History of Antietam National Cemetery (Address of Governor Swann.)
ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR SWANN.
THE ceremonies were commenced by Governor SWANN, who delivered a brief speech, which was cheered at the conclusion, as follows :
Before proceeding with the programme, which has been handed me by the Committee of Arrangements, it seems appropriate that, as the official organ of the State of Maryland, upon whose soil and with whose hearty co-operation this Cemetery has been founded, I should extend a cordial welcome to His Excellency the President of the United States and his Cabinet, the Governors of our sister States, and the distinguished guests who have come to participate in the ceremonies of this most interesting occasion.
During the administration of my immediate predecessor, the first appropriation was made by the State of Maryland towards establishing a burial place for the dead who fell upon the battle field of Antietam.
At a subsequent period, the appropriation thus made having been found inadequate, upon the application of the Commissioners charged with this trust, a further sum was added in response to a communication made by myself to the Legislature in this behalf. Maryland having thus done her share in providing a burial place for these brave and patriotic men, the co-operation of our sister States was invoked to lend their aid in throwing around it a national interest, and the most liberal contributions have been accordingly made by nearly all the States in the removal of their dead, the erection of monuments, and in adding to the attractiveness of this beautiful spot. The work, so far as it has progressed, is now
The flag which floats over us to-day is the flag of our Union. The sword of battle has been sheathed. The tramp of contending armies, the embittered strife of father against son, and brother against brother, no longer resounds within our borders. The star of this great Republic is again in the ascendant. In the calm sunshine of peace we are here to mingle our tears with the survivors of the illustrious dead who have sacrificed their lives for their country, and are sleeping upon this field.
May I not, in this solemn hour, invoke the interposition of Almighty God for a speedy restoration of harmony and brotherly love throughout this broad land; and that North, South, East and West, laying aside the
Maryland. Board of Trustees of the Antietam National Cemetery.
Thomas Swann was a member of the United States Democratic Party, and the 33rd governor of the State of Maryland, from 1866 to 1869. He also served as the Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland from 1856-1860.
Washington County Free Library.
23 x 14 cms
J.W. Woods, printer, Baltimore
Antietam National Cemetery; United States History, Civil War, 1861-1865, Registers of dead.
Washington County, Md; 1862-1869.