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Let Us Have Liberty and Union [22 August 1861]

Let Us Have Liberty and Union

[22 August 1861]


Gen. Wool in New York


Major General John Ellis Wool arrived in New York on Thursday evening, and was, notwithstanding his somewhat unexpected arrival, handsomely received. A procession under the escort of the Anderson Zouaves, passed through the principal streets, and General Wool was loudly cheered. At nearly 12 o'clock, the Seventh Regiment Band, having played a variety of airs, General Wool appeared on the balcony of the St. Nicholas Hotel and spoke as follows :

Fellow-Citizens: I thank you for this unexpected honor. Nothing is more gratifying to a soldier's feelings than the good opinion of his fellow-citizens. I do not, however, regard it merely as a compliment personal to myself, but on behalf of my country, my bleeding country, which is now contending for the most precious rights. But yesterday we were a great people, commanding the admiration of the world, with an empire extending from the frozen regions of the North to the tropical regions of the South, and with a population of more than thirty-one millions, enjoying a prosperity unparalleled in the history of nations. Every city and hamlet was growing rich, and none so much so as those at the south.

But this is not so to-day. And for what reason? For nothing under God's heavens but because the South wants to extend the area of Slavery. Nothing else but that. The only question with you is whether you will support free speech, free government, free suffrage, or extend  the area of Slavery. This was the happiest country on the face of the globe a few months since, with a government more kind than any other in existence, where man could walk abroad in his own majesty, and none to make him afraid. Never sacrifice that government, but maintain it to the last. I thank you gentlemen, for the honor you have done me. [Great and long continued cheering.]

The band then struck up the "Red, White and Blue." As a pause was made in the music, cries were made for the appearance of Gen. Wool, and in response he came forward and said:

"Gentlemen, a few words more; though I am too hoarse to speak, I have only to say to you let us have liberty and union, the whole Union and nothing but the Union, now and forever. Goodnight." [Great cheers]

Gen. Wool was accompanied by but one Aide.


Berkshire County Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.), Thursday, August 22, 1861.


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