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RECEPTION AT GENEVA.
were met by the village authorities, and a large deputation of citizens. After a few moments spent in congratulation, the Regiment formed in procession, and marched through the principal streets to the park, where the following address was listened to from Hon. CHARLES J. FOLGER:
Colonel Taylor, and Officers and Men of the
There has fallen to me the pleasant duty of tendering to you a welcome home again. In behalf of the community from which you went forth, I offer you a hearty and an overflowing welcome back from your service as soldiers.
But it does not seem to us that you are the same men from whom we parted. It is now two years since we saw you, some of you, leave this shore, young volunteers, familiar only with the ways of happy homes and a peaceful community, and now you return to us bronzed and scarred veterans, conversant with all the rude alarms of war, having looked death steadily in the face in many a wellcontested field of strife, and having won for yourselves an ample soldierly reputation.
Two years ago, I said! It seems, as we look back, but a little space, yet how full that time has been crowded with stirring incidents and exciting events. And to none more than to you have come those events and those incidents. Of what we have only read or heard with but a dull .ear, of that you have been a great part, and have looked
THE MOTHER OF COUNTIES.
upon with courageous eyes. We can scarcely name a battle in the long catalogue which tells of the acts and achievements of the Army of the Potomac, in which the Thirty-third Regiment has not borne a part, and borne it.valiantly and well.
Raised, as you for the most part were, in that district of country which once fell within the limits of old Ontario County, you went forth with the name of the Ontario Regiment, and that fact has always endeared you to us in this immediate region. You were christened after our County. It is a proud old name, for Ontario is the mother of Counties not only, but the Mother of MEN as well. And we felt proud of you, for we were, and are, proud of the name: and we were jealous of it, too; jealous that it should take no tarnish in your hands. But as report after report came back to us of your good behavior; of your courage and steadiness ; of your fiery valor; our jealousy was gone, lost, merged in a sense of swelling pride, that the noble old name of Ontario had been so well bestowed, and that not only it took no stain, but that it received an additional and higher lustre and great glory from the soldiers of the Thirty-third.
And you may be sure that when the news came of battles fought, and the papers told us of our troops in action, there was a speedy search here for the name and exploits of the Thirty-third, and an eager community was interested in its sufferings and in its achievements, and never, never pained by its defaults, or by its individual disasters.
And so as time went on, though you may not . have noticed it, the Regiment which went out as the Ontario Regiment, came to be called the Thirtythird, or Ontario Regiment. And then, and not long after, naught else but the Thirty-third, and that was a sufficient and an individual designation, for you had made the “ two threes” famous throughout the army and the country; and you needed no appellation of distinction, save your own name, the gallant Thirty-third—“ Taylor's Fighting D- 8." And all this has been due to, and resultant from, the good qualities and spirit of the men, encouraged and trained, and brought up by the labors and example of the officers.
We owe you many thanks; we offer them to you, now that you have so well, so eminently, glorified this community, whose geographical name you have borne.
I just said that we traced the papers after a battle, and looked for mention of the Thirty-third and its deeds; and then the days after, when came the long and sorrowful list of casualties, with what tremor and apprehension we looked again for the beloved number, 33. For well we knew, that where all were so brave in battle, some must have met Death and yielded to his power. And we cannot now look upon your thinned ranks and diminished numbers without missing from them some well-remembered faces, very dear to many among us. Nor without feeling that a great and awful sacrifice had been made for a great and righteous cause. And more especially was
this the case, when the report came of the last conflict upon the Rappahannock, so glorious and yet so fatal to your Regiment. When here at home all was buoyant expectation of your soon return, even then announced, it was sad and sorrowful indeed, to read and know that there was no return for, alas ! too many.
Yet it is a consolation that the sacrifice so costly has been made for a cause, precious above price, for the defence of constitutional and legitimate Government, against the assaults of a hateful and hated rebellion in arms. And there is the further consolation, that no one who has been taken from your ranks has died the death of a traitor or of a deserter, or as a coward running from the fate which overtook him; but that loyally, manfully, gallantly, all have stood with their comrades, and have met their destiny as a true soldier loves to meet it, with his face toward the foe.
And you have brought back with you your colors, the last thing which a brave Regiment surrenders. These colors have never been surrendered, have never been repulsed, have never been driven back, have never retreated save at the order of the General Commanding, and when a whole army or the whole force fell back with them. The Thirty-third has never, as a Regiment, fallen back upon compulsion, but has often stopped the current of the enemy's advance, and has turned the tide of many an unpromising conflict, and saved from the chronicle the record of a loyal defeat. Torn by shot and shell, dim with
the stain of the elements, spotted with the blood of its brave defenders, and faded from the bright hues which were first unfurled to the sun-light, these colors yet bear upon them one word, which is a sunbeam of itself
“WILLIAMSBURG," inscribed there for gallant conduct and persistent, obdurate bravery in that field, by an order delivered to you from the mouth of your Commander-in-Chief, George B. McClellan.
That one word written there is a lustre and a glory which no warp and woof of the artificer, though shot with silk of richest dye, and with thread of purest gold, can equal or imitate.
It is worn and tattered. But the perils it has shared with you, the hardships you have borne under it, make it beautiful and sacred to us, men of inaction, who now look upon it, the mute yet eloquent witnesses of all your noble deeds. It will soon take its place in the treasured archives of this noble State, among its kindred flags, second to none, equal to any in interest.
But I weary your patience with a theme which grows upon my mind, and I must come to a close.
I hope we all, whose spokesman I now am, hope and pray that, escaped from the hardships of your service, you may live long to enjoy the blessings of a Government and a Union, as we trust, saved and restored, in no small part, by your devotion. And it will add no canker to your enjoyment to reflect,