« PreviousContinue »
of this opportunity, and left the counting-rooms and mercantile houses, and rushed on with the crowd to enrol their names among that mighty host to fight for the Constitution and the Union. The question soon arose," What would become of the families of volunteers left without means to provide for themselves?" This question was no sooner asked than it was answered by generous donations from moneyed men and patriotic women, some contributing as high as two thousand dollars to the "volunteer fund," for the benefit of "soldiers' families."
On the morning of the 16th, the bark Manhattan, Capt. Davis, of and from Savannah, arrived at the port of Boston, and hauled in at Clapp's Wharf, No. 573 Commercial Street. As soon as Capt. Davis heard of the condition of affairs at the South he hoisted a secession flag, bearing upon it fifteen stars and a rattlesnake, at his main-mast head. It soon attracted attention from a number of people in the vicinity, and presently there was quite a gathering on the wharf. The crowd and the excitement continued to increase, and several men on the wharf demanded who hoisted the flag. The captain, who was walking up and down the deck, replied, "I did, and mean it shall stay there." The cries and movements of the crowd became every moment more menacing, and the captain, fearing violence, retreated to the lower deck. Finally, the crew hauled the flag down, to save the ship from being damaged, and passed it to the crowd on the wharf. It was immediately seized, and torn into a hundred pieces.
The morning of the sixteenth of April was cold, dark and rainy, one of those gloomy mornings not much calculated to create enthusiasm among the volunteers. The order to assemble on the Common was counteṛmanded, and the companies which first arrived proceeded directly to Faneuil Hall. Quite a crowd assembled on the Common at an early hour in the morning, and withstood the
storm bravely for several hours, expecting every moment. the troops would arrive, but to them no troops came. The depots were thronged, and when the trains arrived with the different companies and regiments, the greatest enthusiasm was manifested, and cheer on cheer rent the air.
The Marblehead companies, three in number, were the first to arrive at Faneuil Hall. They were received with hearty cheers by an immense crowd assembled in the street. When the order for troops was promulgated in Marblehead on the evening of the fifteenth, a subscription was at once started by the moneyed men of the place to provide for the families of the volunteers, who were mostly mechanics. In less than half an hour, one thousand dollars had been subscribed in sums of one hundred each, and next morning the amount was swelled to one thousand nine hundred.
The Marblehead companies were soon followed by the companies belonging to the Fourth Regiment. Faneuil Hall was filled by one o'clock, and the companies which arrived after that time were quartered in other places. The Third Regiment, Col. Wardrop, which came in on the Old Colony Railroad, occupied the hall over the depot, which was tendered to them by Mr. Holmes, the president of the road. The New Bedford City Guards, Capt. Ingraham, of this regiment, took dinner at the United States Hotel, and afterwards proceeded to the armory of the Second Battalion, which was tendered for their use. The Sixth Regiment, Col. Jones, came in on the Lowell Railroad, and first proceeded to Faneuil Hall, where they got dinner, and afterwards to the armory of the Second Battalion. The Eighth Regiment, Lieut. Col. Munroe, was divided, part being quartered at Fitchburg Hall and part at Faneuil Hall.
In narrating the praiseworthy promptness to respond to the calls of the country of our own American people,
we must not forget our Irish citizens, for they were neither "last nor least" in this movement.
On the evening of the sixteenth, the Irish residents of Boston assembled in great numbers at the Jackson Club Room, Hanover Street, to express their affection for their adopted country, their firm determination to support the President of the United States in his trying position, and their abhorrence of the rebellious subjects who were engaged at the South in fomenting civil war.
B. S. Treanor, Esq., called the meeting to order. On motion of Mr. James Sullivan, Captain Thomas Cass was appointed chairman for the evening. The organization was further perfected by the choice of the following gentlemen for vice-presidents:
Vice-Presidents - Dr. W. M. Walsh, T. H. Smith, B. S. Treanor, Owen Lappen, James Healy, Michael Gormley, John Maloney, J. H. Fallon, James Sullivan, Martin Lennon, John McGlinn, Wm. B. Maloney, Dr. John Walsh, Cornelius Murphy, W. W. Doherty, Michael Cummiskey, Jeremiah Lyons, John Kenney, Patrick McInerny, Dennis Hogan, Andrew D. Mahoney, James Dowling. Secretaries James Donnelly, Thomas A. Matthews, John Glancy.
The chairman then proceeded with his opening remarks. He thought the condition of the country was one fraught with momentous consequences to its adopted citizens. Our republic stands the last of all the great republics, and if this proves a failure, the experiment may never be tried again. We have the blessings of home, liberty and equality, a free press, and religious tolerance to all. Nothing seems to be wanting to the happiness of the people, and their chief aim should be to preserve the government which ensures these blessings. The success of the country has been an inspiration to the poor and downtrodden of all nations, not excepting unfortunate Ireland. We should resist every project and idea of disunion; we
should resist all attempts to withdraw us from the love of country, from whatever source they come. The young men are now called upon to remember whose sons they are, and from what blood they are descended. They should bear in mind that death never comes too soon, if necessary in the defence of one's country:
"Whether on the scaffold high,
The noblest place for man to die
B. S. Treanor, Esq., from the committee on resolutions, next addressed the meeting in a speech which was received with great enthusiasm. He expressed the hope that the adopted citizens might have an opportunity to stand up with those who were native and to the manor borne, upon the banks of the Potomac, in the defence of the Federal capital at Washington. His allusions to the Irish patriot Montgomery, and the soldier of foreign parentage who led the American forces at New Orleans, were received with general applause. Mr. Treanor at this point-read the following resolutions :
“Whereas, for a long time previously, and ever since the election of Abraham Lincoln to the office of the United States, by a constitutional majority of the people, a dangerous and treasonable conspiracy has existed in several of the Southern States, the open and avowed object of which is the overthrow of the government and the destruction of the Constitution and the Union; and,
"Whereas, this conspiracy was well known to members of the late cabinet of James Buchanan, who had sworn to maintain the Constitution of the United States; yet, regardless alike of their duty as citizens and officers of the government, and in violation of their most solemn oaths, they not only neglected to suppress this treasonable conspiracy, but co-operated with the Southern traitors in
furtherance of their diabolical purposes, by plundering for their use the national treasury, and sending them government arms, intended originally for the defence of the country, to be used for its overthrow and destruction; and,
“Whereas, in pursuance of this design, the traitors of the South have seized upon and usurped the dock-yards, arsenals, magazines, forts, custom-houses, public funds, and other national property in the rebellious States, and are now using them against the lives and liberties of the people to whom they belong; and,
"Whereas, every peaceful effort made by President Lincoln to induce the rebels to return to their duty and their allegiance has met only contumely and insult from these misguided men, until the forbearance of the government was interpreted as evidence of its imbecility; and at length ten thousand armed men have attacked Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, and compelled the seventy brave defenders to surrender to their immense and superior numbers; and that in pursuance of their treasonable designs the rebels now threaten to attack the seat of government and plant their despotic flag upon its Capitol,
"Be it therefore resolved by us, the adopted citizens of Boston, of Irish birth and parentage, in this the most dangerous and threatening crisis through which our beloved adopted country has yet passed, that it is the solemn and sacred duty of every citizen and of every man who participates in and enjoys the inestimable blessings and privileges of our free government, to cast aside all party distinctions and unite as one man in support of the national administration, and in defence of our common country, its flag and its freedom.
"Resolved, That we will support the government, by every means in our power, in its efforts to enforce the laws, collect the revenue, repossess the national property, maintain the Constitution, and suppress treason and rebellion wherever it appears.