Rosecrans' response to Ohio
- After the Battle of Stones River, the General Assembly of Ohio passed a resolution that thanked the Army of the Cumberland and William S. Rosecrans for their hard earned victory. Below is the Rosecrans response to the Ohioans. This is from the pamphlet: A Savoury Dish for Loyal Men., Philadelphia, 1863. Enjoy.
Kevin S. Coy
Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland,
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Feb. 3, 1863
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Ohio
The resolution of thanks passed by your honorable body to the Army of the Cumberland, its Commanding General and his staff, has been duly received, and published to the troops of his command. On behalf of all, I return you heartfelt thanks.
This is, indeed a war for the maintenance of the Constitution and the laws - nay, for national existence - against those who have despised our honest friendship, deceived our just hopes, and driven us to defend our country and our homes. By foul and willful slanders on our motives and intentions, persistently repeated, they have arrayed against us our own fellow- citizens, bound to us by triple ties on consanguinity, geographical position, and commercial interest.
Let no man among us be base enough to forget this, or fool enough to trust an oligarchy of traitors to their friends, to civil liberty and human freedom. Voluntary exiles from home and friends, for the defence (sic) and safety of all, we long for the time when gentle peace shall again spread her wings over our land; but we know no such blessing is possible while the unjust and arbitrary power of the rebel leaders confronts and threatens us. Crafty as the fox, cruel as the tiger, they cried, "No coercion," while preparing to strike us. Bully like, they proposed to fight us, because they said they could whip five to one; and now, when driven back, they whine out, "No invasion," and promise us of the West permission to navigate the Mississippi, if we will be "good boys," and do as they bid us.
Whenever they have the power, they drive before them into their ranks the Southern people, and they would also drive us. Trust them not. Were they able, they would invade and destroy us without mercy. Absolutely assured of these things, I am amazed that anyone could think of "peace on any terms." He who entertains the sentiment is fit only to be a slave; he who utters it at this time is, moreover, a traitor to his country, who deserves the scorn and contempt of all honorable men. When the power of the unscrupulous rebel leaders is removed, and the people are free to consider and act for their own interests, which are common with ours, under this government, there will be no great difficulty in fraternization. Between out tastes and social life there are fewer differences than between those of the people of the Northern and Southern Provinces of England or Ireland.
Hoping the time may speedily come, when the power of the perfidious and cruel tyrant of this rebellion, having been overthrown, a peace may be laid on the broad foundation of national unity and equal justice to all, under the Constitution and Laws, I remain your fellow-citizen.
W. S. Rosecrans, Major General.