Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

August Belmont – Speech at Tammany Hall, New York

July 4, 2012

A Few Letters and Speeches of the Late Civil War by August Belmont (DNC Chairman)

JULY 4, 1862.

Mr. Grand Sachem And Gentlemen,—I am extremely obliged to you for the high honor you bestow upon me, and the cordiality with which you welcome me home. I am deeply impressed and entirely taken by surprise; however, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have been absent from my country for the last ten months, compelled to a temporary residence abroad by illness in my family. It was a source of heartfelt regret for me to be away from home, and from my friends in their dark hour of trial. I cannot describe to you the anxiety and sorrow with which I watched the progress of our gallant army and navy, but when I saw from month to month the energy and patriotism of our people rise stronger and higher under every adversity, anxieties were relieved, and my fervent hopes and conviction in the ultimate reconstruction of the Union confirmed.

I come home at a dark and gloomy moment of the struggle in which we are engaged. It seems as if Providence had decreed this momentary reverse of our heroic army in order to admonish us, on this anniversary of our National Independence, that it will require the whole energy of our people if we mean to leave to our children the blessed inheritance bestowed by the fathers of our Republic. We have to deal with an enemy arrayed in relentless strife against our institutions, and the best interests of humanity, and it will require the undivided and gigantic efforts of an united people to save our country and our Union.

There is no sacrifice too great, none which we should not most cheerfully make in order to help the government at this moment. We want more troops, more money, and every thing good and loyal citizens can give to their country in this hour of danger.

Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to conclude by giving the following sentiment:— “Our country, the object of our dearest affections; may she ever find her sons worthy of her, and ready to sacrifice their lives and their treasure in her defence, against domestic traitors or foreign foes.”

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