A Grand Union Demonstration
The scarcely dissembled treason which has found utterance at the various anti-war meetings held at the State House during the past week, coupled with kindred sentiments uttered by certain members of the Legislature during the sittings of that body, has produced a profound sensation in this city and throughout the State. The effect of those open and shameless exhibitions of disloyalty has been such as might have been expected. A spirit of stern resistance to the schemes of traitors, whether at home or abroad, and a determination to stand by the constitutional authorities of the State and Nation have been evoked — a spirit and a determination which will neither be flattered nor intimidated into concessions to treason.
The announcement of an unconditional Union meeting at the Hall of Representatives last night, where it was anticipated that the disloyal declarations of some of the speakers at the anti-war meetings would come up for review and criticism excited the most intense interest. Early in the evening the crowd began to assemble, the patriotic Union ladies of Springfield and other parts of the State — those who are daily laboring with their hands for their brothers, relatives and friends in the field — constituting a large proportion of the audience. Even before the procession, which formed in front of the Post Office, had arrived, almost every available spot in the Hall was occupied. After the arrival of the procession a dense mass of humanity packed all parts of the Hall, including the aisles, the lobby and the galleries, while hundreds were compelled to leave, being unable to find even standing room.
The speaker's stand was decorated with numerous flags, beating evidence upon their folds of service in the field. There was the flag of the 48th regiment Illinois Volunteers, on which was inscribed those names glorious in the history of the war and dear to every Illinois soldier, "Fort Henry." There was also to be seen the tattered flag of the Springfield Zouave Greys, the glorious old Illinois 7th, fiddled with balls at the hard fought battle of Pittsburg Landing, and the banner of the 14th Illinois Infantry.
In front of the clerk's desk was displayed the flag of Co. A. Loomis Dragoons, 1st Illinois Cavalry, riddled too, by the balls of the enemy as it waved over the gallant defenders of Lexington.
The sight of these national emblems, with the evidences they bore of the parricidal war now being waged by traitors against the Government and its loyal defenders, produced a profound impression upon the audience.
The meeting was called to order by the Hon. S. M. Cullon, who proposed the name of Hon. Vital Jarrot, of St. Clair county.
Mr. Jarrot, on making the chair, referred briefly to the causes which had drawn that vast assemblage together, as follows:
When the Nation is in the condition in which we find it at the present time; whilst the country is convulsed; whilst revolution is raging in the South; whilst the Government is exerting its powers to subdue the rebellion, it is proper to meet and give expression to sentiments of loyalty; to encourage each other and pledge our support to the Government; and, by our impressions of fidelity and undying devotion to the Union and Constitution, rebuke the treasonable utterances that have so recently been made in this house. Let us at all times and in all places rebuke the treason that now seeks our national life. There are those who are in sympathy with that rebellion that seeks our destruction; but I am happy to know that the masses are true and loyal. This demonstration, of [unknown], is a rebuke to the treason preachers in our midst, and we do credit to our State.
I thank you, gentlemen, for the honor you have conferred upon me, in calling me to reside over this meeting.
Messrs. D. D. Phillips and Charles S. Zane were appointed Secretaries; and Hon. C. H. Moore, Col. J. S. Post, and Col. ——, appointed Vice Presidents.
In answer to loud and repeated calls, Hon. S. W. Moulton addressed the meeting. During the progress of Mr. Moulton's speech, a procession, headed by the "National Cornet Band," and bearing a number of transparencies, entered the hall. Some of the mottoes upon the transparencies were as follows:
THE PRESIDENT MUST BE SUSTAINED.
OUR HEARTS ARE WITH OUR BRAVE SOLDIERS; GOD BLESS THEM!
WE WILL STAND BY GOV. YATES TO THE DEATH.
DOWN WITH THE TRAITORS EVERYWHERE.
THE BRAVE DEFENDERS OF THE UNION.
OUR GOVERNMENT AT ALL HAZARDS.
The appearance of the procession and devices borne by it were the signal for an outburst of enthusiasm. Is the audience caught sight of the motto referring to Governor Yates, by one common impulse there went up three hearty cheers for the patriotic Governor of Illinois.
Mr. Moulton was followed by Hon. John Dougherty, of Union county, General Oglesby, Hon. Jackson Grimshaw, of Quincy, Hon. Mr. Eastman, of Chicago, and Mr. Miller of this city.
As we intend to give a full report of the speeches, we shall not attempt to give anything like a synopsis of them now. They all breathed a spirit of sworn loyalty and earnest patriotism, and every patriotic sentiment was received with applause, which denoted how completely the minds of the audience were in union with those of the speakers.
Gen. Oglesby was greeted with a torrent of applause that must have satisfied the battle-scarred here of Fort Donelson, Pittsburg Landing and Corinth, that the heart of the people were with the soldiers in the field. Coming from an invalid couch, he spoke with great difficulty, but at times with a depth of feeling, an earnestness and an eloquence that told how deeply the heart of the speaker was enlisted in the cause of this country. The effect of his earnest eloquence at times was most thrilling; the audience in one or two occasions rising in their seats and expressing their hearty approbation of the patriotic sentiments which flowed from his lips, in long continued rounds of applause.
After Mr. Miller had concluded, there were loud calls for Mr. Weldon and Mr. Bunn. The evening was already far advanced, and Mr. Weldon on taking the stand announced that he simply did so to offer the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, the maintenance of the American Union and the preservation of Constitutional liberty as recognized and exemplified in the Federal Constitution, are now seriously threatened by armed rebellion in the field, and by insidious and dangerous attempts on the part of disloyal persons in States patriotic in their attachment to the Government in the suppression of the constitution; be it therefore
Resolved, That as loyal citizens, we will sustain the Government in all necessary means to put a speedy end to the existing rebellion, and to establish the just authority of the Government on a secure and firm basis, and that we reprobate and denounce all disloyal language and acts derogatory of the Government.
Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed by the chairman of this meeting to prepare a series of resolutions touching the present political condition of the country, and that such committee report to an adjourned meeting to be held in this hall on Thursday evening next.
The resolutions were adopted unanimously and with a shout of enthusiasm.
Mr. Weldon then moved the appointment of a committee of seven to report a series of resolutions at an adjourned meeting on next Thursday evening, the 15th inst. The following gentlemen were appointed on the committee, viz: Hons. Jackson Grimshaw, J. C. Conkling, Wm. Butler, Lawrence Weldon, E. M. Haines, Joseph B. Underwood and Geo. W. Gage.
The following was offered by Hon. J. C. Conkling:
Resolved, That the volunteer officers and soldiers of Illinois, by their valor upon the battle field, have won imperishable renown; have emblazoned the name of Illinois upon the page of history in characters of ever living light and glory, and their heroism will ever be remembered in the affections of a grateful people.
During the progress of the meeting there was an alarm of fire in the immediate vicinity of the State House, which, for a few minutes, caused a feeling of uneasiness in the vast audience, but so intense was the interest in the object of the meeting that the excitement soon subsided, and scarcely a single individual was induced to leave the Hall.
Cheer after cheer went up for the Union, the Constitution, our brave soldiers in the field, Gen. Oglesby, the President, and Gov. Yates, as the audience adjourned. Thus separated one of the largest, most earnest and enthusiastic assemblies ever gathered together in the Capitol of our State.