The Great Victories.
Yesterday will long be remembered as one of the most exciting days in our city's history. Personal congratulation and public demonstrations of gratification were exhibited all day long in signalizing the brilliant and decisive victories which have crowned the valor of our troops and rendered certain a speedy termination of the rebellion. The victories in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, have nearly settled the question. Within a week, Clarksville, Nashville, McKensie, Humboldt, Hickman and Memphis, will probably be ours, together with all the various railroads and rivers, which have been the highway of supply to the rebel armies. Columbus, Kentucky, is hemmed in, and its numerous garrison must evacuate or surrender. Eighty thousand federal troops already occupy the territory that but a few days ago was in full possession of the defiant enemy, now either flying or captured.
Where all behaved so bravely and so nobly, it is impossible to speak invidiously; nevertheless, we beg an indulgence of our pride in referring to the heroism of the twenty odd thousand Illinoisans to to whom was assigned so prominent a part in these glorious achievements. Our people expected it of them, and most fully have these expectations been realized. Our gallant western sisters Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Ohio, have covered themselves all over with glory, and their names and deeds associated with those of our own Illinois, will form the most brilliant page of the history of this anomalous epoch.
Yesterday forenoon the bells of our city rung and the cannon pealed a loud response to the joyous shouts of the multitude over the overthrow of the foes of the republic. The excitement continued unabated throughout the day, and towards night a hundred guns were fired, accompanied with the ringing of bells. In the evening a large meeting of citizens was held in the capitol, pursuant to a call of the delegates of the constitutional convention, a notice of which will be given in another place.
While we are thus cheered by the success of our country's arms, we are made to mourn the loss of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the gallant sons of Illinois. They entered the field to serve as they have served. They pledged their honor and their lives to the defence of the Union — to the salvation of the republic. They are profoundly lamented, and their memory will be cherished while patriotism has an apple in the American heart.