blood-

stained flags, they not only remind us of the holy cause which

they typify, but they also remind us that there are some evils

inexpressibly worse than a just and honorable war.


"Who has not read, with throbbing heart, some old chivalric story

Where din of arms and wars alarms bespoke a people's glory,

And felt, though dark the carnage be, that war, when right's defender,

Adds another gem to the diadem which crowns a nation's splendor".


If ever a war "crowned a nation's splendor," if ever a war

served to make a nation great, and proud and happy; it was

the one in which these tattered banners received their baptism

of fire.

Those of us who were living at the outbreak of that war,

cannot look upon these battle-scarred flags without recalling

many tragic memories. We can again see the war clouds low-

ering as, one by one, the southern states attempted to secede;

we can see, temporarily, the fatal hopefulness or apparent differ-

ence of the total states-their inexplicable belief that, in some

fortuitous way, war would be averted. Then, when the old flag

of Sumter was fired on, we are thrilled to the very heart by

the spontaneous fury of the entire North-an instantaneous

uprising of the whole people in which age, sex, party and, in

fact, everything else was forgotten in the fierce determination

to avenge that insulted banner. No tongue could adequately

depict that scene. "Old Glory" was flung to the breeze from

every hill and housetop, while there rushed to its defense an

affronted and unconquerable race of freemen. Again we can

see the stern realities of a long and bloody war; the land rever-