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You have brought back in triumph that banner (pointing to the regimental banner presented by the ladies of Canandaigua), soiled and tattered by the casualties of the war, and it, too, is a witness of your devotion and fidelity to the honored flag of your country. That banner was an object of interest to us when it was confidingly placed in your keeping by the donors. It was an object of interest to you when you received it on your parade ground at Elmira. It was an object of still deeper interest to you when its tattered fragments were borne aloft by brave hands, and dimly seen through the cloud and smoke of battle. It is to become an object of still deeper interest to us when you shall soon return it to the fair hands from whom you received it, in fulfilment of your honored pledge to return it unstained by cowardice or shame, “ though stained with blood in a righteous cause.” Soldiers, that flag, like all things earthly, will perish,
“Its silken folds may feed the moth," but the precious lives which have been gloriously lain down in its defence are treasures laid up where “ neither moth nor rust corrupt," and their names will go into the history of this Republic as among its most priceless treasures. We trust, that after a brief respite from the toils and privations of the battle-field, and the enjoyment of the rest and renewed vigor you will derive from the abundant delights and comforts of home and fireside, most, if not all of you, will again be found, if need be, rally
ing to the support of the flag you have so long and so nobly defended.
To you sir (addressing Colonel Taylor), and your Aids, the cherished leaders of this glorious band of men, no words are adequate to express the deep gratitude we feel for your fidelity to your trust.
Officers and Soldiers, it only remains for me, in conclusion, without detaining you longer, again to say, that in the name and by the authority of the people I represent, we bid you welcome — thrice welcome — among us.
After a brief reply from Colonel Taylor, the procession re-formed, and marched through various streets of the village, which were gaily festooned and decorated with flags. In front of the Webster House a wreath of evergreen spanned the entire street, and the Stars and Stripes were unfurled over the building. Crossing the railroad, a little distance above, was a massive arch, consisting of two semicircles of evergreen, studded with bouquets and bright flowers, and containing in the centre the word “Welcome.” A second arch was erected near the Episcopal Church, composed of green twigs bespangled with roses, and extending across the street. On one side appeared the words, “ Welcome
On the opposite, “ Tears for the Fallen,” enshrouded with crape. Over the entrance to the Seminary Grounds appeared the mottoes, “Our Country," and “Its defenders," gracefully set out with laurel and roses. Suspended over the gateway of the
Academy was a “Welcome,” of red, white, and blue. On entering Gibson street, the procession passed under a third beautiful arch of evergreens and flowers, bearing the significant word “Williamsburg." Arrived at the Fair Grounds, east of the village, the gates were thrown wide open, and the spacious enclosure soon filled with thousands of spectators. After listening to numerous stirring airs from the Hopewell, Canandaigua, and Regimental brass bands, the Regiment performed the various evolutions of the manual, exhibited the manner of pitching tents, made a “charge,” and went through with numerous other military exercises, which elicited rounds of applause from the lookers on. These ended, J. P. Faurot, Esq., ascended the platform, which had been erected for the occasion, and delivered the following address :
SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS OF THE THIRTY-THIRD REGIMENT OF VOLUNTEERS, AND OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC:— The thousands within the sound of my voice have this day assembled to extend to you, for your courage, your patriotism, your noble sacrifices, the plaudits and homage of a grateful people, and a warm and hearty welcome to your homes, and the joys of domestic life. A little more than two years ago, this nation was basking in the meridian splendor of national glory, happiness and prosperity, with a territory extending from ocean to ocean; a flag that floated in triumph over every part of our vast domain ; a Constitution and Government
dispensing its blessings and its benefits over all; a great, a glorious and happy nation of thirty-three millions of people. Suddenly the tocsin of war was sounded by several of the States, which, for threequarters of a century, had enjoyed the blessings, the privileges and prosperity incident to the Government handed down to us by our patriot fathers. The freemen of the north saw the threatened danger to our institutions, to our country and our homes. You, Soldiers and Patriots, at this crisis in our country's history, worthy sons of patriot sires, left your farms, your work-shops, your counters and your homes, and organized the Regiment comprising the immortal Thirty-third Volunteers of the Empire State, and went forth to meet the foe that would strike down the liberties of millions of happy freemen, and who would destroy the wisest and best government ever devised by the wisdom of man. Unacquainted with the arts of war, with patriot hearts you rushed to the rescue of your country from impending ruin and desolation; and first in deadly conflict at Lewinsville, you proved that your valor, your patriotism and your skill, were equal to the trying emergencies through which you were called to pass. At Yorktown, the place of final victory to our arms under the immortal Washington, you seemed to be inspired by his spirit and nobly, bravely, proved yourselves soldiers worthy the high and holy cause you were defending.
At Williamsburg — that desperate conflict — you exhibited a daring, a high and ennobling courage,
unsurpassed in ancient or modern times; a daring that knew no fear; a resolution as immovable, as determined, as that of the most daring patriots and veterans of Revolutionary fame. For your noble conduct, for your deeds of valor there, the name of WILLIAMSBURG was inscribed upon your banner, by order of your great chieftain, GEO. B. McCLELLAN.
You, officers and soldiers of the gallant Thirtythird, in every battle have covered yourselves all over with glory. After the inscription upon your banner, you no less distinguished yourselves for bravery and deeds of noble daring, at the battles of Mechanicsville, White-Oak Swamp, Malvern Hills, the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam and South Mountain, and the battles at Fredericksburg, under the gallant Burnside and Hooker, the last of which was only three weeks ago this day. It was then but a few days before your two years of enlistment expired, that many of your brave companions offered up their lives as sacrifices upon their country's altar.
It was then that an officer advancing with his men, in the midst of a deadly fire, silenced one of the largest and most deadly guns of the enemy--a deed that has seldom, if ever, been exceeded for noble daring and self-sacrificing patriotism in the annals of any age or of any country. You left your homes from the rendezvous at Elmira two years ago, with about nine hundred men ; you return to us with three hundred and fifty, all told; your colors and your flags rent and torn by shell and shot of the enemy in bloody strife, tell a truer tale of your sacrifices, your