The Gazette and Banner Cortland, NY Vol 1, No. 17 Pg 2, Col 3 & 4
Friday afternoon, the 76th Regiment took their departure from this city, as did also Captain Von Dottkrammer's artillery corps. On reaching the Capitol at 3 P.M., a line was formed on the south side, State street, where the presentation of an elegant stand of colors took place. The gift - "a mother's gift" - was made by Mrs. Samuel Campbell, her son, S.R. Campbell, Esq., delivering the presentation speech.
Snow was falling rapidly at the time, and had been during the greater part of the day. The scene was wholly Winter. The leafless trees in the Park stretched out their broad arms against the mighty sky, each twig and branch, and trunk, decorated with Heaven's emblem of purity, and each soldier received, with the regimental standard, and the parting shouts and blessings of thousands of hearts that surrounded them and thronged their way, the baptism of Heaven, not grudgingly or sparingly bestowed.
The members of the Regiment were in good spirits. The commencement of their life, as soldiers had been made pleasant during their stay here. Numerous acts of kindness had been shown them by citizens, and the remembrances from home were a souvenir to each one, particularly precious. And there they stood under marching orders. Preceded by their band, they had tramped through the snow-storm from the barracks, and were well covered. Caps and overcoats were loaded, and the beards of many had extended shelter to the ever-falling snowflakes. Thus partially or wholly covered, standing an hour or more in the fleecy storm they resembled the armies of the East, tramping through the snows of Russia, we are wont sometimes to conjure up in our imagination. It seemed pantomime at times, when with almost breathless attention they listened to Governor Morgan and others, who addressed them from the south entrance. But the presentation over, and the speeches made the Regiment was again a living, moving mass of men, many of whom were but recently among the readers of this paragraph, at home. May Heaven's choicest blessings attend them, in the new and untried scenes to which they are hastening. With trembling lips and tear-dimmed eyes, but with unfaltering step and manly and courageous hearts, through your correspondent, they bid you all an affectionate of your and our homes and firesides.
The Regiment crossed the river on the ice, and took the cars a mile or two south of the city, to which point they marched. I noticed Hon. Horatio Ballard at the side of his son, the Lieutenant of Company E enduring with him the march, and not taking his leave before bidding an adieu to all.
I send you the speeches made at the Capitol, and will here supply an omission which has been made by all the Albany papers. - After Col. Green had concluded his remarks, he called for three cheers for Governor Morgan. They were given with a will by the whole Regiment. The Governor immediately appeared in the porch, and uncovering, while the snow was filling his hair and finding a lodgement about his face, addressed the men in a patriotic strain. New York, he said, would ever stand by them. - The number of the regiment, "76", was endeared to the citizens of this State. It revived, in memory, the struggles of those brave and true men who achieved our liberties and won imperishable glory. Let the banner of the Regiment never trail in the dust. Regiment after regiment has departed from this State, and we have now 120,000 men in the field, yet, is not the business of the State crippled. Do not by this statement think that you will not be missed.- You will be remembered in our hearts and in our prayers; the Best Blood of Two Counties can never leave their homes and this State to fight the battles of the Nation, without their memories being kept fresh and green in the hearts of her citizens. Not a man has yet been drafted into service. Not a man has yet been drafted into service. You yourselves form a heroic example of the free will offering of the sons of the Empire State.
Such were some of the sentiments of the Governor, as expressed to the Regiment - They are, of course, imperfectly presented here, for your correspondent was nearly knee deep in a snow-bank, endeavoring to see and hear all that was passing around him, while a spiteful cannon in the park was thundering farewells in quick succession.
Please imagine me, hat in hand, over the polite introduction you gave me in your last, and knowing the departure of the regiment to be a matter of great interest at home, you will excuse me for sending this in advance of my usual mailing day.
Gazette and Banner Cortland, NY Vol 1, No. 17 Pg 2, Col 5
A young lady, weeping and waving her handkerchief with much assiduity on the occasion of the departure of a regiment of soldiers, was asked what relatives she had in the regiment, and replied, "Cousins." - How many? was solicitously queried.- Why; the whole regiment; aren't they Uncle Sam's boys, laconically replied the lass.-
- transcribed by B. Conrad Bush
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Last updated January 19, 1999