OCR Interpretation

The Soldiers' journal. (Rendezvous of Distribution, Va.) 1864-1865, March 09, 1864, Image 1

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89038091/1864-03-09/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

Subscription for One Year, - $3,00
" " Six Months, - I,U>O
Single Copies, Five Cent-
year—payable quarterly, in advance, at place oi de
A voice as of the ocean surge!
And see a mighty nation tread,
With banners drooped and funeral dirge.
Within the city of the dead.
On yonder slope, but yesterday,
Clashed steel with steel, and breast with breast;
And tossed the battle's blood-red spray
O'er hosts who now in silence rest.
Kneel, motherland! in broken prayer,
To kiss the dear, the holy ground;
See strong men weep like children, there.
Spelling in vain each nameless mound;
And far, by Erie's waters deep,
Or 'mid the solemn woods of Maine,
The gray sire dreams, in troubled sleep,
Of one who comes not home again.
Sword of the Lord .'—that cry of woe
From many a bleeding wound shall start —
Rest in thy scabbard, rest! Ah, no!
While traitor's stab a mother's heart!
As breaks the gathered roar,
I hear—l hear a nation's cry,
From stormy cliff and sounding shore:
No Peace, no Peace, till Treason die!
No! by the sacred toils of all
Who laid with no cement but truth
The stones of our Cyclopean wall;
No Iby a people's giant youth;
No! by the red blood crime hath split;
No! Dy this heirdom of the free:
llear the bright sword, swear on the hilt,
These years of wrong no more shall bo!
Chaunt ye not now the Requiem sad,
Lift ye the war-song clear and high ;
Sing till it stir the sleepers glad
Who 'neath these erowdedhlllocks lie.
Sing, motherland! ye peaks that bloom
With wreaths of the eternal snow,
Ye primal forests, in whose womb
Navies of oak and iron grow!
Sing prairies rich with nobler grains,
Of bearded men, of freeborn sons!
And thou, great river, through whose veins
The life-blood of our heroes runs:
More than the yellow Tiber's wave
Thy banks shall gleam with deathless fame,
Sing, with thy torrents, of the brave
Who died to keep a nation's spotless name!
§taii<mal Utouw.
A Sermon preached by Chaplain Potter, at his
Church in New Bedford, Mass., the Sunday after
the victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and now
addressed to the Soldiers of the Union at this Camp.
John xn: 23: The hour is come that the Son of Man
should be glorified.
It were easy to-day to speak the praises that
are in all loyal hearts and bursting from all loy
al lips. It were easy to glorify our National flag,
which has so glorified itself. It were easy to ut
ter pagans of eulogy over the skill, devotion, and
valor which have won the brilliant military vic
tories with which the land is now resonant, and
which have covered our armies with an historic
glory that shall bo immortal. It Avere easy to
open our mouths in thanksgivings for the brave
men living, and the brave men dead, whose stout
hearts and heroicdeodsl:ave,inthiscriticalhour,
shielded our country, nnd shielded us, from the
terrible humiliation and disaster which only a
few days ago seemed close upon us. And we do
■ give thanks ; even here in this house of Christian
vworship, dedicated to the Prince of Peace, we lift
up our hearts in exultation at these triumphs
which have crowned our arms on the field of bat
tle. We rejoice that the dreadful clouds which
hung, ten days ago, one dense maa:i of blackness
over the land charged to the full Avith a terrific
tempest soon to strike we know not Avhere, have
I been parted; we rejoice that the storm has burst,
and that the murderous thunderbolt has struck,
not as we feared, the brave warriors defending
the nation's and humanity's cause, but the insur
gent hosts of treason and wrong. Yes, we may
give thanks to-day that this terrible cloud Avhich
has been hanging over us has lifted, that the dark
and fearful crisis has passed, that all around the
sky light is breaking—the sunshine, let us hope,
that is not to be darkened again, until it shall
break forth into the light of a pure and honest
peace. Thanks be unto God that the cause of
justice has prevailed!
"Oh, sing unto tho Lord a new song;
Sing unto the Lord, all the earth!
Give unto the Lord, O ye tribes of the people,
Give unto the Lord glory and praise.
Give unto the Lord the glory due his name:
Bring olft rings and come into his courts.
Say among the nations that the Lord is King:
He will Judge the people righteously,
Let the Heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar and the fulness thereof;
Let the fields be Joyful and all that is therein;
Let all the trees of the wood rejoice before tlie Lord:
I For He cometh, For He cometh to give justice to all
| the earth:
He will judge the world with righteousness, and the
nations with His truth,"
And I Avould that tho grateful strains of our
joy, consecrated by the reverence that belongs to
this place, might be heard along the whole line
jof our gallant armies—for they have all shared
lin giving us this hour of thanksgiving—from the
Mississippi to the Susquehanna. Let them be
J assured that their valor is religiously honored,
and that it Avill be kept sacred in tho memory
and on the historic rolls of a saved people.
But while we may and do thus glory in these
unwonted triumphs, yet this strain of pure exul
tation may not be the most profitable for our
meditations here; at least, our oxultation must
be exalted above the low plane of a mere phys
ical triumph, above the battle-field of material
forces, into the region where the contending
hosts are not carnal but spiritual. We may re
joice ; but let us rejoice as those who may again
be callod to mourn. Let notour joy boyishly de- '
ceive us into any relaxation of effort or principle.
Let us not be deluded with the belief that the.
end is near at hand. God grant it may be ! But
let us not take the first streaking of the dawn for
the full sunny day. The clouds that just envel -
oped us have parted—light breaks through them
—we give thanks for that; but the sky is not yet
clear, nor the poison which God's laws are trying
to eliminate from our national atmosphere gone.
There may be another gathering of the tempest,
other clouds may have to break, other lightning
strokes may have to come, other humiliations
and disasters may be in store for us, other nights
of darkness to pass through, before the elements
of our national life are purified and " the sun of
righteousness shall arise with healing in his
wings" to give the light of perfect peace to the na
tion. Evil dies hard ;it cannot be thrust out of
a nation at once. This rebellion may give us
many a hard blow yet before it is finally con
quered. Ido not prophesy such. Let us, my
friends, make no prophecies either of disasters or
of triumphs ; then wo shall be dismayed by no
non-fulfillments ; but, believing in the justice of
our cause, and in its final triumph just so far, as
it adheres to justice, and hoping ever, let us gath
er new hope and faith and strength from these
unprecedented victories that have been given us
and, taking up again whatever burdens tlie cans-;
lays upon us, go forward with more vigorous res
olution and unflinching courage and manly fidel
ity to the end, whether it shall come soon or is
yet far off.
And again, and chiefly, Aye can but remember,
oven in the midst of our joy, by what price we
have purchased the right to rejoice ; we can but
remember by what sacrifices these triumphs have
been gained, by what a cross this crown of glory
has been bought for us. This hour of joy has
been purchased by the highest price that man
can give for any treasure—by our brothers' blood !
Some of the noblest lives that any nation ever
possessed were ofl'ered up on the fields of Gettys
burg ', and Vicksburg was not won till battle
and disease had claimed thousands of brave-hear
ted victims. There had been no place to pro
claim our victories had not these our hero-broth
ers given us their graves to stand upon. It is on
ly these mounds covering their valorous forms,
that lift us to-day out of the valley of humiliatio v
and defeat; it is only the flashing of the deadly
fires of battle that has made the light for which
we now give thanks; Aye can only unfurl our
flag, covered Avith glory to tho breeze, because it
has been baptized in the best blood of the land ;
and the triumphant paean that we sing, we.could
not sing, were ii not mingled Avith the cries of
anguish and tho wailings of desolated homes.
God has given us a victory, but it is such a vie
tory as comes only through the agonies of cruci
fixion ; Ho permits us to glory, but it is a glory
that comes through destruction.
Ido not say these things to sadden our joy. 1
would not turn the hour of victory into lament-

xml | txt