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[This article errs in reporting the presence of Gen. Garfield at this event.]

The New York Times, November 15, 1879


CHICAGO, Nov. 14. - At the banquet last night, given by the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, at the Palmer House, 601 covers were laid, and every chair was occupied. The bill of fare was printed on a card shaped into the likeness of a tent, adorned with battle scenes. After dining, the President of the society announced the first toast: "Our Country - Her place among nations."

Gen. Grant responded as follows: "General of the Army and Invited Guests: A notice was sent to me some days ago that I was to speak, but I paid no attention to it at the time, having had no idea until I got here what it was I was to reply to, and thinking that when the time came I could execute some flank movement and get out of it, but after my arrival here I found I was to be the first one to be called upon. You would have me say much about the position of our country among the nations of earth. Our nation we have been in the habit of looking upon as one of the first nations of the earth. For a long period of time the Yankee had not only a very respectable opinion of himself, but of his country as a whole, and it has been our own opinion that we had nothing to fear in a contest with any other power. I am pleased to say that from the observations that I have been able to make in the last two and a half years, we are beginning to be regarded a little by other powers as we in our vanity have regarded ourselves as to the place we have among nations. I think we have all the elements that go to make up a great nationality. We have the strength, we have the individual self-controlling independence, and we have to a greater degree than almost any other nation the power to colonize and settle up new countries and develop them. We have also a very great advantage in being without neighbors to molest or make us afraid. It is true we have northern frontiers and southern frontiers, and we get along with a very small Army, keeping no standing army - and what little we have is not a standing army, because it has no time to stand. I do not know anything that I can especially add to what I have said, except in the way of advice, and that is, let us be true to ourselves, avoid all bitterness and ill-feeling, either on the part of sections or parties, toward each other, and we need have no fear in future of maintaining the standing we have taken among nations, so far as opposition from foreign nations goes." [Applause.]

The second toast, "The President and Congress of the United States," was then given. Gen. Logan, in response, discussed the relations and respective duties of these two branches of the Government from a legal and political stand-point. He reviewed the list of Presidents who have served with hone to themselves and to the nation, with special eulogies of Jackson, Lincoln, and Grant. The third toast, "The Army of the Tennessee: Under Great Leaders it accomplished Great victories," was replied to by Gen. S. A. Hurlburt. Gen. Hurlburt's remarks were followed by music by the Lombard's - "Marching Through Georgia," the whole company joining the chorus. The fourth toast, "Our First Commander, Gen. U. S. Grant," was responded to by Col. Vilas. The fifth toast, "The Army of the Tennessee," in the absence of Lieut. Gen. Sheridan, was responded to by Gen. Schofield. The response to the sixth toast, "The Navy," was assigned to Secretary Thompson. The seventh toast, "The Officers and Soldiers of the Mexican War," was responded to by Leonard Swett. The eighth toast, "The Memory of McPherson, Blair, and All of Our Heroic Dead," was drunk standing and in silence, a dirge being played by the band. The ninth toast was "The Army of the Cumberland and its Leader, the Rock of Chickamauga: Their glory can never fad," and was responded to by Gen. Garfield. The tenth toast, "The Army of the Potomac - it fought with persistent valor and achieved victory and undying fame," was responded to by Gen. Woodford. The response to the eleventh toast, "All the other Armies of the Union - alike with us, they shared the honor of its grand achievement," devolved on Gen. Pope. The twelfth toast, "The Volunteer Soldiers of the Union Army, whose valorous patriotism saved to the world a Government of the people, by the people and for the people," was responded to by Col. Ingersoll. The thirteenth toast, "The Patriotic People of the United States, who fed, clothed, and encouraged our armies, and stood by us in defeat as well as in victory," was responded to by Emory A. Storrs.

The response to the fourteenth toast, "Woman," devolved on Gen. Fletcher. The fifteenth toast, "The Babies - As they comfort us in our sorrows, let us not forget them in our festivities," was responded to by Samuel L. Clemens in a humorous and highly appreciated speech. His injunction, "As long as you are in your right mind don't you ever pray for twins; twins amount to a permanent riot, and there ain't any real difference between triplets and an insurrection," called forth shouts of laughter. In conclusion, he alluded to the future Farraguts, historians, and Presidents, who are now lying in their cradles, and said: "In still one more cradle, somewhere under the flag, the future illustrious Commander-in-Chief of the American armies is so little burdened with his approaching grandeurs and responsibilities as to be giving his whole strategic mind, at this moment, to trying to find some way to get his big toe into his mouth, an achievement which, meaning no disrespect, the illustrious guest of this evening turned his attention to some 56 years ago; and if the child is but a prophecy of the man, there are mighty few who will doubt that he succeeded." [Laughter and applause.]

Gen. Grant is spending to-day quietly at the house of his son, Col. Fred Grant, where he held a private reception this afternoon. In the evening the Chicago Club tendered him a reception. Tomorrow afternoon Gen. Grant will have his first public reception here at the Grand Pacific Hotel, lasting from 3 to 5 o'clock. The public at large will thus have an opportunity to shake him by the hand. Later in the evening he will sit down with a few friends to a dinner given by John B. Drake. Among those invited to meet him at dinner are Judge Drummond, of the United States Circuit Court, and Gov. Gear of Iowa.

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