FRIDAY MORNING, JANUARY 28(?), 1864
CITY AND VICINITY
Another Grand Ovation !
Reception of the Forty-Second Indiana
GREAT ENTHUSIASM !
The arrival of the veteran Forty-Second Indiana, yesterday, was made the occasion of another grand ovation fully equal to that on Tuesday, when the 17th, 24th, and 44th were received. The day was one of the most beautiful that could be imagined. The sun shone bright and warm, and the air was balmy as May. The streets were in excellent condition, the mud having mostly disappeared, and all the various hindrances, which have so interfered with our welcomes heretofore were now overcome. The street decorations of Tuesday were increased by hundreds of small banners, red, white and blue streamers and many more large flags, and everything appeared in holiday attire.
At half past nine the great bell sounded the signal for committees to meet, and for the ladies to repair to the Soldiers’ Home to make preparations for the dinner. They went by scores, some in carriages and others on foot, with baskets filled with every savory dish and delicacy which the ingenuity of a cultivated taste could suggest. At twelve o’clock the regiment appeared on the streets, escorted by the Seventeenth, and conducted by the marshals appointed. They marched up Washington to Delaware street and contermarched, to the music of fife and drum by the regimental band, in which was the noble little drummer boy, Johnny Mischig (Messick), and were greeted by the waving of handkerchief from every window and balcony, and cheers from the multitude who thronged the sidewalks along the whole length of the street. The display was grand indeed. The erect carriage, manly looks and regular marching of the regiment told that they were composed of intelligent men of purposes as unbending and true as the bayonet that gleamed in the noon-day sun. Though they were veterans, long unused to the gentler moods of civil life, they had warm hearts, and their stern countenances were lit up with a glad smile when they caught the eye of beauty beaming upon them.
The regiments arrived at the Soldiers’ Home at one o’clock, and partook of the splendid dinner prepared for them by the ladies. Nine tables were loaded with the viands of every description. Each table was served by twenty ladies, all striving to supply their respective portions in the best and most attractive style. The rich and the poor were there together, with a common purpose, and all lending a willing hand to the work before them. They all deserve the highest credit for their good offices. The managers of the Home also merit special notice for their efforts to accommodate the ladies with everything necessary for the success of their arrangements.
When the soldiers had taken their places at the table, Col. James Bake (Baker?) gave the orders as follows:
Attention, Battalions! “Ready, aim, fire and load at will.” The order was obeyed. They went in as men who appreciated the value of time, and when a plate or a cup was empty, a fair hand anticipated the want and supplied it without a question. It was a beautiful sight, and long will those soldiers remember the offering. After dinner the little drummer boy edified the crowd of citizens present with an exhibition of his powers, exciting their admiration, and receiving many compliments.
The regiment then marched back to Washington street and up as far as Alabama, contermarched and went to the State House, the immense crowd rendering it impossible to occupy Metropolitan Hall, which had been generously tendered for the occasion. They formed in a “double column on the center,” and the vestibule and the grounds for many yards around were densely packed with citizens.
The exercises were opened with a prayer by Chaplain Layton, of the 17th Indiana. The prayer was one of devout thanks to God for his care of the soldiers in all their many trials, and earnest pleading for the blessings of Heaven upon them, and upon the governor and rulers of the nation. The National Guard Band, which had joined the procession at the Soldiers’ Home, then gave the stirring and ever cheering “Star Spangled Banner” with fine effect.
Gov. Morton welcomed the regiment home in one of his best efforts. He discussed at some length the cause that induced these men to peril their lives on the field of battle. He said there were two great ideas which had divided the country. One was that the Sates were sovereignties, and as such, partners in a compact which they had the right to dissolve at anytime, by secession or otherwise. This idea led to separation when its advocates found they could no longer rule the Government. The other idea was that while all the 8 states were sovereign, they were independent of, but subordinate to, the General Government, which was a unity for the preservation (?) of the lesser Government. The history of Indiana proves the absurdity of the first. She was part of Virginia, and had no original State sovereignty. It was the desire to preserve the unity of separate state governments, attacked with such violence by the rebels, that led forth hundreds of thousands of our brave North men to battle and death. He said if we should lose ten southern states, we might reasonably apprehend that other divisions might take place, in the remaining states that were united by more natural ties, until this nation would be broken into fragments. And under such a state of affairs, what would have been the condition of Indiana, hemmed in and shut off from trade or communication with the sea board or Gulf of Mexico?
The 42d went out when Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee were claimed and overrun by the rebels. It had participated in the many struggles and triumphs which had given possession and control of these again. It was in the battle of Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and others of less note; and had lost in killed 57, wounded 382, captured 90. It had a brilliant and honorable record, as have all the veteran regiments of Indiana. Their history will furnish material for poetry and romance for generations to come. When a boy, the Governor revered the memory of the Fathers, and believed that their deeds would find no parallel in the future; but he thought now that it was no injustice to their memory to say that these soldiers had made sacrifices so great, and performed deeds more daring.
The Governor then introduced the little drummer boy, Johnny Mischig (Messick), who though now only 11 years of age, has been with the regiment twenty-seven months, going through all that it has encountered, and had kept his heart pure as when he left his mother’s arms. He said that boy was worth a half a dozen of the big men who stay at home. He is a veteran, and the Government shall remember him. His father is now a prisoner at Libby, and Johnny does not wish to leave the army until his father is liberated and his sufferings revenged (?).
The little fellow, who had stood looking around at the audience, who from his first introduction perfectly self-possessed, until the allusion to his father, when he burst into tears and left the stand. Three tremendous cheers were given for the noble drummer boy, and tears were in many eyes.
The Governor concluded by complementing the gallant officers of the regiment, and urging them to keep up their organization, if possible, by filling up the ranks with volunteers. Three hearty cheers were given for the Governor; after which Col. James G. Jones, who has been at home for a year past on detached service, came forward, and on behalf of the regiment thanked the Governor and citizens for the reception and welcome they had received at their hands. (Unreadable)…fought for the salvation of the country and not for honors. They were Indianians, and loved their home, but they could not rest while their country was in danger. He hoped the regiment would show their friends that the charge so often made by the peace men, that the soldier at home was nothing but a vagabond, was a base slander. He believed that it was impossible for a man to be a good soldier without being a gentleman.
Lt. Col. McIntyre also spoke briefly, referring in terms of praise to the gallant old 17th, which had so well protected their flanks on many occasions, and proposed that three cheers be given for them. It was done with will, and three more by all the soldiers and citizens for Col. McIntyre
Gen. Wilder (a few days ago a Colonel) made a short and happy speech to
the (Unreadable), which was rapturously applauded.
(Note: The copy of this article was cut here, but it looks like there might be more)