ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF GENERAL McPHERSON

July 22, 1878
Newark, Ohio

FELLOW CITIZENS:  These soldiers of the Ohio have selected this anniversary of the death of General McPherson on the battle field for their first general State Re-union.  We all feel grateful to the orator who has spread before us his character.  We all feel that they have done this fittingly and well in view of the character of General McPherson. He was higher in rank and more accomplished in the profession of arms than any soldier of Ohio who perished in battle; and my friends, we honor to-day General McPherson for something nobler than any rank, however high, and more admirable than any accomplishments, however great.  He possessed traits of character higher than rank and better than accomplishments.  A resident of the county of Sandusky, in which he was born and raised, I have known intimately those who knew him intimately from childhood, and what a character!  Listen, as I give you the testimony of those who fought beside and over him and under him, and those who fought against him, and the equally valuable character given him by those who knew him at his home.

General Grant, who knew him as a soldier, said every officer and every soldier who served under him felt the highest reverence for his patriotism, his zeal, his great, almost unequaled ability and amiability, and all the manly virtues that may adorn a commander.

Judge Key, the present Postmaster General, who was present at Vicksburg, says of him: “His magnanimity, generosity and kindness, won the hearts of every officer and soldier who was a prisoner under his charge.  There was not one of them that did not feel a pang of sorrow when he heard that the gallant and noble McPherson had fallen in the front at Atlanta. 

Higher still, his grandmother writing about him, said: I watched his progress from infancy up.  In childhood he was obedient and kind; in manhood interesting, noble and persevering, looking to the wants of others.

This is the testimony of those who knew him as comrade, maintaining the cause of union and liberty; of those who in the great conflict fought against him, and of those who knew him at his home.

A bereaved father standing by the corpse of his gallant son slain in the battle said, as Ohio says to-day, of McPherson: I would rather have my dead son than any living son in all Christendom.”