History of Antietam National Cemetery (President Johnson)
SPEECH OP PRESIDENT JOHNSON.
Governor Swann then introduced to the assembly President JOHNSON, who, advancing to the front of the platform was greeted with applause. He said :
My Fellow Countrymen—In appearing before you it is not for the purpose of making any lengthy remarks, but simply to express my approbation of the ceremonies which have taken place to-day. My appearance on this occasion will be the speech that I will make. My reflections and my meditations will be in silent communion with the dead, whose deeds we are here to commemorate. I shall not attempt to give utterance to the feelings and emotions inspired by the addresses and prayers which have been made and the hymns which have been sung. I shall make attempt at no such thing. I am merely here to give my countenance and aid to the ceremonies on this occasion ; but I must be permitted to express my hope that we may follow the example which has been so eloquently alluded to this afternoon, and which has been so clearly set by the illustrious dead. When we look on yon battle field I think of the brave men on both sides, who fell in the fierce struggle of battle, who sleep silent in their graves. Yes, who sleep in silence and peace after the earnest conflict has ceased. Would to God we of the living could imitate their example, as they lay sleeping in peace in their tombs, and live together in friendship and peace. [Applause.]
You, my fellow citizens, have my earnest wishes as you have had my efforts in time gone by, in the earliest and most trying perils to preserve the union of these States, to restore harmony to our distracted and divided country, and you shall have my last efforts in vindication of the flag of the Republic and of the Constitution of your fathers. [Applause]
The benediction was then pronounced, when the President, Cabinet Officers, Governor Swann and others left the platform. Colonel J. M. Moore and his assistants formed the military who escorted the President and party to the cars at Keedysville, which place they left at ten minutes to seven o'clock for Washington and Baltimore.
Maryland. Board of Trustees of the Antietam National Cemetery.
Washington County Free Library.
23 x 14 cms
J.W. Woods, printer, Baltimore
Antietam National Cemetery; United States History, Civil War, 1861-1865, Registers of dead.
Washington County, Md; 1862-1869.