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Splendid Ovation at Canandaigua. - Speeches and Address by
E. G. Lapham, J. P. Faurot, and the Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chaplain of the Regiment.--Return of the Regimental Banner to the Ladies of Canandaigua. - Parting Exercises. — The Thirty-third passes into History.
On the following Monday, May 25th, the Regiment proceeded to Canandaigua, where a splendid ovation was received at the hands of the citizens. The most extensive preparations had been made and the people flocked in by hundreds from the surrounding country to welcome home their own “Ontario Regiment.” The train, consisting of ten coaches, reached the depot at nine o'clock, where an immense crowd of people were assembled to catch a first glimpse of the heroes of Williamsburg and Marye's
Heights. After a brief delay, a procession was • formed, under the direction of the Marshal of the day, in the following order: Marshal -— WILLIAM HILDRETH.
COLONEL TAYLOR and STAFF.
Officers and Soldiers : – You have come back, after two years of arduous service in the cause of your country, to receive, as is your due, the grati tude of the State and the homage of the People. The high honor has been assigned me, humble and unfitted as I am for the duty, in the name and behalf of the people of this County and locality to bid you a hearty and generous welcome. You have come among us at a period when our hearts are inspired to make your reception the more cordial by the news of the brilliant achievements of our arms in the south-west. You return with thinned ranks, and diminished numbers, the glorious remnant of a noble band, whose bravery and skill have been displayed on almost every battle-field, from the scene where the great contest for our independence was closed, to the last deadly conflict around Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Each one of you has brought home his tale of thrilling incident or noble daring, which will be repeated from hearthstone to hearthstone, and from generation to generation, as long as the name of America shall be known among men. ,
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 80 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 to the Brave," wrought with red and white flowers. 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