91st PA--newspaper articles

Presentation of a suit of flags

'Presentation of a suit of flags'

['Presentation of a suit of flags', Philadelphia Inquirer, 4 February 1864, page 4]

For Further Local Intelligence See Seventh Page.

PRESENTATION OF A SUIT OF FLAGS.--CONcert Hall was crowded last evening on the occasion of the presentation of a suit of flags to the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, Colonel Gregory commanding. GEORGE W. McGEE, Chairman of the Ladies' Committee, made some appropriate remarks previous to introducing the Rev. J. W. MEARS, who led the audience in prayer expressive of thankfulness at being permitted to enjoy the occasion.

An address was then made by Professor SAUNDERS. He stated that he felt abashed in looking over the vast audience, and if he failed to please the people before him, he was sure that those who followed him would be able to make amends. His embarrassment arose from the fact that behind him and before him were men who had sacrificed their interests at home, and had been willing to go forth and battle with the enemy. The present state of things revealed so much of history, which it would take ages to recount.

The speaker having concluded, the band of the Ninety-first Regiment struck up a lively air, after which Governor POLLOCK presented the flag, which had been provided by the ladies at a cost of three hundred dollars. He proposed, before performing this duty, three cheers for the Union and the gallant men composing the Regiment before him, which were given with a hearty good will. He was followed by Colonel GREGORY, who accepted the colors in behalf of the regiment in a neat and appropriate speech.

The Saunders Cadets were present, together with the members of the Ninety-first Regiment, who occupied seats in the body of the Hall. The meeting was one of the largest ever held in that place, the platform and every available spot being filled.

'Presentation of flags'

['Presentation of flags', Philadelphia Press 4 February 1864, page 2]
[source: ActivePaper Archive, Penn State University (accessed 8 November 2008)]


PRESENTATION OF FLAGS.--Last evening Concert Hall was crowded to excess with ladies and gentlemen who had assembled there to witness the presentation of the National and State flags and three guidons from the ladies of Philadelphia, to the 91st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Gregory. The flags were made in a beautiful and substantial manner, at a cost of three hundred dollars. The officers and members of the regiment were present with their torn and tattered battle-flags which added solemnity to the scene. The stage was draped with a number of American flags. A band was in attendance which discoursed patriotic airs before the exercise began. Mr. George W. Magee acted as chairman of the meeting. A prayer was then offered by the Rev. Dr. Mears, on behalf of the country and the 91st Regiment, and imploring a blessing upon all, after which Professor Saunders, of this city, was introduced.

He said: The most experienced speaker might feel abashed at looking over this vast audience. He knew that if he would fail, there were speakers to follow that never failed. His greatest embarrassment would be, not that he stood before the beautiful and the accomplished, or the young and the aged, but that there stood behind him the brave men who had bared their bosoms to the shots of the enemy. There is more vauable history connected with this war thus far than has ever been connected with any war, either in ancient or modern times. The speaker then made a few running remarks of the gallant deeds performed by the 91st Regiment on the different battle-fields, which were received with great applause.

At the conclusion of his speech, the reveille was beaten by the drum corps of the 91st Regiment, directed by Major [sic] Bancker, which was on the platform at the time.

The flags were then presented to the regiment on behalf of their lady friends by ex-Gov. Jas. Pollock. Before commencing his remarks he proposed three cheers for the 91st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, which were given with a will, the ladies and gentlement standing upon their feet to do so. The speaker then paid a glowing tribute to the position which the sons of Pennsylvania took at the commencement of this mighty rebellion, and of the great part which they have played in the crushing of it. His remarks were received with great applause. He handed the colors to Col. Gregory, commander of the regiment, who received them in [sic] behalf of the officers and men. In doing so he said:

Mr. President, ladies and friends of the 91st Regiment, we accept this suit of colors with grateful hearts. Boys, these are your colors, the colors of your country. I need not say that you will defend them. The audience know it. He then proposed three cheers for the colors, which were heartily given. The men then sat down, and the Colonel proceeded. He said: We receive these colors with gratitude to you; with thankfulness to God that we have friends at home. We have returned to your midst, but not all of us. We have left brave men behind, but we expect to meet them at the judgment seat, where they will not be condemned for what they have done on the battle-field. He had made up his mind that when the last chain shall be severed from the body of the last slave in America, then he believed the war would be at an end, and he hoped it would be at the time when Abraham Lincoln was re-elected President of these United States. [Cheers.] We have lost many dear ones on the fields of Virginia. The day will come, and, we trust, before long, when this was will be over. We have 403 [my note: last digit unclear] men left out of 1,100 and odd, and we have recruited about one hundred lately. We come to Philadelphia to fill our regiment to a thousand strong, and we expect to do it, and you young men must come forth. We are in for this war to the end. This Government was founded upon principle--the principle of freedom to every man. The Government was ordained by God, and we believe that it was ordained that Abraham Lincoln was to lead us through this trial. We accept these banners, and they will be accepted and protected we believe. He then introduced to the audience Sergeant Chism [presumably Robert Chism], who, he said, had carried the other flag through every battle. Should these banners fall, I should find you, from your past character, beneath them. These colors you are to carry. May God spare you to carry them through this contest. Take this color, and I ask no more of you in the future than I have had from you in the past. The State flag was then placed in the hands of Corporal Winner [sic]. This rebellion, he continued, has cost much and it will cost more. This Government is destined to be the greatest in the world, and to-day there is not a monarchy in the Old World which does not tremble at the power of our Government. This all arises from the one national principle of freedom to all within it. He believed that this rebellion would have been crushed before had it not been for the fire from the Copperheads in the rear. [Applause.] Heaven grant that there shall never be peace until every rebel shall lay down his arms, and the shackles be broken from every slave in the land. [Applause.]

At the conclusion of his remarks, the tattoo and the Star-spangled Banner were beaten by the drum corps, which elicited much applause. The proficiency attained by these drummers is wonderful, and great credit is due to Drum Major Bancker, who has charge of them. At the conclusion of this part of the exercises the large audience retired.

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revised 3 Apr 10
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