Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/638

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our government is still ungrateful. To-day men who have never fired off a gun, or even shouldered a musket, or left their casa, are pensioned by the National as well as by the State Government; and men who went over two thousand miles from home to defend and battle for our flag, then trailing in the sand and dust in a tierra calientes, are looked upon as nothing; and, in fact, almost forgotten. [Cries, that is so, and applause.]

"Comrades do not understand me to say that I find fault in these old men getting their pensions-and just dues. God forbid, but I do find fault with our Government and the people in appreciating our hardships, privations and victorious achievements so little. [Applause.]

I feel proud that I had the honor of serving in that grand army, the army of invasion. Its deed and victory will forever remain pure and untarnished. They are incorporated in the history of our country, and happy do I feel; proud may any man be who transmits to his prosterity the proud and unseparable honor of having been a veteran soldier of the Mexican war.

"The result of the Mexican war gave an immense territory to the United States, captured an empire larger than Hannibal, Alexander the Great or Napoleon combined; nearly three hundred and sixty-four million acres of land, in mineral, agricultural, forest and pasture, the richest and the most prolific in the world, derived from it millions upon millions in gold and silver. [Applause.]

"It has forever settled the boundary line of the Lone Star of Texas. It gave us a railroad route from the shores of New England to the golden sand on the Pacific coast. It gave us a direct route to China and the East Indies. It gave us one of the finest harbors in the world. Such was the work of the Mexican veterans.

"That campaign, and conquering the whole republic of Mexico, has cost the life of many a good soldier, and the women throughout our land, like Rachel, wept for their lost husbands and children.