victory and the restoration of perpetual peace. It has known the disap-
pearance of the cause of disaffection and hostility, and the reunion of the
elements in a stronger, more perfect, purer, grander, nobler bond of union.
It has seen the building up of waste places, and the restoration of frater-
nal feeling; the return of the most generous magnanimity and the most
bountiful charity. It has beheld the transformation of the wild wastes
and the desolate, unproductive regions of our country to the scenes of
vast industries, progressive civilization and universal prosperity. It has
followed the gradual march of civilization toward the western horizon.
Westward the course of empire has taken its way, and the center of
population now creeps Westward to the region beyond the Mississippi. What
the future destiny of that great Western portion of our continent shall be,
no one can foretell or prophesy. No one can forecast what great interests,
local and national, will center around the Mediterranean of the Pacific slope,
the Hudson of the West, and the Golden Gate of Cali f ornia ; or what proportions
the commerce of these great Pacific States may assume; or what naval bat-
tles shall yet be fought for the defense or possession of that great coast.
With much reluctance I bid my Western friends and their most inter-
esting country adieu. I hope that I may again visit that coast, going by
quite a different route than by those seven railway lines by which I have
been accustomed to cross and recross the continent. I trust that great
enterprise will be soon undertaken and speedily completed that shall
divide the great isthmus, yet unite in still stronger bonds of interest and
friendship the two great geographic divisions of our country.
Should the readers of these pages find themselves any better informed
concerning our Western country and people than before reading them, and
should they find enough in them to kindle a patriotic emotion or awaken
a becoming pride concerning their own great country, my efforts and am-
bition will have been amply rewarded; and 1 wish every happiness and
prosperity to attend my compagnons de voyage from New England to
the Golden Gate.
GENERAL NELSON A. MILES.
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