The Review at Camp Butler.
We have already noticed the military review on the 11th, at Camp Butler, by the Governor and Staff and State officers, aided by Lieut. Col. Wiley and the officers of the 5th Cavalry. It was one of the most interesting scenes that Camp Butler has yet presented. The patriotic address of His Excellency the Governor to Col. Davis' regiment was one of his happiest efforts. We give it at length below:
OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS:
You are now to leave the camp, which in the history of this war will be remembered for the large number of gallant men which it has sent to the field. Such has been the nature of my duties as to render it impossible for me to come and bid many of the regiments which have heretofore left, goodbye. But now, that almost the last of the 80,000 troops which have gone to the field are to leave Camp Butler, I could not forego the inclination to come and bid you farewell.
I come to say to you, and I feel it in my heart to say, that wherever you go, the eyes and thoughts and hearts of the Governor and State officers will follow you. They will follow you with anxious solicitude throughout your whole campaign — they will sympathize with you in all your sufferings, and glory with you in all your triumphs. Should disaster or death overtake you, they will call upon the State and the nation to make liberal provisions for the dear ones you have left behind, and be careful that your names shall be honorable preserved in the archives of the States, forever to be held in remembrance and gratitude for the great sacrifice made upon the altar of your country. — Should success crown your noble efforts they will, in behalf of the people of the State, meet you upon your return with cordial welcome, with congratulations, with triumphal cheers and festivities, with bonfires and illuminations.
Officers and soldiers: — You must allow me to say that I look with pride upon the spectacle now before me. But a short time since you left your homes and avocations as mere raw recruits, unskilled in military science or tactics; but now in the splendid review which has taken place, you present the high bearing and accomplishment of well disciplined soldiers; exhibiting a scene of regularity, order, perfection of drill and discipline of which well trained regulars might be proud.
In parting with you, permit me to say that Illinois will feel entirely secure with her interests and honor in your hands; and that you will fully sustain the fame which your State on many well fought fields has already achieved. I have known your brave commander (Colonel John Davis,) long and well and would be willing to risk my life on his prudence, firmness and prowess. And I may say I know you all. You are Illinoisans all! and I stand up here today to say with pride that the Government at Washington, the people of all the States never doubt Illinoisans. When it comes to hard fighting they are there! Their flag is there! Victory or death is their fighting motto.
Soldiers, sorry indeed would I be to part with you to day, if I thought the cause in which you are engaged were not a just one. On the other hand, it rejoices me to say, that I believe the cause in which you today leave behind you so much that is dear to you is just, high and holy — approved of God and men — sacred to liberty and humanity. You are to fight for the best Government on earth — a Government which has come down to you from fathers, whose names are immortal in history for their goodness and greatness; which secures to all the highest blessings of liberty and civilization, which as the mother her child, has nursed you and protected and defended you, giving to the very humblest man all the franchises, rights and privileges which the highest or proudest of the land enjoys — the only Government on the globe where man can stand up proudly in the image of his Maker and claim perfect equality in rights with any other man — a Government which has developed the most stupendous national growth, and loftiest national character — whose boundaries have spread from ocean to ocean and diffused the blessings of civilization, christianity and freedom on every hand. Unfading memories cluster around it — precious hopes are linked with it — the eyes of mankind are riveted upon it. To fight for, to live for, to die for such a country is glorious!
A boon, an offering Heaven holds dear,
It is the last libation liberty, draws
From the heart that suffers and bleeds in her cause."
You go forth to the battle then, fighting not your countrymen, but the rebellion. Your mission is to subdue the traitors who have flaunted defiance in the face of that Government which has ever been good and kind to them as a nursing mother; who, without cause, remorselessly kicked out of the Charleston Convention the great and noble Douglas as unworthy as their association — who violently seized the forts and other property of the nation — who marched upon the Capitol of your country and still besiege it, only wanting the opportunity to tear down and scatter to the four winds the glorious flag which Washington planted upon its dome, and which for eighty-five years has waived to the battle and the breeze, the proud ensign of our national sovereignty and greatness who are proposing to divide into discordant and belligerent fragments a Union which has secured, and promises more of happiness to us and our children, than any form of government ever yet devised by man, and who propose to establish a remorseless oligarchy to degrade and enslave us and our children forever.
You go forth, then, to the battle in a good cause, clad in that armor which is even stronger than frowning cannon, or blazing musketry, or glittering bayonets — the armor of righteousness. You go with the proud consciousness that every danger you shall encounter, and every blow you shall strike, shall be in the great cause of your country — the cause of liberty and humanity. You are fighting for the same old flag which waived in triumph at Bunker Hill and Brandywine, at Vally Forge and Yorktown, at Tyconderoga and Lunday's Lane, at Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo.
And now, where is the American — the secession sympathizer, the base traitor — who is willing to see this flag of glory train in the dust. No; by the blessing of God, by the memory of our fathers, by our own strong right arms, shall be borne aloft and float forever!
Soldiers, I rejoice that I feel it in my heart to say that the signs are bright and promising. It is true our patience has been almost exhausted, and the policy of the Administration has seemed, from our stand point, so tardy and inefficient as a most to make us dispair of the Republic. But it may turn out even yet that this tardiness was for the best. General Scott had a magnificent programme, and it will, perhaps, turn out yet that the old veteran of an hundred victories.
Culture, civilians of the highest stations, ministers of exalted piety, the sons of our farmers, merchants and mechanics — the nation's proudest chivalry swells the ranks — an army prouder than that of Rome in the day of her imperial grandeur, or Carthage in her pride of power, or any that Napoleon at the head of his embattled hosts ever led on to victory. In addition, right, which is even more than might, is on our side.
The army has commenced to move. But a day or so ago, and the lightning flashed the news of the capture of Fort Henry, and but a few days ago the Cabinet of the Confederate Government but too plainly published the doom which awaits them. The gloom of Manassas, Ball's Bluff, and of the fall of the noble Lyon, will soon be dispelled. The sun never looks so beautiful as when he bursts from behind the thunder cloud; and our Government will soon emerge from the clouds of gloom which have surrounded it, and will be stronger and purer, more stable and self-sustaining than ever before, and the world made to know that a free government is strong enough and vigorous enough to assert its own supremacy, to withstand the violent shocks of civil insurrection, and defend itself against all traitors at home, and from all enemies abroad.
Soldiers! go, and the blessing of God go with you. You represent the banner State, which sends her 80,000 men into the field — you represent the State already illustrated by the undying names of Hardin and Baker, and their fellow comrades by the undaunted prowess of her sons at Springfield, Lexington, Frederickstown and Belmont — and your noble State knows that you will do nothing to mar her proud escutcheon, and that you will act worthy of the State "whose chivalry has been so nobly vindicated by her sons in arms."
Bright and lasting honors await you. When you return to your homes, how sweet the welcome! How the tear of the father shall stream down the check, as he clasps the hand of his gallant boy; how the wife will cling round the neck of the husband as he lays his laurels at her feet; how the cheek of the girl you left behind you, will kindle with the peach-bloom glow as she meets the gallant lover returned from the field of his fame. The, soldiers on! Hang your banners out! and while a traitor foot shall despoil the soil, fight on!
Strike for your altars and your fires,
Strike for the green graves of your sires —
God and your native land!"