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The Great Union Mass Meeting



Delivered at the Great Union Mass Meeting held at Springfield, Illinois, September 3d, 1863.

The following is a synopsis of the speech of that sterling War Democrat, Gen. I. N. Haynie, delivered at the great Union Mass Meeting held at Springfield on the 3d inst:

Gen. Isham N. Haynie (received with cheers.) He had hoped that he might have been allowed to have been a listener and not a speaker. He had been hard at work speaking of late, and was not in the best trim. He would make a venture, however. They were met under circumstances such as had never been known before. Great questions had been discussed here, aforetimes, and candidates had been arrayed against each other upon many an important occasion; and yet there was present to-day the largest meeting which had perhaps ever appeared in Springfield. What was the reason of this? What had they met for? To save the Union — to put down the rebellion. This was the reason. He had been all his life long a Democrat. When Lincoln asked for the suffrages of the people to make him Chief Magistrate, he had opposed him, and spoke many times against him. He had since found out that the voice of the people, as expressed in the election of Mr. Lincoln was right, and that he and his party were wrong. He desired now to tell them that it was always the duty of the minority to bow to the majority. In Europe, under monarchial institutions, the people had no other way of ridding themselves of a bad Government than by revolution. In this country we had a revolution every four years, when the people could make their voice heard and elect their own sovereign. Now he maintained that President Lincoln was truly and rightly elected to the Presidency. Breckinridge, who counted the votes at the time, and made the issue public, said he was elected — and it was the duty of every good citizen, whether a Democrat or a Republican, to stand by the decision of the people, and support the man of their choice. The rebels didn't believe this — they didn't want a rail-splitter to rule over them. He could tell them, however, that his being a rail-splitter was the worst part of the difficulty he had to contend with when he was on the stump against him. It was a hard thing to get over that Lincoln was a hard working man, as well as an honest and an able man — and the people couldn't help liking a man of that sort — and they proved it by electing him. Well, we were now at war with the rebels, because they would not obey the voice of the people, and accept Lincoln as President. The Northern men intended, since the Southerners began the war, to go on with it until they laid down their arms, and begged as whipped and sorrowful children to be allowed to return to their allegiance. He had heard of late a good deal about compromise. He, for one, would consent to no compromise. Nothing but an unconditional submission would ever get his support. He would never treat with rebels, and rather than he would humble this great people by offering any terms to rebels, he would see the great river red with blood, and red forever. [Immense cheers.] We must carry on the war to the end. [Aye! aye! that is it! Bully for you! No compromise.] The people of the North meant to do so — will you help them? [Yes, yes! Immense cheering.] He knew they would; already they had given their sons and brothers to the war, and they would all go, to a man, in Illinois. Wouldn't they, rather than that the war should cease before the cause of the war was annihilated? [Yes! that's it, and loud cheers.] He was denounced as an Abolitionist, because he advocated these views. Well, he was content to be an Abolitionist, if this was the meaning of Abolition. [A voice, "You're all right.] It had been said that Southern Illinois was disloyal. He could tell them that if the question of war to the end, and the support of the Administration in the mean while, were brought before the 13th District they would give an overwhelming majority for the war and the Administration. [Immense cheering.] It was true that in June the Copperhead fiends had assembled here, and that they were an unauthorized, miserable, contemptible body who had sunk and degraded the Democratic party until it was almost a disgrace to be a Democrat. It was also true that they were not patriots, but traitors, and they showed their traitorism by passing resolutions in favor of Vallandigham, and elsewhere in sending a deputation to the President, calling upon him to release that falsest, hallowest and most unprincipled demagogue, and turn him loose upon society, once more to blight and curse it. It was an insult to the people and the supreme authority. If he had been President Lincoln he hardly dare say what he would have done to those delegates. He didn't think they would have gone home again as readily as they went there. But this he knew, that they would have had to ask him a good many times before they got what they wanted and Mr. Lincoln gave them to understand very clearly what he thought of their errand. These Copperheads were no fair example of the State. The State was loyal to the core, [A voice — that so!] and that meeting was a sufficient proof of it. The Copperheads complained that they could no longer say what they liked; that Vallandigham was a public martyr — that Lincoln was a despot. But he (the speaker) had always spoken his mind, and said just what he had to say, and yet nobody had ever arrested him. He had no fear of the Provost Marshal, but slept on his pillow without any dread of waking up some fine day day in limbo. Why, then, were the rebels afraid? Did the people then present remember the passage in the good old book: "The wicked flee when no man pursueth!" [Immense cheers.] Well, that was the case with these Copperheads. They were skeered because they were wicked, and were afraid that they would get their deserts. If that was Democracy he disowned it! He had no part or lot with these men. [Immense cheers.] He had gone to the war because he believed it was a religious, as well as a civil duty. He cared for neither one sort of politics nor another. He had seen glorious old Oglesby on the field when bullets fell around him like hail — and that brave man never asked him whether he was fighting upon Democratic principles; nor was he little enough to put such a question to the General. They were fighting for the Republic. That was enough for them. [Bully! You'll do! and loud cheers.] There ought to be no politics now — nothing but war, war to the end; that the Union might be saved, and the rebellion crushed beneath the victorious heel of the Federal armies. The speaker alluded to Gen. Grant, and passed a very high eulogium upon him, to which the people responded by giving three tremendous cheers for him. He then went on to give a biographical sketch of the General to whom, he said, Governor Yates gave his first military command. He, himself, first met Grant about two years ago in Springfield. He was a very ordinary looking man, and wore an old slouched hat, and he believed that he was wearing that old hat now. [Cheers.] He was a workman, and had a tannery in the State; and there it was he learned to tan the rebels. [Cheers.] He believed that Grant, who came to the surface so suddenly, was thrown there by God himself, who was tired of seeing so many knaves and traitors at the head of our armies, and meant now to give us a chance with good and honest Generals. He would say one word about the Conscript Act. It was just in itself — but he thought they could do without it. They could make a conscript law of their own, without treason, which would supercede that of the Government, and be far more effective. It was the women and young girls who could make the law, and pass it too. So that our armies should never need a soldier in the ranks. He advised all the girls, every one of whom had one sweet-heart at least in her train, to tell the man who wanted her that he must first prove himself a patriot by going into the army to fight for the Republic. And then if he returned minus an arm or a leg, she would take him, with all his glory, to her arms, and tend him like an angel until his death. Mothers must also tell their sons that country was "first, and last, and midst, and without end." They must emulate the Spartan Mothers, who, when they gave their sons their shields, sa id to them, "With this, or upon it!"