the Army of the Cumberland
|GENERAL PRICE: If it is in order,
I wish to stat that three years ago this Society at considerable
expense and trouble removed the remains of our late Commander,
Rosecrans, from California to the National Cemetery at Washington,
and when they arrived there suitable and appropriate exercises were
held. Now, the remains are there with simply a shingle with
his name, ROSECRAN, on it. If we do not so more than we have
done, it were better that the remains had been allowed to rest where
first interred. I talked with GENERAL BOYNTON frequently about
it, and had he lived he intended to bring the matter before this
meeting. But he passed away, and I express to you his wishes
in the matter.
It occurred to me, if is is
proper, we might reconsider the action of yesterday by which four
thousand dollars raised for the SHERIDAN states was directed to be
paid over to the Congressional Committee and added to that
appropriated by Congress fir an equestrian statue of SHERIDAN, and
divert this fund ti build a shaft to ROSECRANS. Then, visitors
to this bivouac of the dead would point with pride to the spot where
lies all that is mortal of the hero of Corinth, Stone River and
THE CHAIR: This is a subject which certainly appeals to every heart. However, I think the subscriptions to the SHERIDAN monument were personal subscriptions --to the personality of PHIL SHERIDAN, and should not be diverted. But I think there are ways by which arrangements may be made for a suitable memorial to GENERAL ROSECRANS. A resolution to refer the matter to the Executive Committee, or a special committee, would be in order.
LIEUTENANT CANNON: I move that committee be appointed from this Society to tke this matter up. It should be at once, for there need be no delay. We all know how many years this matter of erecting the Sheridan statue has been standing and nothing yet done. Our Government is fully able to build it and it should be done by the Government, not by the Army of the Cumberland. His service was good. We all remember him at Stone River, and we remember him at Chickamauga. When he brought his army to Stone River he made as fine a movement with ah army as ever has been made, or ever will be! [Applause.]
THE CHAIR: Will the gentleman name the number of members the committee shall have?
LIEUTENANT CANNON: I would leave that with the chairman of the committee, but should think a committee of five or seven would be satisfactory.
GENERAL PARKHURST: I rise to suggest that in appointing that committee you make our Vice President from Maryland the chairman. He is very enthusiastic and if he maintains his enthusiasm and works with the congressmen, he will succeed in getting the appropriation. The trouble has been heretofore that we have put upon our committees men who have failed to attend to their duties. They lose their enthusiasm. I believe this comrade is not so old but he can keep up his enthusiasm. Let him be made chairman and we will get the appropriation.
GENERAL MIZNER: I have full confidence that the enthusiasm of the Marylander will never fail. My desire is that this action shall be national for grand old GENERAL ROSECRANS, for I was with him at Murfreesboro and Stone RIver. I would invest full authority in this committee for action during this session of COngress, and not wait an hour. I want to see action, not precipitate, but coming from the heart and soul of every member of the Army of the Cumberland. I worship the memory of GENERAL WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS! [Applause.} I hold for him a reverence in my heart never to be effaced! [Applause.}
THE CHAIR: Are there any further remarks? The Chair will be glad to have suggestions as to members who will be most useful in this matter. The motion of the member from Maryland i that a committee shall be appointed which shall take this matter up to erect a suitable memorial over the remains of our beloved comrade, GENERAL ROSECRANS.
CAPTAIN BREMNER: I thought he said an equestrian statue?
LIEUTENANT CANNON: No: I suggested a memorial to our great commander.
MR. SOMERS: We are erecting equestrian statues to other great generals of the war, and now the proposition is made to mark the resting place of GENERAL ROSECRANS in a cemetery. I want to say that I believe the work of the Army of the Cumberland has not been properly completed until an equestrian statue of GENERAL ROSECRANS finds its place in Washington. He is as prominent as any general who ever rode at the head is columns. No general in the war, in the most critical period of battle, ever rode down the line looking grander than GENERAL ROSERANS! [Applause.] I make no exception of any whose statues appear on the streets of Washington. The monument would be an improvement over the board or shingle now on his grave, but if he stand not equal to those others, these is discrimination, which I protest against.
CAPTAIN BREMNER: I raised the question because I thought a statue should be erected. I see no reason why an equestrian statue to General Rosecrans should not be placed in one of the parks at Washington as well as others. He certainly was second to nobody in the army of the United States. There was no one superior to Rosecrans! [Applause.]
GENERAL MIZNER: I like the sentiment that an equestrian statue should be erected in the perfect city of the Nation. Washington, -- not a monument, merely in the cemetery. I second the suggestion for an equestrian statue, instead of a monument to be placed prominently in the national capital.
LIEUTENANT CANNON: Mr. President, I am perfectly willing to withdraw my motion, since the sentiment seems to be in favor of such a statue. I will move, then , that a statue be erected in Washington, in keeping with others there, instead is a monument at Arlington, But it looks to me like a grand mistake, and that is should be put in Arlington. There is where GENERAL ROSECRANS lies to-day, and I think every member of the Army of the Cumberland, whether private or officer, should agree that that is where the marker should be placed. On the streets in Washington, it would be passed without attention, just as others are passed; but in that grand old cemetery of Arlington, as long as our country lives, as long as that flag with all its stars floats over us, Americans will visit the grave of ROSECRANS, the hero of Stone River and of Chickamauga, two of the greatest battles of the Civil War, and the monument will be seen and appreciated. But I am willing to abide by the decision of the members of the Society here.
GENERAL PRICE: I do not agree with the last speaker. At first I suggested some mark to be place on the grave itself, a monument for the grave. I was modest. I know the feelings there have been about the Battle of Chickamauga, but Chattanooga was our objective point, and we took and held the place. Therefore, I say he was the hero of Chickamauga, as well as of Corinth and Stone River. But now I decided in favor of what seems to be the prevailing sentiment of the house, an equestrian statue to be erected in one of the parks in Washington. If it is not placed there, it will show discrimination. We already have one of THOMAS and soon will have one of SHERIDAN, and unless we do erect one there for ROSECRANS, it will be inquired why the discrimination. As far as the statement, that it will not be as prominent in the street of Washington as at Arlington is concerned, I think it is a mistake. Many people visit Washington who never go to the cemetery.
And I want to say that I think in strategy ROSECRANS was not surpassed by anyone in that was or any previous one. He secured this city in the face if a strong and powerful enemy, overcoming almost insurmountable difficulties, but he had the nerve to undertake it, and I think the success of GENERAL GRANT was due to ROSECRANS' matchless strategy! [Applause.] I am surprised that the matter if erecting to him a suitable statue has been so long delayed. I was on the committee for the THOMAS monument, and I hope the same zeal will characterize this committee as characterized the committee that had in charge the erection of the monument to GENERAL THOMAS.
CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN: I have no doubt that the President will appoint a suitable and competent committee to take charge of this work, and I move that all matters pertaining to the character and location of the statue of General ROSECRANS be referred to this committee with full power.
COLONEL BLAKELEY: I want to make one suggestion. My recollection is that General ROsecrans' grave is in a very prominent part of the Arlington cemetery. It is on a high knoll fronting the Potomac River, is my recollection, though I have not been there since the burial. I remember at the time it was spoken of as a remarkably appropriate place. As it is a conspicuous place, I make the suggestion (Of course, leaving the decision of the whole matter to the committee) that a statue if GENERAL ROSECRANS erected there would be in full view across the Potomac and even in Washington. I am certain that upon investigation it will be found better to place the statue at his grave.
SERGEANT STEWARD: I want to say a word. I know the comrades want to do just the right thing, and it occurs to me that we will make a mistake to erect a statue of any sort a Arlington. Most people who go to Washington never visit Arlington and never will. I think I get there about as often as the average American citizen, and I want to say to you that during all my numerous visits to Washington since I was a boy, I never bit since visited Arlington, and that was on the occasion of the burial of our comrade, General Boynton. Then I went on the order of our Chamber of Commerce. Now, then, why erect a statue to so great a man in an obscure place, seldom visited. The object of this statue, as I understand it, is to perpetuate the memory of the greatest general of the Civil War. Anyone who studies the campaigns of Murfreesboro to this city, gained by his splendid strategy, cannot fail to accord to him the place of one of the greatest leaders of his age. And this statue should have a place in Washington where it will stand as long as this republic endures. If placed in Arlington very few persons will see it. It is a long distance from Washington and a man must take the greater part of a day to go there. It will certainly be a mistake to put it there. A respectable monument marking the last resting place of GENERAL ROSECRANS, will answer the purpose there; but an equestrian statue should be erected in Washington in one of the numerous circles or parks provided for that purpose. I hope the committee, when it makes up its memorial to Congress, will ask that the statue be placed in Washington.
THE CHAIR: The question is now upon the amendment of of CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN, providing that when this committee shall be appointed it be given full power and discretion to ask for such memorial as it may deem best.
Amendment unanimously adopted.
THE CHAIR: I will now put the original motion of the gentleman from Maryland, providing that a committee of five or seven be appointed to take this matter in charge.
Motion unanimously adopted.
Return to Rosecrans, Part 5, Post War Years