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Full text of "Memorial address delivered May 30, 1892, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire : before Storer Post No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic"

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Memorial Address 









Again does this land, from ocean to ocean, wit- 
ness the inspiring sight of a people laying aside 
the cares and the strife of their working-day exist- 
ence, to unite in one vast chorus of gratitude to 
the memory of the saviors of their country ; and of 
invocation and praise to Him who giveth us the 
victory, who hath the nation in His keeping. 

Memorial Day ! How solemn, and yet how sweet 
its associations ! Solemn, for it bids us pause and 
measure, each for himself, the duty that he owes in 
person to a cormnon country. Sweet, since it opens 
the flood-gates of memory to a tide of tender emo- 
tion, and brings before us in the bloom of his early 
manhood, his face aglow with patriotic ardor, the 
comrade, the friend, the brother, who welcomed 
death in order that the Union might live. 

Our heroes — can we ever forget them! In 
church-yard ; on rugged hillside ; in smiling valley ; 
by the corner of the field on the old homestead; on 
many a lonely spot far, far away from kindred; in 
the serried ranks of cemetery, cared for and watched 
over by a ISTation, or in graves unknown, they 
lie sleeping — a mighty host! The bosom of this 
historic soil shelters not a few, in whose perpetual 
honor stands yonder figure, on base of 'New Hamp- 
shire granite. In the fulness of strength, erect and 

proud with high resolve, they went forth out of 
these streets to do battle for the Union. It was at 
the call of duty that they went — duty, 

" stern daughter of the voice of God." 

Silently now do they all await the dawning of 
the last, great day. 

We would fain keep green the memory of each 
soldier and sailor, and thank him for what he did, 
and for what he was. And so, at this glad season, 
we search out his last earthly restmg-place ; and 
reverently, with eye not undimmed, we lay God's 
own flowers there. 

A simple act. But oh, how eloquent to voice a 
gratitude profound for all that their loyalty, their 
valor, their nobility of soul has rendered possible 
for us, and for our children's children. 

And you, my friends of a later generation, you, 
who are too young to have heard the echoing guns 
of the great struggle; you, who can picture to 
yourselves the scenes of that mighty conflict, only 
because you have drunk in the story from books, 
or given ear, it may be, while some elder has recited 
the tale, — did you, too, not feel the warm blood 
pulsating through your veins, when to-day it was 
permitted you to look upon the ranks (now, alas, 
fast thinning!) of the veteran survivors, as once 
more in military order they have followed the flag, 
to the music of fife and drum? 

It was a custom with the Athenians, at the end 
of a campaign (so Thucydides tells us), to bury in 
the beautiful suburb of Ceramicus, with public 
honors, the bones of those who had fallen in battle. 

A vast concourse of mourners and spectators, upon 
the occasion of these solemn rites, listened in the 
open air to the eulogy pronounced by some eminent 
citizen, whom they had chosen as their orator. 
Such were the circumstances under which Pericles 
delivered his renowned funeral oration, where oc- 
curs that sublime passage : " Of illustrious men the 
whole earth is the sepulchre, signalized not alone 
by the inscription of the column in their native 
land, but in lands not their own, by the unwritten 
memory which dwells with every man of the spirit 
more than of the deed." Hearken to the majestic 
Webster, in like strain, addressing his countrymen 
at Bunker Hill : " "We are among the sepulchres of 
our fathers; we are on ground distinguished by 
their valor, their constancy, and the shedding of 
their blood." And it was to inspire the living, no 
less than to honor the dead, that Abraham Lincoln 
uttered words at Gettysburg, that the world now 
knows by heart. The democracy of to-day, like 
that of the past, yields its highest honors to him 
who has deserved well of his country. 

Yes, a deep and pervading sentiment of our 
nature bids us keep alive the name and the fame of 
each brave spirit, who has laid a last, great sacri- 
fice upon the altar of country. It is the element of 
unselfishness in the deed that makes it gracious. 
" Greater love hath no man than this, that a man 
lay down his life for his friends." Our Revolution- 
ary fathers, and the preservers of the Union, alike 
are consecrated in the hearts of the American 
people. The former gained our liberties, and made 
self-government a living reality. The latter res- 

cued self-government from threatened overthrow, 
and set it upon the firm foundation of an indis- 
sohible Union. 

The War of the Rebellion will ever remain a land- 
mark in the history of civilization; for it was a 
conflict between two phases of civilization, — be- 
tween the slavery of a past, and the progress and 
enlightenment of a new, era. But the occasion for- 
bids our dwelling upon the meaning of the war 
itself. To-day our thoughts cluster around some 
fair-haired youth, who yielded up his life on field 
or deck. 

To live over again those days, which in misty 
recollection seem but a dream, — the leaving home 
and its endearments ; the ready submission to dis- 
cipline in camp, on the march, on shipboard; the 
patient endurance, the wondrous fortitude in hos- 
pital, in prison, in the hour of battle; the equal 
(nay, was it not ofttimes the greater?) heroism of 
those at home, — parents who bade their sons God- 
speed, young wives their husbands, and then turned 
to take up without murmur the daily burden of 
absence, awaiting with blanched cheek the bulletins 
from the front ; and, at last, accepting with a resig- 
nation born of lofty courage, the dread tidings that 
left no ray of hope. To revive these scenes — what 
is it but to kindle afresh in our hearts the sacred 
flame of love of country? 

For the part that ;N"ew Hampshire took in putting 
down the Kebellion, her record shines with a lustre 
that time shall never dim. When our misguided 
brothers fired the fatal shot at Sumter, fortunately 
for the State, she had in the person of her chief 

magistrate a man of energy, and a patriot of purest 
instinct. He lost not a moment in parleying about 
forms of statute authority. He acted. He shoul- 
dered responsibilities, and he did it with alacrity. 
While the country claims him as a bright star in the 
galaxy of war governors, this community in no 
narrow sense shares in the honor that invests his 
name. As in 1776, Portsmouth gave one of her 
merchants — John Langdon — to the cause of the 
Revolution; so, in 1861, she gave to the Union that 
peerless defender of the flag — Ichabod Goodwin ! 

What troops were sent more promptly into the 
field than hers? What better equipped, better 
cared for? The skill and intrepidity of her ofiicers, 
the valor and endurance of her men — where, I 
ask, where in military annals are they surj)assed? 
When, for example, soldiers from other parts of 
the country spoke of ISTew Hampshire's " gallant 
Second " and " fighting Fifth," they meant to em- 
ploy no mere holiday epithet. Of the former — a 
regiment mustered into service here, and to which 
this city furnished a company — I have lately been 
told an incident that shows of what stuff our brave 
boys were made. It was at the battle of Groveton, 
better known as the second battle of Bull Run. 
Without a support, the Second ISTew Hampshire, 
consisting of but little more than three hundred 
men, was to attack the enemy at a most dangerous 
position. My informant. Private Dillon of the color 
comjDany, heard each word that his colonel uttered, 
indelibly engraved as it ever since has been upon 
his memory : " Soldiers of 'New Hampshire, your 
country expects desperate work of you to-day! 


Cast not one thought toward home. Think of God 
and your country. Stand firm as your granite 
hills!" Then rang out the order for the charge; 
and Gilman Marston asked no man to go where he 
himself was not ready to lead the way ! "With sus- 
tained impetuosity the line of bayonets swept for- 
ward, in spite of fearful loss. So superb was the 
onset that Stonewall Jackson, whose men gave way, 
was moved to speak of it in terms of generous ad- 

Did time allow, how gladly would we call up the 
name and the figure of each brave son of Ports- 
mouth, who, at the call of his country, sprang to 
arms. Let me allude, however, to one shining 
exemplar, as the perfect type of an unstudied hero, 
a true soldier, a knight beyond reproach. Well do 
I remember him. An athlete, full-chested ; an eye 
beaming with animation; a voice deep, but gentle; 
in manner, courteous, — his noble physique was the 
fit home of the graces of a Christian gentleman. 
If ever a man gave to the state in her hour of need 
all that he had, imsullied by a thought of self, it 
was he. Suited to command, with the opportunity 
only too readily open to him to hold a commission, 
he chose to serve in the ranks. To enlist in a 
company of sharpshooters, he walked hence to Con- 
cord and back. The field of Gettysburg, crim- 
soned with the blood of so many a martyr to the 
cause of human liberty, saw no spirit more noble 
wing its fiight, than that of our lion-hearted towns- 
man, Henry Lakeman Richards. 

How shall we breathe a long forewell to three 
wearers of the blue, whom to-day we specially miss ; 

into whose familiar faces we never again may look; 
three, who, after attesting- their manhood in the 
field, sheathed the sword to prove that, valiant as 
soldiers, they could be no less worthy of admiration 
as citizens, — Hodgdon, Thacher, Goodrich ! Faith- 
ful in arms, as ye were respected and honored in 
life, so are ye now mourned, and lovingly remem- 

The laurels of the Navy, how fair a share belongs 
to the Pascataqua! "Would that we might enter 
even so much as upon the* threshold of the narra- 
tive; might tell of many a stately ship, her guns 
thundering for the stars and stripes, whose virgin 
keel had kissed the waters of this beautiful river; 
might tell of the sturdy arms and stout hearts of 
sailors, whose home was on these shores, from the 
days of John Paul Jones — down to the splendid 
achievement of the ever-memorable Kearsarge. 
Would that I might speak of Craven, born here, 
who went down with his iron-clad, scorning to save 
his own at the cost of another's life. "After you, 
pilot! " is his glowing eulogy. Of Farragut, who 
here breathed his last, leaving a fame secure. Of 
him who fought the Brooklyn, that other Craven, 
who returned hither to pass declining years, amid 
the scenes he loved so well in boyhood. Of Storer 
and Pearson, of Parrott and Pickering, of Thorn- 
ton, of Bradford, of Yates, and of many another 
gallant soul, who served his country well. Long be 
their memory cherished! May a sense of their 
sterling virtues inspire generations yet to come ! 

The crowning lesson that the personal heroism 
of the war period teaches, you have already antici- 


pated. It is the lesson of the supreme force of the 
moral idea in public aifairs. Wlien rebellion came, 
it found the people of the Union states busily en- 
gaged in the work of developing a magnificent em- 
pire. We were extending our lines of traffic, sub- 
duing the prairie, building railroads, calling into 
being towns — destined to grow into populous cities. 
The South had been led to believe that here Avas a 
race of money-getters, with instincts not extending 
beyond love of gain; that "the Yankees" would 
purchase peace at any pVice. Such an illusion, if it 
ever existed at the ISTorth, vanished with the smoke 
of that first rebel gun that, in the harbor of Charles- 
ton, dared send its iron message of treason to insult 
the flag. The uprising of the people to defend that 
flag, the outburst of patriotic enthusiasm — who 
that witnessed the spectacle, who that felt the thrill, 
can find words wherewith to tell of it to another? 

That love of country, blazing like beacon fire on 
mountain top, and then burning with the steady 
glow of a pure, vestal flame of the temple, — think 
you it came all suddenly into men's hearts? Should 
time have it in store (far distant be the day!) that 
the Republic in her need shall call upon her sons 
to defend her against a foreign foe, think you that 
the ardor, and the sacrifice, of a patriot's devotion 
will be wanting? 

But what application, you ask, has this in time 
of peace? "What has love of country to do with 
practical every-day afi'airs? It has everything to 
do, my friends ; and let me tell you how it manifests 
its presence. 

First and foremost, a man must realize that he 


has a country ; realize that he has been put into the 
world to live, not for himself and his family alone, 
not for a little circle of immediate friends and 
neighbors — but for humanity; that the range of 
his duty reaches out far beyond the borders of his 
own town — beyond his State, clear to the confines 
of the dwelling-place of a whole great ISTation. 

The man who loves his country learns to look upon 
an American as his brother. If the crop be bounti- 
ful in Kansas, he shall rejoice; if floods devastate a 
region of the Mississip]:)i, he shall sorrow and 
hasten to give aid. He does not shut his eyes to 
what goes on in the world around. He thinks that 
he has no right to immerse himself in private busi- 
ness, to the total neglect of public duties. He is a 
good citizen. ''A good citizen." The term is full 
of meaning to him who stops and reflects. He 
goes to the caucus; he goes to the polls, and votes; 
and he does it in the proud conviction that he is 
exercising the privilege of a freeman. With a 
jealous eye he guards that privilege. He asks 
himself, AVhat are my public duties ? What can I 
do, here and now, as my part in preserving, and 
transmitting to my descendants, this heritage ines- 
timable of self-government ? 

He reverences the names of Washington and of 
Lincoln. He is a firm believer in democratic insti- 
tutions. He trusts the people; and though occa- 
sionally a wave of j)023ular feeling sets, as it seems 
to him, in the wrong direction, he does not wring- 
his hands and despair of the republic. Is he called 
to fill public oflice — he aims to serve the people, not 
himself. Has he sons — he brings them up as 


Americans. He does not, in senseless phrase, tell 
them that theirs is the greatest and best country in 
the world; he rather points out to them the many 
blessings guaranteed by the Constitution; explains 
the advantage that the youth of America have over 
those Avho are growing up in foreign lands; and 
bids them with grateful heart be true to the doc- 
trines that the fathers have made the foundation 
stones of our national edifice. 

Is it not plain that " the moral idea " animates 
and vitalizes all that is best and highest to-day in 
our public life? Does not the same sj^irit that made 
men heroes in '61, abide with us still? 

Members of the Post: You who are spared to 
take part in these befitting exercises, your j^resence 
testifies that at this very moment the love of country 
burns not less dim in your hearts, than in the hour 
when you faced the shot and shell of a brave and 
des]3erate enemy. The sight of you is itself an 
inspiration to duty. 

Young men, just entering upon the resj^onsibili- 
ties of life, do not dismiss love of country from 
your thoughts, as a thing unpractical, fimciful. 
Look deeper. Study the example of that noble 
fellow who carried a musket in the days of a 
nation's peril. Satisfy yourselves what it was that 
bade him leave home; nerved him to face danger, 
and suffer untold hardship; what it was that has 
earned for him, living oi^ dead, a gratitude that 
only grows deeper and firmer, as the years go by. 
Learn that what sweetens the toil, alike of the 
humblest laborer and of the most exalted statesman, 
is an abiding sense of duty loyally performed. 



[From the Portsmouth Journal, July 18, 1863.] 

It pains us to say that this noble-hearted man is no more. At 
the commencement of the Rebellion he offered his services in de- 
fence of his country. Though possessing sterling ability, he sought 
no high position, but only that in which he was confident of being 
most useful. When requested to take a commission, his reply was, 
"No, I had rather be a good soldier than a poor officer." When 
the company of sharpshooters was forming at Concord, he went on 
foot to that place from Portsmouth ; was examined, accepted, and 
he returned home in the same way, to fit up for his departure. 
After an absence with the army of fourteen months, in which time 
he was exposed in severe engagements, he came home wounded in 
November last. 

As soon as his health would permit, he again joined the army, 
on the Rappahannock, and on the 2d of July, at the battle of 
Gettysburg, was severely wounded in his knee by a Minie ball. 
After remaining on the groimd all night, he was taken up and 
carried to the hospital, where amputation was performed, while 
under the influence of chloroform, from the effects of which he 
did not revive. His age was thirty-eight. His remains will proba- 
bly reach here in a few days, and the performance of the last sad 
rites will bring feelings of heartfelt sorrow to our whole community. 

And now, and in all future time, as those who knew him well 
pass under the shade which is just beginning to be made by the 
long range of trees in Auburn street [now Richards avenue] they 
will be reminded of the one who selected and with his own hand 
placed them there, to cheer the passage to the cemetery ; and the 
name of the noble Richards will be as green in their memory as 
the leaves which every returning spring will renew. 


[From an address by Joseph Hiller Foster, at the Unitarian Sunday 
School, Portsmouth, July 28, 1863.] 

0£ the friend for whose remains I undertook this journey [to 
Gettysburg] 1 would say a few words ; for, although never a mem- 
ber of this school, his character was one that you may all well take 
as a model, especially the boys. 

Pure, upright, honest, brave, never as a boy do I remember 
hearing from his lips any profane or indecent word ; and as a man 
all that which was in the least tainted with impurity was most ab- 
horrent to him. A lie, or anything inconsistent with, the strictest 
honesty and uprightness of word or deed, was bis utter detestation. 
Brave as any soldier in the army, and meeting his death at last 
because he would not fall back when his comrades did, he yet 
feared sin ; nor did he ever, even in his youth, regard it as any 
mark of courage to do what he knew was wi-ong or would displease 
his parents or his God. 

He eminently obeyed the precept : " Be kindly affectioned one 
to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another." 
His little acts of kindness at home, to neighbors, and to all with 
whom he was connected, were of constant occurrence ; himself he 
did not consider when another was to be helped. When at home 
last winter with a wounded leg, he walked several miles to obtain 
flowers for a poor, sick woman, who had not the remotest claim 
upon him but her distress and jjoverty. His modesty and retiring 
disposition were as conspicuous as his kindness. He refused a 
commission in the army, saying that he knew he could be a good 
soldier, and that was better than to be a poor officer; although 
friends well knew that whatever position he might take he would 
fill it well. But for him the toils of life are over ; for him we can 
well quote the hymn : 

" Go to the grave ; at noon from labor cease ; 

Rest on thy sheaves, thy harvest task is done ; 
Come from the heat of battle, and in peace, 
Soldier, go home ; with thee the fight is won." 

[From a private letter of Maj. E. T. Rowell, of Lowell, Mass., 
Feb. 1, 1893.] 

"I enlisted Richards at Concord ; and from the day I first met 
him till his death, I had the greatest respect for him. I never was 
in his presence but I was impressed with his superior qualities as a 
man and patriot." 


Rear Admiral Craven, U. S. N. 

Portsmouth will ever hold in reverential regard the name of 
Richards, as that of one who proved himself, in the best sense of 
the word — a hero. 

It is to be regretted that efforts, made in various directions to 
obtain a likeness of him to accompany this memorial publication, 
have been unsuccessful. Surely no man's portrait is more worthy 
of being displayed in some conspicuously public place at Ports- 
mouth, as an incentive to youth, and as a reminder of the gratitude 
with which his pure and fervent patriotism is remembered in his 
native town. 

Fortunately the opportunity has favored, however, for reproduc- 
ing from an excellent photograph, the features of an eminent offi- 
cer, whose associations with Portsmouth were unusually close and 
tender. The late Rear- Admiral Thomas Tinget Craven, United 
States Navy, (1808-1887), looked upon this region as his home.* 
In this town he was a school-boy; later, in 1821, the names of 
Thomas Tingey Craven and of his younger brother, Alfred Win- 
gate Craven, appear on the catalogue of Phillips Exeter Academy, 
as students from Portsmouth. 

The admiral's services to his country during the war for the 
Union are too well known to need recital here. Upon his retire" 
ment from active duty, he sought a home in this locality, at Kittery 
Point, on the banks of the Pascataqua, and for a whUe he lived at 

It has been thought, therefore, that a portrait of Admiral Cra- 
ven would lend additional interest to these pages, now that the 
address is presented in a more enduring form. 

* His brother, Tunis Augustus Macdonough Craven, the commander of the 
Tecumseh, in Mobile Bay, was born here January 11, 1813. 



While these sheets were passing through the press, word came 
from a niece of Mr, Richards, living at Newark, New Jersey, that 
a small, and poorly executed picture of her uncle had most unex- 
pectedly heen brought to light. An enlarged copy has been taken 
at literally the last moment, — with what result the reader may see 
in the " half-tone " that faces the Appendix. 

The work of reproducing the picture has been accomplished with 
a wonderful degree of skill ; and yet we are reluctant to admit that, 
notwithstanding the many serious defects but too readily apjiarent 
in the copy, we must accept it as the only impression that can be 

Those persons now living, who can remember Henry Richards 
need not be told that the strength of feature, the exuberant joy 
of perfect health, and an indescribable attractiveness of the eye, — 
all these and more, alas, are here lacking. It used to be said of 
Henry Richards in his younger days that his countenance reminded 
you of the portraits of Lord Byron. A manly resemblance, how- 
ever, it must have been. The face that we now look upon will bear 
much idealization before it speaks to us of the high-born qualities 
that made their home in the original. 


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