Vol 3 Section 0535
eastern armies and wait until I came up. [Laughter.] But he stood upon the punctilio of military etiquette and refused to take orders from a Second Lieutenant of the Confederate army, and so the Union was saved. Now, this is the first time that this secret has ever been revealed. No one outside of the family has known these facts, but they’re the truth of how Watterson saved the Union, and to think that up to this very hour that man gets no pension! That’s the way we treat people who save Unions for us. There ought to be some blush on the cheek of those present this evening, but, to tell the truth, we are out of practice. [Laughter and applause.]
Mark Twain then began to talk in a serious vein. His tone and manner changed. The audience soon stopped laughing and took the speaker seriously. He said:
“The hearts of this whole nation, North and South, were in the war. We of the South were not ashamed of the part we took. We believed in those days we were fighting for the right—and it was a noble fight, for we were fighting for our sweethearts, our homes, and our lives. Today we no longer regret the result, today we are glad that it came out as it did, but we of the South are not ashamed that we made an endeavor. And you, too, are proud of the record we made.
“We are here to honor the noblest and the best man after Washington that this land, or any other land, has yet produced. When the great conflict began the soldiers from the North and South swung into line to the tune of that same old melody, ‘We are coming. Father Abraham, three hundred thousand strong.’ The choicest of the young and brave went forth to fight and shed their blood under the flag and for what they thought was right. They endured hardships equivalent to circumnavigating the globe four or five times in the olden days. They suffered untold hardships and fought battles night and day.
“The old wounds are healed, and you of the North and we of the South are brothers yet. We consider it to be an honor to be of the soldiers who fought for the Lost Cause, and now we consider it a high privilege to be here tonight and assist in laying our humble homage at the feet of Abraham Lincoln. And we do not forget that you of the North and we of the South, one-time enemies, can now unite in singing that great hymn, ‘America.’ ” [Note: the article also listed 85 guests.]
Paine writes that the Watterson introduction:
…is one of the choicest of Mark Twain’s speeches—a pure and perfect example of simple eloquence, worthy of the occasion which gave it utterance, worthy in spite of its playful paragraphs (or even because of them, for Lincoln would have loved them), to become the matrix of that imperishable Gettysburg phrase with which he makes his climax [MTB 1122]. Note: Paine’s recording of the speech differs somewhat from the above Times article.
The Hartford Courant, p.10, reacted to Mark Twain’s article in the North American Review, “To the
Person Sitting in Darkness”:
MARK TWAIN’S “PERSON.”
Mark Twain is the “Spoiled child” of American letters. There is always something good about a spoiled child, or else we should not care whether he were spoiled or not; and there is a very great deal that is good about Mark Twain. We all love him, even when he is at his wildest…. We admire his courage, for he dares
everything. Mark Twain, with all his goodness and sincerity of heart, has never made scientific or historical precision of statement a characteristic of his work. The weaknesses and virtues of his methods are illustrated in the paper which holds first place in the North American Review for February. Here are the same outbursts of self-instituted conviction: the same half-humorous, half-satirical denunciations, the same disregard of details in the desire to make the main point luminous and impressive. In regard to the missionaries Mark Twain has drawn his bow very much at a venture. And this suggests that it is always safer for a satirist to know his geography, and what sort of people animate it before he strings his bow and shoulders his quiver.
William Mackay Laffan wrote to Sam: “The dispatch from Pekin published in the Sun of Dec. 21, concerning the Rev. Mr. Ament was from our Mr. Chamberlain, and there is not a more trustworthy correspondent attached to the staff of any newspaper. / Yours …” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.