June 28, 1877

Rocky Point, RI


It is often said that officers are always very abundant in gatherings like this, but that privates are rarely heard from.  But before I proceed with what I have to say, let me first say that I begin to suspect a little the accuracy of our geographies.  I have always understood that Rhode Island had more people to the square mile than any other State in the Union.  I readily believe that, but when I see the magnitude of this audience I cannot believe that it has only about 1200 square miles of territory.  Now, to go back—I appear to suggest that army gatherings are not composed entirely of officers.  There are men in the army who, as they fought as well as any, can speak as well as any, and to prove that what I say is true, permit me to introduce to you Corporal Tanner.