War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0636 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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The speaker commenced by referring to the canopy under which he was speaking- the stand being covered by an American flag- "the flag which," he said, "had been rendered sacred by Democratic Presidents-the flag under the Constitution. "

After finishing his exordium he spoke of the designs of those in power being to erect a despotism; that "it was not their intention to effect a restoration of the union; that previous to the bloody battle of Fredericksburg an attempt was made to stay this wicked, cruel and unnecessary war; " that the war could have been ended in February last; that a day or two before the battle of Fredericksburg a proposition had been made for the readmission of southern Senators into the U. S. Congress and that the refusal was still in existence over the President's own signature, which would be made public as soon as the ban of secrecy enjoined by the President was removed; that the Union could have been saved if the plan proposed by the speaker had been adopted; that the Union could have been saved upon the basis of reconstruction but that it would have ended in the exile or death of those who advocated a continuation of the war; that "Forney, who was a well-known correspondent of the Philadelphia Press, had said that some of our public men (and he, Forney, had no right to speak for any others than those connected with the Administration) rather than bring back some of the seceded States would submit to a permanent separation of the Union. " He stated that "France, a nation that had always shown, herself to be a friend of our Government, had proposed to act as mediator," but that "her proposition, which if accepted might have brought about an honorable peace, was insolently rejected" -it may have been "instantly rejected; " that " "the people had been deceived as to the objects of the war from the beginning: " that "it was a war for the liberation of the blacks and the enslavement of the whites. We had been told it would be terminated in three months, then in nine months, and again in a year, but that their was still no prospect of its being ended; that Richmond was still in the hands of the enemy; that Charleston was theirs and Vicksburg was theirs; that the Mississippi was not opened and would not be so as long as there was cotton on its banks to be stolen or so long as there were any contractors or officers to enrich. " I do not remember which word, contractors or officers, he used. He stated that a Southern paper had denounced himself and Cox and the "Peace Democrats" as having "done more to prevent the establishing of the Southern Confederacy than a thousand Stewards; " that "they proposed to operate through the masses of the people in both sections who were in favor of the Union. " He said that "it was the purpose or desire of the Administration to suppress or prevent such meetings as the one he was addressing; " that "military marshals were about to be appointed in every district who would act for the purpose of restricting the liberties of the people," but that "he was a freeman; " that he "did not ask David Tod or Abraham Lincoln or Ambrose E. Brunside for his right to speak as he had done and was dong; " that his authority for so doing was higher than General Orders, Numbers 38-it was General Orders, No. 1. - the Constitution; " that General Orders, Numbers 38, was a base usurpation of arbitrary power; that he had the most supreme contempt for such power. He despised it, spit upon it; he trampled it under his feet. " That only a few days before a man had been dragged down from his home in Butler County by an outrageous usurpation of power and tried for an offense not known to our laws by a self-constituted court-martial-tried without a jury, which is guaranteed to every one; that he had been fined and imprisoned; that two men had been brought over from Kentucky and tried contrary to express laws for the trial of treason and were now under the sentence of death; that an order had just been issued in Indiana denying to persons the right to canvass or discuss military policy and that if it was submitted to would be followed up by a similar order in Ohio; that he was resolved never to submit to an order of a military dictator prohibiting the free discussion of either civil or military authority. "The sooner that the people informed the minions of this usurped power that they would not submit to such restrictions upon their liberties the better. " "Should we cringe and cower before such authority?" That "we claimed the right to criticism the acts of our military servants in power; " that there never was a tyrant in any age who oppressed the people further than he thought they would submit to or endure; that in days of Democratic authority Tom Corwin had in face of Congress hoped that our brave volunteers in Mexico "might be welcomed with bloody hands to hospitable graves," but that he had not been interfered with. It was never before thought necessary to appoint a captain of cavalry as provost-marshal as was now the case in Indianapolis, or military dictators as were now exercising authority in Cincinnati and Columbus. He closed by warning the people not to be deceived; that "they should remember that this war was not a war for the preservation of the Union; "that "it was a wicked abolition war and that if those in authority were allowed to accomplish their purposes the people would be deprived of their liberties and a monarchy established; but that as for him he was resolved that he would never be a priest to minister upon the altar upon which his country was being sacrificed. "