Article from the July 19th, 1864 edition of The Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, page 1, column 7.


The 21st Michigan Infantry
Chattanooga, Tenn., July 10, 1864

I remember to have written you that the Fourth of July was upon us. A national salute from a park of 100 guns opened the morning exercise, after which the dogs of war on the mountain were all turned loose in answer to the muttering sounds .... Byron’s Alps every Fort had found a tongue to ... honor to our national birthday.

Our affairs at the front were all moving forward with great satisfaction while here were determined to celebrate the Fourth the old-fashioned way as we do “up North in God’s country,” –and once more enable the rebels to see, feel, and appreciate the blessings of civil liberty, of which they themselves once partook with us, but now had determined to cast from them forever. Quite a number of citizens were present, some came purely from curiosity and in all probability never saw the like before.

During the early part of the day the invited guests from the Valley began to gather about brigade headquarters’ and by 2 p.m. some three thousand were present, and what a display of stairs, eagles, leaves and bars they made.

Some 50 ladies, some of which had come from the North for the occasion, graced the celebration with their presence. Their appearance on such an occasion reminds one of a crop of young butterflies in the vicinity of a country schoolroom, where no on seemed particular what bird he caught so that he got one, and when his efforts were crowned with success, he was more puzzled to know what to do with it than he was to catch it.
After the usual proceedings of the day had been disposed of, the meeting was addressed by several able speakers. Lieut. Barton, of the 13th Michigan opened the way, by reading the Declaration of our Independence, who was followed by Col. Stanley, of the 18th Ohio, with the oration for the day. During the course of their remarks many practical suggestions were made in reference to the Copperheads of the North.

With this part of the day’s proceedings finished we retired to the dining-room to indulge in the fruits, meats, wines, prepared for the occasion at an expense of some $1,500, all furnished from the abundance of the North. This part of the programmed passed with great satisfaction, and the hall was cleared for ht evening’s entertainment. A ball was in order, but the ladies, were few, the one thing needful above all other in a ball-room. This part of the bill this committee of arrangements had no power to fill, with a few scattering exceptions. The evening soon passed away, all having a general jovial good time. The orders of the day were made complete, and, by common consent, the crowd was dispersed. Such is a brief sketch of the celebration of our National Birthday on Lookout Mount, in the midst of rebeldom.

G. W. B.

 

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