Charles Rufus Skinner.

Manual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York online

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service, with scarcely enough left of them on which to print the names
of the battles. They had seen his eyes once more light with the flames
that had enkindled them at Shiloh, at the heights of Chattanooga, amid
the glories of Appomattox, and as those war-scarred veterans looked,
with uncovered heads and upturned faces, for the last time upon the
pallid features of their old chief, the cheeks which had been bronzed
with Southern suns, and begrimed with powder, were bathed in the
tears of manly grief. Soon they saw rising the hand which had so
often pointed out to them the path of victory. He raised it slowly
and painfully to his head in recognition of their salutation. When
the column had passed, the hand fell heavily by his side. It was his
last military salute. — Horace Porter.


When his work was done, this man of blood was as tender toward
his late adversaries as a woman towards a son! He imposed no
humiliating conditions, spared the feelings of his antagonists, sent
home the disbanded Southern men with food and horses for working
their crops, and when a revengeful spirit in the executive chair showed


itself and threatened the chief Southern generals, Grant, with a holy
indignation, interposed himself, and compelled his superior to re-
linquish his rash purpose.

A man he was, without vices, with an absolute hatred of lies, and
an eradicable love of truth, of a perfect loyalty to friendship, neither
envious of others nor selfish of himself. With a zeal for the public
good unfeigned, he has left to memory only such weaknesses as con-
nect him with humanity, and such virtues as will rank him among


The tidings of his death, long expected, gave a shock to the whole
world. Governments, rulers, eminent statesmen, and scholars from
all civilized nations, gave sincere tokens of sympathy. For the hour,
sympathy rolled as a wave over the whole land. It closed the last
furrow of war; it extinguished the last prejudice; it effaced the last
vestige of hatred; and cursed be the hand that shall bring them back!

Johnston and Buckner on one side of his bier, and Sherman and
Sheridan upon the other, he has come to his tomb, — a silent symbol
that liberty had conqured slavery, and peace war.

He rests in peace! No drum nor cannon shall disturb his slumber!

Sleep, hero, sleep, until another trumpet shall shake the heavens
and the earth! Then come forth to glory and immortality. — Henry
Ward Beecher.


W. K. W.

G. F. Handel.

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When the shuddering earth foretold
Ruin, and war's thunder rolled,

Who was honest as the soil,
Natural, simple, free of cant,

Patient as the oxen toil?

While the earthquake rent the land,
Brothers battling hand to hand,

Who looked never toward the rear,
Let the politicians rant,

Void of selfishness and fear?

Oh, the need of one, could do
Work for twenty! stanch and true,

Taciturn through praise and blame —
One, disaster could not daunt,

Firm, decided as the name,

When our leaders weakened, then
Who was master over men?

While dismay the Nation smote,
Thoughtful, wise, of anger scant,

Greatest who, in plainest coat?

Silent battler, manly judge,
Weighing chiefs without a grudge,

When the gun-smoke parted, foes
Shielded from revenge and taunt,

Shared your heart who bore your blows,

Faithful to the falsest friends,
Duped by rogues for paltry ends,

You were like the wholesome earth,
Home for oak and poison-plant!

Fair and foul but raised your worth,





Red and black usurp the white;
Fear of death is fear of night:

Redder, blacker moments far,
Fenced about with spectres gaunt,

You have passed in hatefui war,

Though the last dark field you plow,
Fearless then, no fear is now,

Great our General! What is night?
Shades that o'er the landscape slant —

All beyond them, glorious Light,

Fame for you for aye shall run
Even as all-victorious Sun,

For like him you cannot die.
Dawns your lofty deeds will chant,
Hark! the coming aeons cry —
" Grant, Grant! "

— C. De Kay.

(New York, March 30, 1885.)


Not by the ball or brand
Sped by a mortal hand,
Not by the lightning stroke
When fiery tempests broke, —
Not 'mid the ranks of war
Fell the great Conqueror.

Unmoved, undismayed,

In the crash and carnage of the cannonade, —

Eye that dimmed not, hand that failed not,

Brain that swerved not, heart that quailed not,

Steel nerve, iron form, —

The dauntless spirit that o'erruled the storm.


While the Hero peaceful slept
A foeman to his chamber crept,
Lightly to the slumberer came,
Touched his brow and breathed his name;
O'er the stricken form there passed
Suddenly an icy blast.

The Hero woke; rose undismayed;
Saluted Death — and sheathed his blade.

The Conqueror of a hundred fields
To a mightier Conqueror yields;
No mortal foeman's blow
Laid the great Soldier low.
Victor in his latest breath —
Vanquished but by Death.

— Francis F. Browne.

General Sheridan, in reply to a request for his opinion of General
Grant as a commander, recently said: " He was a far greater man than
people thought him to be. He was able, no matter how situated, to
do more than was expected of him. That has always been my opinion
of General Grant. I have the greatest admiration for him, both as a
man and as a commander."


General Sherman, having been asked why he and Sheridan always
acknowledged the leadership of Grant, replied: " Because, while I
could map out a dozen plans for a campaign, every one of which Sheri-
dan would declare he could fight out to victory, neither he nor I could
tell which of the plans was the best one; but Grant, who simply sat
and listened and smoked while we had been talking over the maps,
would, at the end of our talking, tell us which was the best plan, and,
in a dozen or two words, the reason of his decision, and then it would
all be so clear to us that he was right that Sheridan and I would look
at each other and wonder why we hadn't seen the advantage of it our-
selves. I tell you, Grant is not appreciated yet. The military critics



of Europe are too ignorant of American geography to appreciate the
conditions of his campaigns. I have seen Grant plan campaigns for
500,000 troops along a front line 2,500 miles in length, and send them
marching to their objective points, through sections where the sur-
veyor's chain was never drawn, and where the commissariat necessi-
ties alone would have broken down any transportation system of
Europe; and three months later I have seen those armies standing
where he said they should be, and what he planned accomplished; and
I give it as my military opinion that General Grant is the greatest
commander of modern times, and with him only three others can
stand — Napoleon, Wellington and Moltke."


*HE name of George Dewey, in every part of our country,
is " a household word." He stands forth as the best-
known American who fought in what is known as " The
Spanish-American War." There may be a great many
young pupils in our common schools who do not know
just what that war was, or just why it was fought, — but it would be
difficult to find one, beyond the primary grades, who has not heard
of Admiral Dewey, the great sailor, and how he sailed with his ships
over mines and torpedoes and sunken vessels, straight into the har-
bor of Manila, and on May i, 1898, without the loss of a man or a
gun or a ship, won the greatest naval victory, in many respects, ever
achieved by man. And when, in the autumn of 1899, the famous
sailor came to this country, he received no warmer welcome, no finer
tribute to his glory, than that given him by the school children of
Greater New York, a welcome that was renewed and prolonged by the
boys and girls of Vermont when the Admiral returned, after many
years of sea-life, to his birth-place and boyhood's home in the " Green
Mountain State." Is it not right, then, for all the boys and girls of
the Empire State to have a part in the celebration which their school-
fellows in Greater New York began? Yes, surely. But the wise
teacher will not fail to seize the opportunity to give to his school —
to each and every pupil — the best idea possible of the cause of the
brief war, — of the valor of our soldiers and sailors — of the fight at
Santiago — the battle at San Juan and the bravery there displayed by
regulars and volunteers, and by the " Rough Riders " under the leader-
ship of the patriot and soldier who is now the Governor of New York,
Theodore Roosevelt — the meaning of the " Dewey Arch " erected in
Greater New York,— and, above all, to make clear and strong the les-
son taught Spain by this country, that oppression and tyranny, as
that of Cuba by Spain, must cease,— that Freedom is the privilege

of all mankind.





Sure of the right, keeping free from all offense ourselves, actuated
only by upright and patriotic considerations, moved neither by passion
nor selfishness, the Government will continue its watchful care over the
rights and property of American citizens, and will abate none of its
efforts to bring about by peaceful agencies a peace which shall be
honorable and enduring. If it shall hereafter appear to be a duty
imposed by our obligations to ourselves, to civilization and humanity,
to intervene with force, it shall be without fault on our part, and only
because the necessity for such action will be so clear as to command
the support and approval of the civilized world. — President McKinley,
from Message to Congress, December, 1897.


On the morning of February 16th came the news that on the
previous evening the battle-ship Maine had been blown up and totally
destroyed in the harbor of Havana. This gigantic murder of sleeping
men, in the fancied security of a friendly harbor, was the direct out-
come and the perfect expression of Spanish rule, and the appropriate
action of a corrupt system struggling in its last agony. At last the
unsettled question had come home to the United States, and it spoke
in awful tones, which rang loud and could not be silenced. A wave
of swift, fierce wrath swept over the American people. But a word
was needed, and war would have come then in response to this foul
and treacherous act of war, for such, in truth, it was. But the words
of Captain Sigsbee, the commander of the Maine, whose coolness, self-
restraint, and high courage were beyond praise, asking, even in the
midst of the slaughter, that judgment should be suspended, were
heeded alike by government and people. — Henry Cabot Lodge.

The long trial has proved that the object for which Spain has
waged the war cannot be attained. The fire of insurrection may flame
or may smoulder with varying seasons, but it has not been and it is
plain that it cannot be extinguished by present methods. The only


hope of relief and repose from a condition which can no longer be
endured is the enforced pacification of Cuba. In the name of humanity,
in the name of civilization, in behalf of endangered American interests,
which give us the right and the duty to speak and to act, the war in
Cuba must stop. The issue is now with the Congress. It is a solemn
responsibility. I have exhausted every effort to relieve the intolerable
condition of affairs which is at our doors. Prepared to execute every
obligation imposed upon me by the constitution and the law, I await
your action. — President McKinley, from Message to Congress, April
11, 1898.

On the 24th of April, I directed the Secretary of the Navy to
telegraph orders to Commodore George Dewey, of the United States
Navy, commanding the Asiatic Squadron, then lying in the port of
Hong Kong, to proceed forthwith to the Philippine Islands, there to
commence operations and engage the assembled Spanish fleet.
Promptly obeying that order, the United States squadron entered the
harbor of Manila at daybreak on the 1st of May and immediately
engaged the entire Spanish fleet of eleven ships, which were under the
protection of the fire of the land forts. After a stubborn fight, in
which the enemy suffered great loss, their vessels were destroyed or
completely disabled, and the water battery at Cavite silenced. Of our
brave officers and men, not one was lost, and only eight injured, and
those slightly. All of our ships escaped any serious damage. * * *
The magnitude of this victory can hardly be measured by the ordinary
standards of naval warfare. Outweighing any material advantage is
the moral effect of this initial success. At this unsurpassed achieve-
ment, the great heart of our nation throbs, not with boasting or with
greed of conquest, but with deep gratitude that this triumph has come
in a just cause, and that by the grace of God an effective step has thus
been taken toward the attainment of the wished-for peace. To those
whose skill, courage, and devotion have won the fight, to the gallant
commander, and the brave officers and men who aided him, our country
owes an incalculable debt. — President McKinley, from Message to Con-
gress, May 9, 1898.



Two fleets have sailed from Spain. The one would seek

What lands uncharted ocean might conceal.
Despised, condemned, and pitifully weak,

It found a world for Leon and Castile.

Another, mighty, arrogant, and vain,

Sought to subdue a people who were free.

Ask of the storm-gods where its galleons be, —
Whelmed 'neath the billows of the northern main!

A third is threatened. On the westward track,

Once gloriously traced, its vessels speed,
With gold and crimson battle-flags unfurled.
On Colon's course, but to Sidonia's wrack,

Sure fated, if so need shall come to need,
For sons of Drake are lords of Colon's world.

— The New York Tribune.

dewey's victory — May i, 1898.

" Capture or destroy the Spanish fleet at Manila." Such was the
purport of President McKinley's order to Commodore George Dewey,
commanding the American squadron in Asiatic waters; and right nobly
did he carry out his instructions. Anchored in the harbor of a friendly
power, he was informed that by the laws of neutrality he must put
to sea. Six thousand miles from home, with no base of supplies, there
were but two things for the intrepid commander to do: He must seek
in flight the safety of our own shores, or he must fight against over-
whelming odds. He did not hesitate; but chose the latter alternative
as if there were no other.

How the haughty Spaniards sneered at his pretensions! Why
should they, \vith a fleet superior in numbers, protected by the great
guns of their forts, fear the "Yankee pigs "? — the commercials who
could not fight? They were soon to learn another lesson. On the
evening of April 30, the order to advance to action was given. And,
under cover of the darkness, our majestic ships, with lights extin-
guished, crept slowly, like tigers of the jungle, through the mine-pro-



tected channel, past the forts up to the very teeth of the Spaniards.
When the morning of the first of May broke over the peaceful Oriental
sea, it saw the despised American in the very fangs of her proud enemy.

What a charming scene! The great ships heaving on the bosom
of the placid bay, like graceful swans. The sleeping city, quiet in the
distant haze. The gaily plumaged tropical bird calling to its mate
in a neighboring palm. The pennants of the forts lazily flapping on
their supporting poles.

The scene changes, and the heavenly peace of nature gives place
to the hell of war! The great guns of our ships belch forth their wrath
of fire and steel. The Spanish ships and forts reply. Soon, chaos and
destruction reign. Shells shriek through the quivering air. The peace-
ful sea has become a volcano from seething shot and bursting shell!
The startled Spaniards had not expected such an onslaught. Surely
this foe can fight!

The Spanish flag-ship is on fire! The flag is bravely transferred
to another; but that too is soon disabled. Frantically the iron hail is
poured from fort and ship; but it glances from our steel sides or falls
harmlessly into the sea. Slowly our great ships move on, firing with
unerring aim as if at target practice. Three times they move around
the deadly curve and the last Spanish ship is burned or sunk; the forts
on shore are a mass of ruins. The victory is won, and not an American
has been killed, not a ship seriously injured. Does our hero exult?
Not he. He sends a message to the Spanish admiral commending his
bravery and offering to care for his wounded sailors.

Days of suspense follow. There are rumors that Dewey has been
victorious, followed by others of a less reassuring nature. Spanish
dispatches claim a victory; but singularly omit to mention American
losses. Then comes a report that Dewey has been trapped; and the
whole nation is anxious; but not a word of censure is heard. Those
who know Commander Dewey say, " Do not fear, he is a quiet man;
but when he fights, he fights hard."

At last authentic news is received; and all the world wonders.
Men recall to mind the achievements of Nelson, when he defeated the
combined fleets of France and Spain ninety-three years ago.


The authorities at Washington promptly make him an admiral
and vote him a sword.

A new star is added to the already brilliant galaxy of American
naval heroes; and to the names of Paul Jones, Decatur, Hull, Lawrence,
Perry, and Farragut, is added George Dewey. The civilized world is
amazed. Men recall the great feats of the past; but history reveals
nothing like this. A whole fleet, supported by shore batteries, de-
stroyed without the loss of a single man on the victorious squadron.

The new warships have been tried, and the product of modern
thought has triumphed.

The nations awake to the fact that a new power has risen with
which they must reckon. This young giant has struck his first blow
in the very cradle of the race, in the stronghold of despotism and
tyranny; and that blow was struck in the name of liberty. Hope
revives in the hearts of the down-trodden millions. Liberty is no
longer a dream, a sentiment. It has a champion who makes it an
assured fact.

And with the dawning of the new century come prophetic mur-
murings, never heard before, that the great race, speaking one tongue,
that has carried light to the dark places of the earth, shall be united,
and carry law, and liberty, and justice to all the world. — John D.

Youngest descendant of a glorious line, —

Jones, Perry, Hull, Decatur, heroes bold,

Who fought this nation's brave sea-fights of old,
And Farragut, whose great deeds on the brine
Through our wild civil strife with fierce glow shine, —

Dewey, all hail! With theirs is now enrolled

Thy name; with theirs thy story shall be told;
Thy country's praise and gratitude are thine;
Thy daring sally in Manila Bay

Has stirred the whole world's pulse, and well begun
The war for human rights we wage to-day

With consecrated sword. Hero, well done!
The fleet was heaven-directed in that fray —

No grander battle e'er yet fought and won.

— Virginia Vaughan.


Lilian Budington.

Martha Moses Peckham.



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IHIS national holiday was at first called " Decoration Day "—
because of the custom of decorating the graves of Union
soldiers on that day. But now it bears the sweeter and
more sacred name of Memorial Day,— because of the call-
ing to remembrance then, in a special and public way,
the brave men and brave deeds of the terrible Civil War of 1861.
We Americans ought to regard the thirtieth of May, each year,
as an Holy Day, rather than a mere amusement holiday. Alas!
it is fast becoming a day for sports and games and out-door
spectacles. And yet, it can never become wholly that, as long as there
remains on earth a single soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic.
For to him will be present on each Sabbath Day of the Nation the
thought of the mighty conflict, with its patriotic spirit, its heroic deeds,
its loyal "Boys in Blue," — all indeed that made that conflict so
memorable; and his trembling hands will still seek to strew flowers of
remembrance upon the graves of his former companions-in-arms. So,
let a like spirit of loyalty and patriotism animate the soul of every one
of the thousands of G. A. R. Veterans still living. Let every teacher,
in his or her place, seek to instill into the mind of every pupil a knowl-
edge of the great events and actors in the war-drama; better still, an
idea of the meaning of the war, its triumphant issue in a restored Union
and an emancipated race — and best of all, a sentiment in every youth-
ful heart of ever-enkindling, ever-growing love for this dear " Country

of Ours!"

Probably there is not a school district in the State in which there
is not at least one veteran of the Civil War. And the one best way to
keep Memorial Day in school will be to invite him, as the guest of
honor, to tell his story of the war. If a G. A. R. " post " is in the
neighborhood, summon its members to your memorial service and let
some of them speak for all. If any soldier or sailor of the recent war



with Spain is nigh at hand, ask him to be present and speak. He will
be heard giving the meed of praise and honor to the men of '6i for
their unparalleled devotion to the Union, — and they, The Fathers, will
testify in turn to the patriotic spirit which led The Sons to beat down

Online LibraryCharles Rufus SkinnerManual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York → online text (page 12 of 31)